Vice Chancellor for Advancement

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Jun 02, 2021
Jul 01, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Vice Chancellor for Advancement
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Amherst, MA | June 2021 

The University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks a Vice Chancellor for Advancement to capitalize on its position as Massachusetts' premier public institution of higher education, deliver a breakthrough advancement program that parallels its rise among the nation's best universities, and unleash the power of its alumni.

About UMass Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees – at a pivotal moment in its 157-year history.

The vision held by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and leadership stakeholders across the University is to compete successfully with the nation's premier public research universities as well as the elite private universities in the state of Massachusetts. Under Chancellor Subbaswamy's leadership, UMass Amherst has achieved unprecedented momentum, climbing to #26 in U.S. News and World Report rankings among more than 700 4-year public universities and colleges (up from #52 in 2010). The largest public land-grant research university in New England, it is distinguished by the excellence and breadth of its academic, research and community engagement programs. Aligning with the State's reputation as an international hub of innovation, UMass Amherst grants more undergraduate STEM degrees than any other education institution in Massachusetts, public or private – a significant fact considering the rich landscape of higher education in the geography.

Students at UMass Amherst choose from over 100 bachelor's degree programs, five associate degree, more than 75 master's and 48 doctoral programs. Co-curricular and experiential opportunities include undergraduate research programs, career-related internships, mentors for emerging entrepreneurs, engagement in the community through service learning, and hundreds of student organizations. In the fall of 2020, there were over 24,000 undergraduates and over 7,000 graduate students. There are approximately 250,000 living alumni.

UMass Amherst received more than 1,100 sponsored research awards last year, totaling over $195 million, an increase of 21 percent from the previous year and a new all-time high for the campus. Over the past ten years, total research grant funding has increased 42 percent. Exceptional new and renovated campus facilities provide access to a cutting-edge living and learning environment. All new construction is 100 percent LEED-certified, demonstrating the university's role as a national leader in sustainability.

UMass Amherst has a profound legacy of and commitment to social justice, extending across generations and spanning disciplines. Under Subbaswamy's tenure, the Diversity Strategic Planning Steering Committee was formed (Spring 2014) to articulate a comprehensive diversity-oriented strategy. It has been followed by university-wide investment in programs, actions and monitoring of achievements. This continues to be a priority for the university and the Diversity Strategic Plan includes actionable steps to establish UMass Amherst as a community of choice for students, staff, and faculty that exemplifies the power of diverse perspectives and mutual respect.

The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. The campus provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers.

In sum, UMass Amherst is an academically accomplished institution, with socially responsible students living and learning in a research-rich, beautiful, and inclusive community. For more information about UMass Amherst, please visit

About Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is the philanthropic leader of the public higher education system in Massachusetts - with the desire and the potential to reach much higher. It has the benefit of both an alumni body with considerable breadth, depth and capacity, and access to emerging and well-established corporate leaders in biotechnology, bioscience, engineering, environmental sustainability, finance, and other dynamic industries. Philanthropy should strive to meet the ambitions of the Deans and program directors with big ideas for their schools, centers, institutes, and research laboratories. The landscape is ripe for principal and major gifts.

The university is in the quiet stage of a $600 million campaign. It has raised $165 million in lead commitments and will launch the nucleus phase of the campaign in the coming year, under the strategy and direction of the new Vice Chancellor. Campaign goals are guided by the data analytics and findings of GG&A. The campaign also embraces the goal of thoughtfully and ambitiously broadening the base of alumni engagement and support. The most recent campaign, UMass Rising, concluded in 2016 and raised $379 million, exceeding its $300 million goal.

In preparation for a new UMass Amherst campaign, Chancellor Subbaswamy is determined to invest in creating a new energy around philanthropy, particularly focused on active engagement with faculty and the Foundation Board, and on energizing the alumni to new heights. Under the former Vice Chancellor, now Interim Chancellor UMass Dartmouth, the alumni affairs staff integrated with development and marketing and communications and a principal gifts program that is yielding success in the current campaign was launched. Promising seven- and eight-figure discussions are underway. This pivot sets the stage for new leadership to design the campaign and set the practices that will build long-term philanthropic sustainability.

Total commitments over the last five years have averaged $55 million per year. In its most recent year, gifts, and pledges fulfilled a number of important priorities. 25% of total dollars come from alumni, 25% from corporations and foundations, and the balance in the form of bequests from friends of the institution.

As it looks ahead, UMass Amherst seeks to grow endowment in recognition that a stronger endowment gives the university inordinate strength as it rises in the ranks and builds a student-centered culture.

Leadership of UMass Amherst

Kumble R. Subbaswamy became the 30th Chancellor of UMass Amherst on July 1, 2012. He has emerged as a popular and highly regarded chancellor for his pursuit of academic excellence, promotion of research and outreach, and initiatives aimed at addressing campus climate, diversity, and culture.

Subbaswamy has overseen the opening of new cutting-edge academic and athletic facilities, including Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community, the Integrative Learning Center, the Life Science Laboratories, and the Football Performance Center. He has made sustainability a campus priority and he is focused on strengthening community relationships, supporting area communities, and increasing access to the university's rich academic and research resources.

Championing an open and transparent leadership style, Subbaswamy enacted a comprehensive campus-wide strategic planning process to guide UMass Amherst from 2018 to 2023. Subbaswamy has instituted plans to improve the UMass educational experience by introducing more opportunities for undergraduate research experiences and integrative and team-based learning. His priority is also to increase the enrollment of students from low-income communities. Under his tenure, the campus's status as a research powerhouse that touches—and often transforms—communities in the state and around the world has soared.

