Chief Alumni Relations Officer Search

About the University of Utah and its Alumni

The University of Utah (The U) was established in 1850 and is the state’s public flagship institution of higher education with an enrollment of approximately 24,735 undergraduate and 8,250 graduate students and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the 131 research universities with the “highest research activity” in the nation. Forbes recently ranked the University of Utah as one of America’s best employers and U.S. News & World Report ranked it as one of the best national universities. The University is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

The U offers 72 undergraduate major programs and more than 90 major fields of study at the graduate level. We are fortunate to be a comprehensive research university with a full academic medical center. Additionally, the U is a national leader in technology and innovation having launched more than 400 companies—ranked #1 in 2017 by the Milken Institute as the best Technology Transfer Operation among U.S. universities. In April 2019, the University’s president signed an updated President’s Climate Leadership Commitment, which incorporates resilience and provides a systems-approach to mitigating and adapting to a changing climate.

Set in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range, spanning 1,534 acres, University of Utah’s educational habitat provides breathtaking views of the natural environment, which complement perspectives fostered in its educational, research and clinical environments. Employees find this a great place to work, learn and grow both personally and professionally and have long and rewarding careers here. Cultural, educational, athletic and entertainment venues on and around campus provide engagement opportunities for family members of all ages.

About U Alumni

The mission of U Alumni is to create and preserve lifelong relationships between the university and U alumni, U students, and the community. The U has more than 290,000 living alumni; 60% live in the state of Utah, and the remainder may be found in every state and more than 100 countries around the world.  The Office of Alumni Relations has Strategic Plan with initiatives, tactics, and measurable goals for serving alumni that is crafted around the University’s core goals of promoting student success, generating knowledge, engaging communities, and ensuring vitality.

U Alumni accomplishes this mission by engaging students and alumni early in their relationship with the U—across broad and diverse backgrounds, interests, and activities—to engender a culture of volunteerism and giving back to the university.

U Alumni, also formally known as the University of Utah Alumni Association, is a program of the university’s Office of Alumni Relations, under the auspices of University Advancement. The Office of Alumni Relations oversees the work of its Board of Governors, including initiatives from the following board committees: Clubs and Communities, Scholarships, Student Engagement & Service, Networking & Careers, and Recognition & Giving.

We have aligned committees and staff teams around the four pillars of the university’s strategic plan: Promote Student SuccessShare KnowledgeEngage Communities, and Ensure Vitality. Our alumni network is more than 290,000 strong, across 100 countries—and they help us raise more than $800,000 per year for scholarships that we distribute with our campus partners. U Alumni manages more than 40 alumni clubs and communities, along with events like Homecoming and Founders Day, a campus-wide mentoring program, and one of the most formidable student sections in the country—The MUSS.

Finally, our vision is to be the center of the University of Utah alumni community—forever expanding the shared responsibility for the future success of the U, U students, and U alumni.

“Forever Utah” is our branding line, but is also as a phrase used to encourage and give hope. Its meaning is this: once you become a U alum or U fan, you always are—you remain loyal forever. It also suggests that the person saying it will always be true to the university, and that they believe the institution will always endure.

Job Summary

The Chief Alumni Relations Officer (CARO) will be responsible for creating a vision and executing a strategy to increase the engagement of alumni with the University of Utah and build connections to current students to facilitate lifelong engagement and support for the University.  A newly redescribed position with redefined goals, the CARO will lead engagement in four key, strategic areas identified by CASE (the Council on the Advancement and Support of Education):  volunteerism, experiences, philanthropy, and communication.  These four areas are integral to the strategic initiatives, which include building active regional, national, international, and affinity clubs and communities; career mentorship networks of alumni and students; scholarship and sponsorship fundraising; event management; annual giving including parent, alumni, and leadership support; partnerships across campus including athletics, student affairs, the office of equity diversity and inclusion (EDI), academics, and health units.  The CARO is one of three senior leaders in the University of Utah Advancement office (with the Chief Philanthropy Officers for Campus and for Health) reporting directly to the Vice President of University Advancement.

The CARO will be a strong leader with experience in building networks; managing people and finances; creating and executing strategic initiatives; using data analytics to set benchmarks, assess progress, and redirect strategy; soliciting support; and with strong ties to the University of Utah.  Demonstrated experience in team-building, a track record in building programs, and the interpersonal and communication skills necessary to establish strong relationships and partnerships internally and externally are required.

