AsstAssoc Vice Pres, Alumni Relations
Assistant/Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations

Virginia Commonwealth University seeks a transformational leader to be its next Assistant or Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations. Reporting to the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, the AVP will be an externally focused visionary who builds and strengthens relationships with a diverse set of alumni volunteers and organizations while working in close concert with the university president, other senior leaders and faculty members. The AVP will evolve the alumni relations program from its current stage of development, with its strategic plan as the guide, toward the level of best and breakthrough practices among peer institutions. The AVP will have independent and broad authority to work with university leadership to identify key deliverables, to refine the measures of effectiveness for the program, to reconstitute the volunteer governance and leadership of the organization and, thus, to move VCU into the vanguard of alumni organizations nationally. In accomplishing these important tasks, the AVP will establish strong, trusting relationships inside and outside the university, building a program whose whole exceeds the sum of its parts.

The candidate:
The successful candidate must build engagement and develop lasting relationships with volunteer alumni leaders; alumni constituents worldwide; university leaders, including deans, department chairs and faculty; and students. They must work well with and earn respect from other senior leaders across those constituencies and must be able to develop and coach talent within the alumni relations team. They must collaborate with faculty members to develop applicable academic programming that meets alumni needs. They must skillfully apply strategic thinking and data-driven decision-making to all tasks. They must exercise sound judgment, be proactive and ensure efficiency and effectiveness in overseeing day-to-day operations. They must be a divergent thinker, not afraid to challenge the norm, and a diplomat who can build bridges to strategically connect the university’s MCV and Monroe Park campuses, various generations of alumni and alumni with diverse interests and backgrounds. They must be dedicated to promoting diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion with alumni, students, programming and the team. They must be able to quickly absorb information and gain insights necessary for effective leadership and be able to move an organization from vision to action. The candidate must respond appropriately and optimistically to challenges, changing circumstances and stressful situations. They must plan and manage budgets with a high degree of accountability, including both tactical and strategic projects.

• The AVP will focus on executing and strengthening the Office of Alumni Relations’ existing strategic plan, ELEVATE. The AVP will focus on alumni engagement and programming, in partnership with the Assistant Vice President of Advancement Services and the Assistant Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Engagement.
• In December 2017, the alumni organization transitioned from a membership model to an inclusive model, welcoming all graduates regardless of dues or gifts. This means that before early 2018, only about 11,000 of 190,000 living alumni benefited from regular touchpoints and programming. In many ways, the alumni population is unchartered, so a major goal for the AVP is to facilitate robust, widespread and measurable alumni engagement.
• VCU is committed to an affinity-based alumni model, and the AVP will build on existing structures.

About the VCU Office of Development and Alumni Relations:
Development and Alumni Relations is leading the largest fundraising campaign in VCU’s history. The Make It Real Campaign for VCU funds the critical initiatives that will become points of distinction for VCU long into the future. Our $750 million goal is as ambitious as our vision. The campaign impacts our students and the alumni they become, funds breakthroughs and discoveries that result from our research, enriches the lives around us and drives economic development within our community.

DAR Vice President Jay E. Davenport, CFRE, leads the development and alumni relations teams across the institution. Now topping 240 staff, the development enterprise is a hybrid operation, with a strong central team dedicated to marketing and engagement, alumni relations, advancement services and centralized philanthropy services that include regional, planned and corporate and foundation giving. Each dean also has a development team that co-reports to DAR. Davenport is highly regarded as a national leader of university campaigns and recently co-chaired the national CASE conference on campaigns. He and his leadership team are dedicated to creating a sophisticated and diversified advancement operation that recruits, retains and grows its talent through targeted investments.

About our alumni:
VCU has 190,000 living alumni, 45,000 of whom are health professions alumni whose educational experience was on the MCV Campus. The university’s student body is diverse, and its alumni body is, thus, increasingly so. The VCU brand is growing in national prominence, and its alumni are benefiting from the institution’s increasing profile. At the same time, they often identify more with one of the university’s schools, units or legacy institutions than they do with the university as a whole. Forty percent of the alumni base graduated in the past 10 years. A high percentage of the alumni sought professional training at VCU, as 73,000 have graduate degrees.

About the VCU Office of Alumni Relations:
The central alumni relations team consists of 15 individuals who focus on alumni board development; reunion programming; recognition programming; volunteerism; student engagement; recent graduate engagement; volunteer chapter engagement through geographic regions and affinity, identity and academic interests; regional programming; career programming; lifelong learning; legacy programming; and business development. Additionally, eight professionals report to leaders in VCU’s schools and units and have partial responsibility for alumni/student engagement but do not report to this AVP.

VCU’s two alumni associations are 501(c)(3)s that work in concert with the university to design and deliver programming, particularly legacy programming. The associations have combined assets of about $3 million managed by the university’s foundations. The umbrella alumni organization, VCU Alumni, is governed by a board of governors, and the MCV Alumni Association of VCU is governed by a board of trustees. These boards are staffed and supported by the alumni relations team.

More information:
For more information about VCU and Richmond, qualifications of the candidate, the office of Development and Alumni Relations, and more, please see the full Prospectus. Interested individuals should apply here.

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

Additional Information
Position Type: Employee
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Contact Information
Alumni Relations
Virginia Commonwealth University
1001 E Marshall Street
Richmond, 23298