Senior Associate Dean for Advancement, Viterbi School of Engineering

University of Southern California
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Nov 5, 2021

View more

Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Fundraising Administration
Employment Type
Full Time

University of Southern California
Senior Associate Dean for Advancement, Viterbi School of Engineering

Senior Associate Dean for Advancement
University of Southern California (USC)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Reporting Relationship: Dean, Viterbi School of Engineering

Position Summary
The University of Southern California is seeking a dynamic and innovative fundraising executive to serve in the role of Senior Associate Dean for Advancement within the Viterbi School of Engineering. As one of the leading engineering schools in the United States with a ranking in the top 5 of all private schools of engineering, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering is innovative, elite and internationally recognized for creating new models of education, research and commercialization. The school’s pillars are attracting the best talent in faculty, students and staff and provide the environment for them to thrive; leading in thought and innovation; and impacting positively the society, the nation and the world through engineering education, research and innovation. As the school’s faculty and students extend the frontiers of engineering knowledge through their research, they also apply engineering and technology to address societal challenges, in a mindset of Engineering +. The school stimulates and encourages scholarship, leadership, ambition and character that mark the true academic and professional engineer. The Senior Associate Dean for Advancement will be joining the School at a critical juncture as it continues advancing the engineering discipline in the future, while expanding their impact and overall reach.

Reporting directly to the Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering with a functional reporting relationship to the University's Senior Vice President for Advancement, the Senior Associate Dean for Advancement will provide strategic vision, leadership, and oversight for the advancement function for the School, garnering tremendous support from constituents, friends, alumni and corporations and foundations. In this highly visible role, the Senior Associate Dean collaborates with a broad set of stakeholders including the Dean, academic leadership, faculty, Chairs, Directors, and staff as well as the Viterbi Board of Councils and other Boards to significantly increase philanthropic support for the School’s priorities and strategic initiatives. With overarching responsibility for the School’s advancement operation, the Senior Associate Dean will oversee all facets of development including major gifts, corporate and foundations, alumni relations, and planned giving ensuring proper stewardship.

As a key leader within the Viterbi School of Engineering, the Senior Associate Dean, with the support of a team of two dozen talented development professionals, has the aim of empowering the School to advance its strategic priorities, thoughtfully engaging its stakeholders, and enhancing its overall reputation through leadership in alumni relations and fundraising.

The Institution
The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international business, USC’s diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments. 

As the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles, USC is responsible for $8 billion in economic activity annually. They offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic and professional schools and administrative units. With more than 46,000 students, USC is a leading private research university in Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology, and international business.

Of the 150 universities surveyed in the western U.S., USC ranks No. 3. Among the top 25 schools, USC ranked No. 2 in engagement and No. 5 in environment, a measure of diversity and inclusion. For more information on USC, please feel free to visit their website at University of Southern California (

The Viterbi School of Engineering
Founded in 1905, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering is named for Andrew and his late wife Erna Viterbi. Andrew developed the algorithm that now connects all the world. Located in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international business in the heart of the Pacific Rim, USC Viterbi is a hub for thought leadership and innovation and entrepreneurship that connects students from more than 60 countries. With solid financial footing and a rapidly growing study body, its unrestricted annual budget (excluding external research) exceeds $250M. The Viterbi Advancement office has secured more than $500M in gifts and pledges during the university’s most recent campaign.

In the U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) 2020 rankings of graduate programs in engineering, USC Viterbi was ranked #12 overall and #5 among private engineering schools, after MIT, Stanford, Caltech and CMU. A pioneer in offering online programs, USC Viterbi is consistently ranked among the top 5: Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs (ranked #5) and Best Online Information Technology Programs (ranked #2). Under the leadership of Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, the school helped re-imagine the 21st century engineer, pioneering the Grand Challenge Scholars Program in schools across the globe. The School’s mission is to serve California, the nation and the world.

For Fall 2021, the school enrolled 3,340 undergraduate students and 6,300 graduate students. USC Viterbi has the largest number of female graduate students (about 32% of the total USC Viterbi graduate enrollment) nationally and achieved gender parity in the entering fall classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021. It counts about 80,000 living alumni. During this period of time, the school counted 189 full-time, tenure track faculty; 117 full-time, non-tenure track faculty; 76 faculty with joint or other partial appointments; 21 part-time lecturers; more than 100 adjunct faculty; and 118 endowed chairs, professorships or distinctions. Additionally, USC Viterbi faculty includes 91 NSF CAREER recipients, 33 affiliated NAE members, 4 NAS members, 18 National Academy of Inventors Fellows, 13 recipients of the PECASE Award, 3 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), and 18 MIT TR-35 recipients (of whom 9 are women). Two faculty members have won the National Medal of Science and one the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI).

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the mission of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, which strives to enhance diversity in all sections of the engineering pipeline. For engineering to remain society’s engine of innovation, the School recognizes they must change the narrative about “what we do, who we are, and what we look like”. USC Viterbi believes that changing “the conversation about engineering” is a necessity. The School is increasing their capacity through the diversity of thought and ideas by engaging the whole society in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It led the 2015 ASEE diversity initiative, now adopted by more than 230 engineering schools in the nation. 

With a strong global reach, the School has multiple partnerships with a number of overseas institutions, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, the Technical University of Aachen, the University of Sao Paolo, and many others. Its unique educational technology platform, iPodia, offers joint courses with a number of these schools. USC Viterbi has two overseas offices, in Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India. It is advised by several advisory boards, including the Board of Councilors, an Emerging Leaders Board, the Corporate Board, a China and East Asia Board, and an India Board.