As a part of University Advancement, Alumni Relations is deeply committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Experience with alumni organizations would be helpful but not required. With an increasingly diverse population of alumni and donors, we recognize that nationally the most successful alumni programs employ individuals who can connect with these diverse communities and understand approaches that mirror a broad perspective of cultures, values, and experiences.  The long-term strength and viability of the University of Utah stem from the ongoing EDI practices, and we work intentionally to ensure these efforts are reflected in all aspects of our fundraising and advancement work.  We highly encourage applications from historically underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, persons who have served in the military, and others who would bring additional dimensions of education and experience to our team.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provide vision, leadership and oversight to empower the Alumni Relations staff and Board of Governors and its committees to maximize volunteerism, engagement, philanthropy, and communication among the almost 300,000 alumni of the University of Utah living worldwide;
  • Engage alumni in the life of the University through consistent, positive, and interactive communication using electronic, print, and social media, exceptional customer service, and meaningful opportunities for volunteerism, service, personal and professional development, and events and programs;
  • Engage current and prospective students through volunteerism, career mentoring, the MUSS (Mighty Utah Student Section), the Student Alumni Board, and other initiatives to build lifelong connections to the University;
  • Build the team of Alumni Relations staff and volunteers with mentorship and motivation, professional development, and facilitating a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of varying cultures and backgrounds;
  • Build the network of alumni clubs and communities regionally, nationally, internationally, and by affinity to maximize ties of alumni to the University and to serve as a source for alumni talent and resources for University students and other alumni;
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships and programs with campus partners including Athletics, Student Affairs, EDI, University Marketing and Communications, and academic colleges on campus and in U Health;
  • Develop and manage an effective volunteer recruitment and management system that engages alumni in meaningful opportunities, and identifies and cultivates volunteer leadership;
  • Oversee fundraising programs and events that increase scholarship support;
  • Oversee distribution of Alumni scholarship funds;
  • With the Chief Philanthropy Officer for Campus, oversee annual giving, parent giving, student philanthropy, and leadership giving for the University;
  • Develop sponsorship relationships to increase support for Alumni programs and events;
  • Develop goals, set benchmarks and evaluate progress using data analytics;
  • Oversee Alumni House maintenance and event rental program;
  • Oversee an office of approximately 20 staff, up to 200 volunteers, and a $2.5M budget;
  • Active in professional organizations and build a network with peer institutions’ Alumni Relations offices to raise visibility of the University and gain awareness of emerging trends in the field.

Qualifications

Master’s degree in Business Administration or equivalent; ten years of progressively more responsible experience or equivalency; demonstrated skills in leadership, management, financial planning, quality improvement and service delivery within assigned area; and demonstrated human relations and effective communication skills.

Demonstrates leadership experience in building networks, partnerships, and programs; managing people and finances; team-building; creating and executing strategic initiatives; using data analytics to set benchmarks, assess progress, and redirect strategy; soliciting support.  Possesses computer skills in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus experience with software and CRMs such as PeopleSoft, Thankview, Graduway, and SalesForce.  Has strong ties to the University of Utah.

Alumni relations and/or annual giving experience preferred but not required.

Other information

The position offers a generous benefits package including retirement, health, dental, life, and other insurance, vacation and sick leave (see https://www.hr.utah.edu/benefits/).  Relocation assistance is available.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in its workforce. In compliance with applicable federal and state laws, University of Utah policy of equal employment opportunity prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, veteran’s status, status as a qualified person with a disability, or genetic information. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law.

To inquire about this posting, email: employment@utah.edu or call 801-581-2300. Reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities. To request an accommodation or for further information about University AA/EO policies, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Cr., Rm 135, (801) 581-8365 (V/TDD), email: oeo@umail.utah.edu.

The University is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service, may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information. Individuals who previously retired and are receiving monthly retirement benefits from URS are subject to URS’ post-retirement rules and restrictions. Please contact Utah Retirement Systems at (801) 366-7770 or (800) 695-4877 or University Human Resource Management at (801) 581-7447 if you have questions regarding the post-retirement rules.

Required applicant documents

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited.

Applications should include, as separate documents, a resume, a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile, and a list of three references. Application review will begin June 28; the search will remain open until the position is filled.

Professional Recruiters is assisting University of Utah in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made.

Inquiries, nominations, and application materials should be submitted to Franci Eisenberg.