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Vice President for University Advancement

California State University, Fresno
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Jun 14, 2023

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time


Fresno, California


California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), a prominent member of the 23-campus California State University system, seeks a dynamic, collaborative, and proven advancement leader to serve as the next vice president for university advancement (VP). Reporting directly to Fresno State's ninth president, Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, the VP is an active and contributing member of the university cabinet and campus and local communities, providing strategic and operational leadership for the development and alumni engagement enterprise. The vice president will partner with President Jiménez-Sandoval and other key constituents to elevate visibility and galvanize philanthropic support to advance ambitious institutional goals and to lead the public launch of Fresno State's second comprehensive campaign, targeted at $250 million, the largest fundraising effort in the university's 100-plus-year history. 

This is an excellent opportunity for a high-performing, strategic, and highly relational individual to join a committed and energetic president, for whom advancing philanthropic success is a crucial priority. The university community is poised for tremendous growth as Fresno State is engaged in campus-wide strategic planning to identify key priorities and initiatives that will shape the university for decades to come. The next vice president will assess and refine Fresno State's advancement program by implementing best practices, building capacity to optimize team performance, and applying data-informed outreach and effective fundraising strategies to build on its current strengths to create a best-in-class advancement operation. The successful leader will maintain their own active fundraising portfolio and recognize the importance of trust, collaboration, communication, and broader mission alignment that are critical for success as this vice president partners across senior leadership, faculty, students, staff, and the San Joaquin Valley community to enhance the philanthropic culture of Fresno State.

Fresno State’s mission to boldly educate and empower students for success and its values to embrace a culture of diversity, discovery, and distinction make student success a number one priority. With growing strength in research activities in recent years, Fresno State was elevated to "Doctoral University - High Research Activity" or R2 status in the most recent Carnegie classification. Several collaborative faculty research projects that meaningfully engage students center around the complex challenges of food, water, energy, health, and the environment – of critical importance in the Central Valley with global impact. Fresno State is a core driver of the Central Valley's upward social mobility, a hub for the community, and a contributor to Fresno County's agronomic powerhouse, which produces nearly 25 percent of agricultural commodities across the United States valued at $8 billion dollars. Ninety percent of Fresno State's students hail from the surrounding San Joaquin Valley, and 66 percent are the first in their families to earn a college degree. Furthermore, 80 percent of alumni stay in the region after graduating.  The student body is made up of 88 percent undergraduate students, and more than 82 percent of all students receive assistance through grants and scholarships. 

With at least ten years of leadership experience in development, the ideal candidate must possess strong managerial, strategic planning, and motivational skills; a keen understanding of fundraising best practices and a comprehensive knowledge of all major development and alumni engagement functions, including a depth of campaign experience; and a track record of significant personal success in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship at the major and principal gift levels. The ideal candidate will be a seasoned team leader adept at maximizing, leveraging, and advocating for talented staff and facilitating team success through ongoing professional development opportunities. The successful candidate will reflect and embody the core values of Fresno State by serving the university with authenticity, warmth, and humility alongside a demonstrated level of integrity, trust, diplomacy, emotional intelligence, and professionalism to effectively engage and partner with key internal and external stakeholders. This individual must bring a deep appreciation and passion for the mission, goals, and uniqueness of Fresno State. A bachelor's degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred. 

Rachel Ellenport is leading this search with Christina Garrison and Megan Gorman. A full overview of the responsibilities and required qualifications of the role are available in the position profile. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. For best consideration, please apply at your earliest convenience and by May 26, 2023. Applications consisting of a cover letter and CV should be submitted here. Inquiries, nominations, and referrals should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search here.


California State University, Fresno is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, or protected veteran status.

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