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Chief Advancement Officer

University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Michigan, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Feb 21, 2024


Strategic Leadership 

  • In partnership with the Ross Dean, develop and execute a compelling strategic philanthropic and engagement plan that supports the Ross mission to build a better world through business, including a comprehensive roadmap for the school's success in the upcoming U-M capital campaign that will officially launch in Fall 2024.
  • As a member of the school's executive leadership team, be an active contributor: build effective working relationships with associate deans, chief officers, area chairs, center/institute directors, and faculty across the school to understand priorities and opportunities; ensure that advancement activities are aligned with the school's priorities; provide key insights from the donor/alumni community to inform school-level strategic decisions.  
  • Champion the engagement of alumni to build essential connections and provide lifelong value that leads to engagement and philanthropy. Develop meaningful and compelling meetings, experiences and communications for the school Alumni Board and the Ross Alumni Board of Governors. Attend all Board meetings and oversee individual relationships with Board Members.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of priorities, objectives, goals and operating plans for the advancement team in alignment with the school's strategic goals and priorities. Implement a fundraising program to maximize transformational philanthropy over short, medium and long-term horizons. Provide leadership and mentoring to ensure the team is performing at the highest levels while supporting them in their professional development.  
  • As an essential internal and external ambassador for the school, communicate the school's mission, priorities, reach and impact to capture the interest and imagination of our faculty, alumni, donors, corporate and other external partners.
  • Ensure that goals, programs, and activities are systematically tracked and evaluated. Foster a sense of continuous improvement within the team, and encourage innovation.
  • Partner with the U-M Office of University Development to plan and execute fundraising efforts for the school and contribute to university campaign planning.

Effective Operational Management 

  • Contribute to our positive and inclusive work community by building trusting partnerships across the school, continually learning, creating impactful experiences, and working with a sense of ownership for outcomes. Approaches this work with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind; treating others with respect, dignity, and in a manner where individuals feel they belong; listens, values feedback, and learns from the perspectives of others. 
  • Organize and manage the day-to-day operations of the team. Provide direction to staff to align planning and activities with top-level objectives. Lead, mentor, and develop the team. Share information and make important connections to support team performance and impact.
  • Ensure the Dean is strategically engaged with advancement activities, and is well-prepared for all development and alumni events, activities, and engagements to produce desired results.
  • Actively manages a portfolio of the school's highest-level donors (20-30 people), personally participating in their cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Select, supervise, develop and evaluate staff; establish and model performance expectations and standards to foster a positive, high-service, and innovative culture; provide leadership for the training and motivation of staff that enables them to realize their full potential and meet the school's goals; and advance the school's efforts to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
  • Actively engages in the school's performance process; providing guidance on priorities and expected outcomes and encouraging learning and growth through ongoing reflection and conversation.
  • Manage and allocate human, financial and physical resources prudently, responsibly and within budget constraints. Ensure effective reporting of all school fundraising results, including all cash receipts, life income gifts, bequests and other expectancies, pledges, gifts-in-kind, and all other fundraising progress.


  • Is a present and visible ambassador and champion within the team, within and across the school, within and across U-M, and with alumni and donors. 
  • Establish and sustain effective working relationships within the school and the U-M community to advance the school's fundraising and alumni engagement and stewardship initiatives.
  • Foster a spirit of partnership between the advancement team and key collaborators to build support for and engagement with the development of new programs and initiatives.
  • Establish and sustain partnerships with external corporations, foundations, and other universities and organizations working on related efforts.
  • Represent the school within the network of leading business schools and peer institutions.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ten or more years of progressively responsible experience leading major gifts, alumni relations and stewardship, including supervisory experience with a professional staff and the ability to manage performance.
  • A record of success in developing and implementing fundraising (principal, legacy, major and annual gifts) and alumni engagement strategies.
  • Ability to effectively engage with, and articulate the value and impact of philanthropy to, executive level business leaders and in the context of business generally.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
  • A demonstrated ability to use data and analytics strategically to identify philanthropic opportunities and to assess organizational effectiveness and promote learning and continuous improvement.
  • Experience developing alumni engagement, donor retention, and corporate relations strategies.
  • Significant or large-scale campaign planning and execution experience.
  • Proven success in building productive, long-term relationships with key constituents such as organizational partners, institutional boards, volunteers, alumni, and donors.
  • Proven success in working closely with senior leaders and providing the support necessary to ensure their success in development activities.
  • Leadership experience and proven track record of empowering and managing a high-performing team.
  • Proven ability to handle multiple initiatives simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.
  • Familiarity with philanthropic regulations and best practices in a large research university.


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