Vanderbilt University Associate Dean of Development, School of Nursing in Nashville, Tennessee

Associate Dean of Development, School of Nursing (Job Number: 1802227)


The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals. The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

The Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) for Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing leads the major gift fundraising efforts and coordinates with the school-based alumni relations programs to drive greater levels of engagement and support.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Associate Dean participates in setting fundraising goals, manages a portfolio of top prospects, oversees a budget for operations and travel, and serves as a senior representative within the school’s leadership teams.

The Associate Dean, who is one of nine individual directors assigned to a University Central academic college or school at Vanderbilt, reports to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Development. They are also required to develop and maintain a strong working relationship with the Dean of the School of Nursing to facilitate partnerships around goals, priorities and outcomes.

Design, implement, and coordinate theSchools of Nursing’s development programs, consistent with the overalldevelopment program at Vanderbilt University. DAR’s university development team is responsible for seeking new resources from alumni, parents, friends, corporations and foundations to support key fundraising priorities at the School of Nursing. The Associate Dean is expected to coordinate, plan and work directly with the Dean of the school and serve on the senior administrative team. They are charged with setting, tracking, and assessing progress towards School of Nursing fundraising goals in coordination with other DAR teams (i.e. Annual and Leadership Annual Giving, Corporate Relations, Foundation Relations, the Parents and Grandparents Campaign, and Planned Giving). The Associate Dean also works with the Dean to effectively engage boards, committee, or councils whose membership includes alumni or other supporters and whose responsibilities – in part or solely – include increasing philanthropy.

Secure major and principal gifts. The Associate Dean serves as a major gift officer for the School of Nursing – driving forward the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of approximately 75 prospects that are capable of making gifts of $250,000 or greater. Outright gifts, pledges, corporate and foundation awards, and planned gifts at this level are all part of the Associate Dean’s portfolio.

Increase the overall fundraisingsuccess for the School of Nursing. The Associate Dean is charged with overseeing the comprehensive fundraising program that will drive larger success in securing funds to support key priorities, which could include, but are not limited to -- endowed scholarships and chairs, academic program support, research funding, and capital. The Associate Dean also works closely with the Dean and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Development in the goal setting process each fiscal year to set targets that are both ambitious and achievable.

Coordinate with the Alumni RelationsPrograms. The School of Nursing currently maintain a school-based alumni relations program that facilities the specific volunteer leadership needs for the school, provides alumni programming, and focuses on the broad engagement of graduates in the life of the school. They also conduct reunion and class related activities for their alumni. The Associate Dean works with the leaders of these programs to ensure that alumni activities have a defined purpose/outcome, exhibit a high level of professionalism, provide the appropriate personalized touch to participants, and are executed in a way that offers meaningful engagement of all participants. They also participate in staffing both on-campus and off-campus events sponsored by the program, as well as those activities hosted in conjunction with national conferences and association meetings for the profession.

Serve as liaison to other developmentteams, university offices, and school leadership. To maximize the success of the School of Nursing’s effort, the Associate Dean will work in collaboration with other members of DAR staff to be successful and support university-wide objectives. Offices that contribute to the success of the Schools of Nursing development outcomes include: Principal Gifts, Annual and Leadership Annual Giving, Planned Giving, Research and Prospect Development, Parents and Grandparents Campaign, Corporate Relations, Foundation Relations, Athletics Development, DAR Communications, Alumni Relations, Special Events, and Stewardship. In many cases, DAR colleagues serve as extensions of the Schools’ development staff. Collaboration with other schools, colleges, and programs as well as developing prospect strategies for the effective utilization of the Dean, and possibly the Provost and Chancellor, around the most significant fundraising opportunities that support the academic and research mission of the School of Nursing is also part of the Associate Dean’s role. As a member of the Dean’s leadership teams, the Associate Dean will need to establish strong relationships with Nursing’s senior staff in admissions, finance, career services, and faculty affairs. Strategic planning and advice are highly valued by the Dean, as these are skills frequently utilized to compliment the Schools’ efforts beyond development.

E stablishoneself as a knowledgeable staff member by:

  • Learningthe Vanderbilt mission and being knowledgeable about Vanderbilt and theassigned school/college’s responsibilities to the mission

  • Attainingan in-depth understanding of the development programs and their goals in theassigned school and/or department.

  • Collaborating with DAR staff to build andmaintain best practices in soliciting major gifts

Enhancedepartmental performance standards by:

  • Maintaininga level of reliability that generates stability in the department

  • Meetingor exceeding department performance standards

  • Fosteringa spirit of cooperation

  • Understanding and effectivelycommunicating departmental policy and procedures

  • Clearly communicating concernsand questions to team

  • Conveying thoughts/ideas to the leadershipteam on improving departmental performance

Approach each situationwith a professional attitude by:

  • Exercising good judgment in discussing issues andresults with the team

  • Maintaining composure and a calm demeanor duringchallenging situations

  • Respecting the need for confidentiality of donorsand colleagues

  • Performing other duties asassigned

Supervisory Relationships :

This position has the supervisory responsibility shared with a colleague of managing an Associate Director of Leadership Annual Giving, a Development Coordinator, and a DAR Assistant.

This position reports administratively and functionally to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Development.

Profile and Ideal Candidate

The Associate Dean must be a seasoned and polished fundraising executive who understands and is able to articulate the nature and importance of a major research university, and in particular, the significant role of the School of Nursing within this larger academic community. Leading candidates should have:

  • Abachelor's degree with 5 years of experience, or the equivalent, is required. However, an advanced degree is preferred.

  • Seven or more years of development experience preferred, with a backgroundin a higher education setting preferred.

  • Willingness and ability to personallysolicit gifts of $100,000 and larger

  • Demonstrated success in working across teams and disciplines – facilitating solutions, designing new ideas, and driving forward priorities

  • A working understanding of the basic sciences and research that will help drive forward new interdisciplinary initiatives

  • A proven record of achievement in major and principal gift fund raising from individuals

  • Ability to plan, articulate and implement a major gift program that will include not only alumni, parents and friends, but also corporate, foundation and planned giving

  • Excellentorganizational skills, oral and written communications skills and theability to articulate the needs, interests and accomplishments ofVanderbilt University to a wide range of audiences

  • Interpersonalskills and judgment suitable for exercising appropriate discretion and demeanorwhen dealing with alumni, parents, friends, and employees

  • Abilityto exercise good judgment in the handling of confidential information

  • Abilityto use current computer technology, such as Windows, Excel, Word, andVanderbilt’s donor management system

  • Experiencein managing and leading volunteers and/or boards

  • Superbwritten and oral communication skills, specifically in the areas of proposaland presentation development

  • Familiaritywith Vanderbilt and/or solid understanding of a major research universityenvironment is preferred.Thecapacity to perform in an intellectually rigorous and complex academicenvironment

  • Abilityto work independently, take initiative, manage multiple projectssimultaneously, meet deadlines, and adapt to ever changing priorities areessential

  • Exhibitpersonal characteristics enabling effective interaction with importantconstituencies and possess a genuine commitment to the advancement ofeducation, research, and to the principles governing Development and AlumniRelations

  • Routineovernight travel is required

  • Someevening and weekend work, as needed


Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 42312 - Development Teams

Job: External Affairs & Communications Professionals

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action