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Vice President for University Advancement

Carnegie Mellon University
Pennsylvania, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted Date
May 21, 2024

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Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with Carnegie Mellon University in the search for a Vice President for University Advancement.

Reporting to President Dr. Farnam Jahanian, the Vice President for University Advancement will develop and implement a compelling, comprehensive advancement strategy and program capable of meeting the university’s philanthropic objectives. The Vice President will promote the university’s mission and preserve its standing as an international leader in higher education and research through a unified vision for advancement that builds upon the success of Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University, elevates the advancement function, and furthers the goals of the entire university, including its individual colleges and administrative units as well as campuses and locations worldwide. The Vice President will represent and advocate on behalf of the university’s commitment to the transformative power of education and promotion of access, opportunity, and excellence. The Vice President will be a relationship-oriented leader with strong interpersonal skills and self-awareness, a commitment to deepening the engagement of many and varied constituents with a special emphasis on alumni and parents, and excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to articulate matters of complexity and nuance to multiple and varied groups of stakeholders.

Carnegie Mellon University is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology, and business to public policy, the humanities, and the arts. More than 15,000 students in CMU's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. Carnegie Mellon is positioned like never before to meet the challenges of the 21st century. At the intersection of technology and humanity, CMU research, innovation, and creativity will continue to guide the future as a world-class university. A member of the Association of American Universities, CMU generates more than $400 million in research annually and ranks No. 24 for national universities in U.S. News & World Report, with the undergraduate computer science program ranking No. 2 and graduate No. 1, undergraduate engineering ranking No. 8, and undergraduate business No. 7. Carnegie Mellon University’s global presence includes campuses in Qatar, Rwanda, and Silicon Valley. This is a global community, with students hailing from 127 countries, faculty representing 63 countries, and alumni representing 147 countries.

University Advancement supports Carnegie Mellon University’s incredible growth and momentum and the vision of having a transformative impact on society through continual innovation in education, research, creativity, and entrepreneurship by championing its mission, building relationships with its various constituencies, providing leadership for events including most university-level events, and securing critical industry sponsorship and private philanthropic support. The division provides leadership, partnership, and coordination for advancement and alumni relations staff, collaborating with other offices, colleges, schools, and departments. Advancement specialists help to articulate and highlight the distinctive excellence of CMU and its broad and deep impact on the world. With its world-leading strengths at the intersection of technology and humanity, CMU research, innovation, and creativity will help shape the 21st century. Carnegie Mellon is enjoying its most productive fundraising years in its history, surpassing the initial fundraising goal for its $2 billion Make Possible campaign more than 18 months ahead of schedule. Due to the momentum of the campaign, it is now slated to continue until June 2025, culminating in the celebration of the university’s 125th anniversary.

Carnegie Mellon University is a richly varied community, united in the pursuit of excellence with a wealth of perspectives, identities, backgrounds, and cultures. CMU is committed to fostering an environment where all members of the community have a sense of belonging. This commitment drives its pursuit of creating a space where every voice can be heard. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are not only central to the university's ethos but also indispensable to its pursuit of academic excellence and innovation. As a community devoted to rigorous analysis and creative approaches to real-world problems, CMU has both the tools and the responsibility to address these challenges. It continues to cultivate a welcoming culture, improve programs, recruit and retain world-class talent, and serve as a leader and champion for best practices.

Carnegie Mellon University seeks a Vice President for University Advancement with experience leading a sophisticated and complex advancement program while serving as a partner to the president as well as senior academic and administrative leadership. The Vice President will have an ability to reflect the university's strategic goals and translate those goals into cohesive advancement strategies. The Vice President will understand and appreciate the unique and creative culture of Carnegie Mellon University coupled with a desire to embrace the opportunity to learn and become immersed in the CMU community. The Vice President will possess high level strategic and planning skills, a thorough understanding of traditional and emerging advancement concepts, and a strong grasp of best practices in the advancement profession both inside and outside higher education. This includes experience envisioning, developing, and implementing successful, comprehensive, and holistic advancement programs across a complex enterprise with multiple constituencies and highly varied audiences both national and international, while using metrics to monitor growth and external and internal impact. The Vice President will have a collaborative and collegial disposition with superlative interpersonal skills and an eagerness and ability to engage and convene a diverse set of stakeholders, build strong professional relationships, and synthesize many ideas. The Vice President should have a record of creative and entrepreneurial management as well as the skills needed to encourage change and growth in both people and programs, a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and the ability to build a robust, autonomous, and highly collaborative team. A bachelor's degree and at least 10 years of advancement leadership experience is required for this position. All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Carnegie Mellon University and the position of Vice President for University Advancement as presented in the position prospectus.

Carnegie Mellon University is committed to the inclusion of all qualified candidates. If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or participating in the selection process, please contact Michael Carver at

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