Before coming to Amherst, Subbaswamy served as provost at the University of Kentucky. A physicist, his primary research area is the optical properties of novel materials and nonlinear excitations. He has published more than 60 articles and coauthored a book on the local density theory of polarizability. To quote a key member of the Chancellor's cabinet, "He is the best boss I could ask for and is a partner in every way possible."

Along with Subbaswamy are 11 senior and vice chancellors in administrative positions as well as 12 deans. Together, this roster comprises the leadership team of the University.

UMass Amherst Foundation

Established in 2003, the Foundation supports private fundraising on behalf of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. An independent, privately governed nonprofit, the Foundation provides a bridge between donors and the schools, programs, and faculty, in support of the university's mission. The Foundation Board includes over 50 members.

The Vice Chancellor for Advancement also serves as the Foundation's Executive Director. As such, the Executive Director is an Ex Officio member of the board.

About the Vice Chancellor for Advancement Position

A member of the university's senior leadership team, the Vice Chancellor for Advancement reports to the Chancellor of the university. The Vice Chancellor will serve alongside the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Deputy Chancellor and Chief Planning Officer, the Director of Athletics, the Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer, the Vice Chancellor for University Relations, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance; the Vice Chancellor for Information Services and Chief Information Officer, and the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As a member of this leadership group, candidates will be expected to show a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Chancellor names advancement as a point of emphasis in achieving his vision for UMass Amherst. There is tremendous opportunity in this key leadership position for an individual who thrives on creating change, thoughtfully motivates and influences engagement across an institution—at all levels—and is confident and adept at guiding a team to ambitious new levels of achievement. The Chancellor, his leadership team, and the academic heads are poised to partner with the Vice Chancellor and will seek direction about how and when they can be a high value asset to philanthropy.

Positions reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Advancement include: Assistant Vice Chancellor for Constituent Programs, Associate Vice Chancellor for Development, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations, Executive Director Alumni Association, Executive Director for Marketing & Communications, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services, Director of Talent Management, and the Executive Director for Principal gifts. Total advancement staff numbers close to 150 positions.

A plan for a new round of significant investment in Advancement is now under review, with the goal of generating stronger coverage of prospects, largely in the form of frontline fundraisers. Staff salaries are supported by a combination of the University, the UMass Amherst Foundation, the UMass Amherst Alumni Association and by the Colleges. All positions report to the Vice Chancellor for Advancement with "dotted lines" to the Colleges and programs they serve.

Key Responsibilities
Advancement – Strategic Leadership and Staff Management
• Collaborate with Administrative and Academic leaders to develop and implement strategies and initiatives that drive and raise the bar for the University and for philanthropy.
• As Vice Chancellor for Advancement direct all aspects of Advancement: Constituent Programs, Development, Alumni Relations, Marketing and Communications, Advancement Services, Talent Management and Principal Gifts.
• As Executive Director UMass Amherst Foundation effectively engage Board members and key stakeholders in all aspects of Advancement.
• Partner with Deans, Vice Chancellors, program directors, etc. in a collaborative, respectful, and appropriately directive way that amplifies their roles and ideas and places them in the proper positions of influence with donors and volunteers.
• Design, recruit, retain and mobilize a team of close to 150 and growing to be high-performing and high-achieving professionals, individually and collectively.
• Deliver an appropriate Return on Investment for the whole team collectively.
• Lead by example and be responsible for providing an equitable, inclusive environment that encourages diversity.
• Identify and support volunteers for their ability to also lead by example in the best ways they can.

Campaign Design and Implementation
• Create a campaign plan that is appropriately transparent, nimble, and forward-thinking.
• Deliver a donor-centric plan offering great impact for their investment and encouraging deeper engagement with the University.
• Hold yourself and your team highly accountable for the success of the plan, recognizing that there will necessarily be course correction as the campaign progresses.
• Build best and compliant practices and create programs with long lasting sustainability.

• Partner closely with the Chancellor on his portfolio of principal gift prospects.
• Deliver on mutually set goals regularly and consistently.
• Manage a portfolio of individual donors.
• Partner with deans, faculty, and volunteers in the fundraising process.
• Direct Advancement staff to plan for and strategically deploy the university's senior leadership in fundraising efforts.

Alumni Engagement
• Support the build out of creative and contemporary alumni engagement offerings.
• Appreciate the student and alumni perspective and the value of alumni engagement.

Ideal Qualifications
• Commitment to UMass Amherst mission.
• 10+ years of relevant, professional experience, in an advancement leadership role within higher education, demonstrating a sound work history.
• Successful experience participating in the planning for or the launching of a large (at least 9 figure) comprehensive campaign for a university or college.
• Experience supporting, collaborating with or working closely with college or university Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Deans, Coaches, Faculty or others, in achieving ambitious goals.
• Experience working closely with University/College Board members and or volunteer leadership.
• Proven ability to meet or exceed ambitious fundraising and/or alumni goals.
• Management experience, including talent development, working with and/or setting goals, managing both up and down.
• Successful experience cultivating and soliciting 7, 8 or 9 figure gifts from individuals, foundations and/or corporations.
• Significant experience conducting or managing prospect discovery; pipeline development.
• Experience growing an annual giving, alumni engagement and/or planned giving programs.
• Must be able to travel nationally when appropriate.
• Ability to relocate to Amherst, MA.

Additional Valued Experience
• Insight into and experience working within flagship public colleges or universities is valued, but not a requirement for successful candidates.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

For more information, please visit

Suzanne Weber, MBA


Development Guild DDI

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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