Executive Director, Corporate Relations

University of Denver, Office of Advancement
Colorado, United States
$138,000.00 - $155,000.00
Closing date
Jun 2, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Employment Type
Full Time

About the University of Denver

Located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, the University of Denver embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery that defines our region and our history. DU is a private institution built on exploration through research and collaboration among educators, students, and local and global communities. With nationally recognized academic programs, a history of widespread influence, a forward-looking vision for a 21st-century education, and a deep commitment to promoting inclusion, we open a world of opportunity to students and empower Pioneers to make a difference around the world. Through learning, scholarship and practice, students gain the experience, knowledge and courage they need to tackle big challenges in the real world and guide diverse communities and organizations.

About DU Advancement

In preparation for the most ambitious philanthropic campaign in the University’s history, the University of Denver is building an advancement enterprise that mirrors the excellence of our great institution. Advancement efforts at DU have a tremendous impact through our relationships with DU’s remarkable students, dedicated donors, inspiring alumni, engaged families, and wonderful friends. DU is committed to building and fostering a culture of deep engagement and philanthropy in support of our institution as we implement the DU IMPACT 2025 vision and prepare for a fundraising campaign with a bold and courageous goal.

The University of Denver and DU Advancement deeply value inclusive excellence, recognizing that its success is dependent on how well it values, engages, and includes the rich diversity of constituents. You can learn more about inclusive excellence at the University of Denver by visiting the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. As a part of that effort, we are continuing to grow a team of inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive, innovative, ethical, and transparent advancement professionals who possess deep mutual respect for one another and for our shared profession.

Position Summary

The University of Denver’s vision is to be a “great private university dedicated to the public good.” Sitting squarely in the Denver city limits, one of the country’s fastest-growing start-up and innovation centers, DU is one of Denver’s anchor institutions and is one of the city’s largest private employers, pumping over $1 billion annually into the local economy. To build upon this history of success, DU must skillfully expand and deepen relationships with the greater Denver region, including the ever-growing business sector. In addition, DU is actively implementing its dynamic strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025 which includes an emphasis on strengthening DU’s role and relationships within the city.

Reporting to the Senior Vice Chancellor of Advancement, the Executive Director for Corporate Relations is the University’s most senior officer dedicated to growing, cultivating, and facilitating a holistic corporate and industry relations portfolio. The Executive Director for Corporate Relations will actively advance opportunities for strengthening and building new campus-wide corporate relationships across DU.  They will work closely with academic units and career services to increase tailored corporate talent development programs, intern, extern, capstone projects, co-op and experiential learning opportunities for students. Additionally, they will also work closely with academic, athletic, and administrative leadership to successfully secure increased sponsorships and research opportunities for DU. The Executive Director provides strategic counsel and advice in these areas to the chancellor and other members of senior leadership.

The Executive Director is also charged with developing and implementing a  University-wide strategic plan to identify, cultivate, coordinate, and steward corporate partnerships in support of DU’s mission of teaching, research, and contributions to the public good. The role will work to identify both companies with strong current footprints on campus and industry leaders where the development of new or stronger relationships is desired. This position will work in collaboration with campus partners to conceive of, design, implement, and sustain effective models for industry engagement that support the strategic priorities of the University of Denver. 

Primary Responsibilities

University-wide Corporate Engagement Strategy & Programming 

  • Design and implement a university-wide corporate engagement strategy that results in increased corporate philanthropy, sponsored research, sponsorship, volunteerism, student recruitment and internship, and transfer of intellectual property.
  • Implement productive and efficient corporate relations strategies across campus that build new relationship and strength existing relationship.
  • Develop strong internal communications protocols to streamline corporate relations strategies.
  • Develop and implement identification, cultivation and solicitation strategies for corporate prospects and provide effective coordination of activities such as campus visits, site visits, travel to relevant sites, briefings, and presentations or proposal submissions.
  • Identify and implement strategies, activities, communications, and coordinate outreach to enhance corporate/campus partnerships and to cultivate and solicit these constituencies for support of campus programs.

Corporate Engagement Portfolio Management 

  • Manage a personal portfolio of corporate prospects to solicit direct corporate investment support, with focus on securing investments of $50,000 and above.
  • Collaboration & Leadership 

    • Strategically coordinate and facilitate corporate relations functions with University partners including the Deans, Advancement, Sponsored Research, and Athletics, among others.  These strategies will be designed to engage new and existing corporate partnerships while still allowing  units, colleges, and schools to build and continue individual corporate relations functions.
    • Work closely with academic leaders, faculty, and staff to couple research and educational activities with corporations and their foundational interests. The Executive Director must understand and clearly communicate the scientific, technical, educational, financial, and human resource aspects of campus programs.
    • Actively, strategically, and seamlessly work with the schools and colleges and career services to increase our students’ experiential opportunities, as well as job placement upon graduation.
    • Work with key campus leadership to build the visibility, stature, and brand of DU within the corporate community.
    • Support the deans, faculty, and staff in corporate proposal development.
    • Partner with staff at the university to promote DU, develop initiatives, and submit funding proposals.

    University Citizenship

    • Serve as an active and collaborative partner to all central and unit-based advancement functions and campus colleagues to foster strategic, effective, and collaborative practices.
    • Contribute to team success and model “One DU” leadership.

    Knowledge, Skills & Abilities 

    • Advanced knowledge of the on-going issues of concern in higher education and research and familiarity with government and community relations (a strong partnership is anticipated between Government and Community Relations and Corporate Relations)
    • Expertise in the areas of proactively developing corporate/university partnerships.  Ability to understand and communicate technical, scientific, intellectual property, and educational activities essential.
    • Outstanding interpersonal skills and a professional demeanor; willingness and ability to deal with internal and external constituents in a professional, confidential, friendly, and responsive manner via phone, email, and face-to-face meetings.
    • High performing team leader that enables unit leaders to lead when necessary, step out front to gain access and champion internally for new opportunities.
    • Sufficient experience and expertise to operate effectively with advisory or governing boards.
    • Prior knowledge and familiarity with local and national business.
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking, coaching, proposal development, and persuasive communication techniques and approaches.
    • An appreciation for the critical role that campus colleagues play in enhancing corporate relations, and the ability to strategically orchestrate relationships and partnerships to best represent the university.
    • Ability to work with diverse constituents both on and off-campus.

    Required Qualifications 

    • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
    • 7 years of relevant experience in university development, business development, corporate outreach, or equivalent work with the business community.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • Experience in a complex and dynamic higher education setting is highly preferred.

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