Key Responsibilities
As a vital member of the Dean's senior leadership team, the Senior Associate Dean for Advancement's responsibilities include establishing and implementing the School's overall advancement strategy ensuring the achievement of ambitious annual goals and objectives; formulating the overall development plan and designing, implementing and overseeing fundraising initiatives and major gifts programs; and ensuring the development of an effective alumni relations program that includes broad representation from various alumni groups.

The primary responsibilities of this role include but are not limited to:

Strategic Oversight

  • Leads the School's advancement function, ensuring the alignment of the fundraising (e.g., major gifts, foundations and corporate) and alumni affairs to meet the School's advancement goals.
  • Develops an integrated advancement strategy for the School, in collaboration with the Dean, the Sr. Vice President for Advancement, faculty, and staff.
  • Represents advancement in all its facets to all stakeholders (donors, parents, alumni, faculty, departments, students, university administration, etc.) and ensures the involvement of stakeholders in supporting the School and contributing to the direction of the advancement function.
  • Promotes the School's values, programs and contributions to the community and profession; embraces diversity, equity and inclusion; fosters strong relationships through initiatives that encourage high-level commitment and support from alumni, faculty, staff, friends, foundations, corporations, and organizations.
  • Enhances the image and visibility of the School at the local, national, and international levels, by working closely with the Associate Dean for Communications and Marketing as needed to create a communications strategy for alumni relations and development.
  • Develops and implements School advancement policies and procedures, ensuring consistency with University-wide policies and practices.
  • Provides strategic oversight to the advancement office including day-to-day operations as well as fiscal responsibility.
  • Directs department staff, implementing measures to develop and maintain a strong team environment and a goal-oriented and evaluative approach to all advancement activities.

Development Stewardship

  • Prepares development plans in regular periods outlining the School's advancement goals, priorities, and objectives. Establishes fundraising goals in conjunction with various stakeholders and ensures that goals are achieved.
  • Develops a business plan to increase donor base and plans, implements, and actively participates in fundraising activities.
  • Oversees the management of major gift prospects by ensuring the development of tailored cultivation and stewardship programs that are designed to enhance the interest and involvement of prospects in the School and University.
  • Oversees gift planning activity for the School, ensuring that the program is fully functional.
  • Provides input on key messages to enhance the image and visibility of the School at the local, national and international level as they relate to fundraising and alumni relations.
  • Establishes the infrastructure to integrate the School's academic units into the overall advancement strategy and annual plan for the School.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Effectively engages with the Executive Director of Alumni Relations to ensure the development and implementation of the School's alumni relations activities, ensuring consistency with the overall advancement strategic goals and objectives. This includes establishing Annual Fund goals and ensuring achievement of goals.
  • Collaborates with Chairs and Directors on strategic plans and policies relating to advancement and provides direction to ensure the development and implementation of appropriate, effective, and coordinated programs at the departmental level to advance prospects and steward donors.
  • Maintains communications with key stakeholders (faculty, alumni, and students) on development strategies, activities, and achievements.
  • Closely coordinates efforts with the School’s communication team ensuring consistent and compelling messaging.
  • Works closely with all the School's Vice Deans to identify opportunities for pursuing donations related to all their portfolios in all educational, student and programmatic initiatives.
  • Plans and implements the activities of the Board of Councilors under the guidance of the Dean and Chair of the Board. Coordinates activities of the standing and ad hoc committees of the Board.
  • Engages Board members in support of the School's advancement activities.
  • Provides strategic leadership and thought partnership for all other Viterbi Boards. 

Professional Qualifications
The Senior Associate Dean for Advancement must be a goal-oriented, strategic, and agile leader with a passion for higher education coupled with demonstrated success working at the senior level of an academic unit or complex organization to set and achieve ambitious fundraising goals. The ideal candidate will bring a proven track record of senior level expertise in fundraising and alumni activities, proactive leadership and team building skills, and outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.

The ideal candidate must have exceptional relationship skills along with diplomacy, tact, and an ability to collaborate and partner with academic and governing leadership, colleagues across campus and other key stakeholders. The Associate Dean must possess a high degree of emotional intelligence and be sensitive to the needs and interests of other divisions, departments, and units with competing advancement objectives.

Other desired qualifications and leadership characteristics include:

  • Minimum 10 years' experience in senior leadership with proven fundraising and major gift experience within the Advancement field, preferably in higher education.
  • Advanced knowledge of the major gift process: identification/research, cultivation, solicitation and recognition/stewardship in a complex environment.
  • Solid understanding of university or non-profit institutions and advancement communications. Knowledge of the field of engineering is an asset.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with the ability to oversee and motivate a group of front-line fundraising professional to achieve aggressive goals.
  • Strong embracing of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a foundational value central to the School’s mission.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills coupled with the ability to relate to donors, volunteers, colleagues, faculty and administration.
  • Strong focus on results coupled with an ability to work in a hectic and results-oriented environment.
  • Detail oriented and strong organizational and analytical skills along with the ability to demonstrate initiative, tact, diplomacy, and creativity.

University degree or equivalent acceptable combination of education and experience. Graduate degree and/or CFRE designation is strongly preferred.

Compensation and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Process
Please apply online through the application portal:

Candidate nominations and interested and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to:

USC is an equal opportunity employer and educator, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding candidates of every race, creed, and background.

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