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Chief Development Officer/ Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement

University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.
Tennessee, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Mar 19, 2024

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Chief Development Officer/

Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.  


The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc (UTFI) invites applications and nominations to fill the position of Chief Development Officer (CDO) for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Advancement division. The Chief Development Officer is charged with leading all major giving, annual giving, and gift planning staff/teams on the UTK campus in the division of Advancement. 

Reporting to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement, the CDO serves on the executive leadership team and is asked to contribute to the short-term and long-term direction of the Advancement division.  The CDO will be responsible for all gift officers following UTFI & UTK policies and procedures in pursuit of meeting all annual fundraising goals at all levels (UTFI, UTK & College/Unit). The CDO will work closely with the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Principal Gifts and Campaigns to create a culture and system for success in all fundraising work on our campus.

The CDO will manage a team of 5 Associate/Assistant Vice Chancellors and will work with this team to build and maintain dynamic relationships with academic leadership within every college/unit, to successfully advance UTK’s mission and raised funds in support of the Chancellor’s Strategic Priorities. 

In addition to a significant leadership responsibility, the CDO will manage a limited portfolio of high-level prospects.  This position will work collaboratively with the Senior Vice Chancellor and the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Principal Gifts to cultivate a relationship with the highest-level donors of the institution.  This includes identification, qualification, cultivation, and stewardship activities related to effectively managing principal gift prospects.

Additionally, as a leader in the division, this position will help drive strategy for reaching campaign goals outlined by leadership of the division, university, and foundation.

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct Leadership: Oversight of all gift officers within the UTK division of advancement.
  • Major Gift Fundraising: The CDO will manage a limited portfolio of high-level UTK prospects, to include identification, qualification, cultivation, and stewardship activities.
  • Collaboration: Partnership within and across UTFI and UTK Advancement to create a systematic process for the research, qualification & development functions to grow in quantity and production while modernizing our efforts to maximize efficiencies.
  • Division Leadership: Serve the division on the Senior Vice Chancellor’s executive leadership team.  Work with this group to build out the tools, resources and initiatives that will lead the division to be a destination advancement operation that is recognized nationally. 

For more information about the role, we invite you to review our detailed prospectus


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A compelling track record leading philanthropic efforts, specifically in major gifts, for a large and complex organization with demonstrated advancement career progression.
  • 2+ years of supervisory experience 
  • Experience in stewardship of major gift donors; superior interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrated analytical and creative problem-solving skills; computer literacy, including proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree
  • Extensive experience in major gift fundraising, annual gift fundraising, and gift planning
  • Experience in managing teams of fundraisers in higher education


Application Process: Priority will be given to applications received on or before March 13, 2024 via our Taleo application system. Applications must include a completed candidate profile, cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references.  References will not be contacted without explicit permission of the candidate.

NOTE – When determining minimum qualifications, only information entered into the candidate profile can be considered. Please ensure your candidate profile is completed in its entirety as it relates to qualifying education/work experience. 

Target Start Date: June 1, 2024

Benefits: Recognized as a Top Employer in by Knoxville Top Workplaces in 2022 and 2023, the Foundation’s greatest asset is our team. Foundation employees are eligible for a comprehensive suite of benefits that includes:

  • Generous paid leave, accruing up to 24 days of vacation and 12 days of sick leave annually, plus 14 paid holidays and administrative closing days
  • Flexible work arrangements, offering a hybrid schedule to most team members
  • Education benefits for employees and their dependents at UT System campuses
  • Retirement and deferred compensation plans, including 401(k), 403(b), etc. 
  • Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance plans
  • Employee discounts to attractions, services, and goods


The Foundation: The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is an interdependent nonprofit corporation whose mission is to raise financial, public and political support for the University of Tennessee System. With 260+ employees supporting seven campuses and institutes, the Foundation works state-wide to enhance and support the educational and economic development goals of the UT System. 

The UT System: The University of Tennessee System is comprised of campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga, Pulaski, Martin and the Health Science Center at Memphis; the Institute of Agriculture; and the Institute for Public Service. 

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville: UTK is the state’s flagship land-grant university. Designated as an R1 university, we house 11 academic colleges that offer 900+ programs of study. With an enrollment of 36,000 students, our undergraduate and graduate programs are repeatedly ranked among top national programs. Under the leadership of Chancellor Donde Plowman, the university has set new records in student retention, alumni giving, state support, and research expenditures.

UTK Advancement: At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Foundation provides engagement opportunities for alumni through networking and community events and works hand-in-hand with the campus on their priorities to improve undergraduate and graduate education. Our advancement team aspires to be a key driver in UTK’s vision of being a top public research university and producing at the level of a top SEC fundraising program. UTK had a record number of donors in fiscal year 2023, with more than 67,320 alumni, supporters, and friends raising more than $264 million in contributions.

Knoxville and the Region: The city of Knoxville is a hidden gem with a beautiful and walkable downtown, a diverse music scene, active neighborhoods, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of outdoor and cultural activities. UTK is located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta, and the Great Smoky Mountains; and a day’s drive to Memphis, Chicago and Washington D.C. Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a statistical area population of over 850,000 people. The Knoxville region houses many leading corporations, including Bush Brothers & Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. 

The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the University of Tennessee Foundation’s legal duty to furnish information.

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