Vanderbilt University Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Development in Nashville, Tennessee

Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Development (Job Number: 1701831)


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 teaching, research and medical programs. In support of its purpose and in response to existing and emerging needs of Vanderbilt University, DAR is seeking an Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Development.

About Vanderbilt:

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, TN. The university’s students, faculty, staff and visitors frequently cite Nashville as one of the perks of Vanderbilt. VU is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #1 in the Princeton Review at among 382 top colleges and universities for “happiest students” - as well as #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”

The Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Development will have responsibility for five areas:

  • College of Arts and Science

  • Athletics

  • Peabody College of Education and Human Development

  • School of Engineering

  • Blair School of MusicThis position reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor, University Development and serves as one of five members of the Associate Vice Chancellor’s leadership team. The Assistant Vice Chancellor will serve as the primary liaison between the deans of the assigned schools/colleges and the Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) central administration. Finally, this position will work in a highly collaborative fashion with all aspects of Vanderbilt’s campaign strategy and fundraising execution.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Primary among the Assistant Vice Chancellor’s duties will be oversight of the development and execution of a major gift ($100,000 and above) business plan and prospect strategies. In addition, the Assistant Vice Chancellor will serve as prospect manager for approximately 40 to 45 prospects; these prospects will be rated at a minimum figure of $250,000, with as many as possible rated at a figure of $1,000,000+ Provide leadership to promulgate the mission and the values of the institution to internal and external constituents

  • Provide qualitative and quantitative reports and other assessments of progress and evaluate organizational functions and structures

  • Nurture strong and effective relationships with internal constituents to advance campaign best practices and a strong fundraising culture. Internal constituents include the Deans of schools/colleges, and members of their executive staffs

  • Align fundraising programs and resources to meet campaign goals. Serve as resource to Associate/Assistant Deans on campaign work with their respective school/college deans and with internal constituents noted above

  • Work closely with the DAR communications team to articulate a clear and compelling case for support to a variety of audiences, consistent with identified DAR communication strategy; examples include school/college publications, major gift proposals, and campaign materials including web presence

  • Support new campaign initiatives, including prospect identification and portfolio assignments

  • Demonstrate a leadership style that is highly collaborative across schools and programs to ensure effective information sharing


  • Lead the recruitment, training, and evaluation of the team of development professionals; provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture that achieves campaign objectives and models best practices

  • Make organizational and staffing recommendations as needed that will support campaign objectives

  • Together with the leadership team, assure fundraising objectives for campaign priorities are achieved, including new campaign initiatives that arise during the course of the campaign.

  • Create an environment that encourages and supports professional development for all staff through regular feedback and mentoring

  • Monitor program/department/revenue and expense budget line items to identify trends and evaluate variances

  • Undertake other duties as assigned


  • Provide strategic collaboration with teams responsible for fundraising efforts and results on behalf of the schools/colleges mentioned above, to include the development of an annual strategic fundraising plan for each unit under his/her supervision

  • Emphasize the cultivation of a robust major donor pipeline; oversee the development and evaluation of prospect portfolios for major gift team staff

  • Maintain a portfolio of prospective donors and conduct face-to-face visits as determined in the annual business plan


  • At least eight years of relevant leadership experience and the ability to think strategically and work in a complex organization recognized for its strength and effectiveness. Preferably 10+ years of experience

  • Master’s degree required, or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and ability to carry out the essential functions of the job

  • Depth and breadth of knowledge of best practices in institutional advancement; success in leading and increasing the effectiveness of a major gift program through established objectives and performance standards that bring out the best in fundraising staff

  • Superior communication skills with the intellectual depth necessary to understand and translate academic, technical and research information for all audiences; clarity, crispness and effectiveness in written and oral presentation

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the credibility, maturity and sound judgment required to effectively engage deans, faculty members, and key volunteers in the fundraising process

  • Proven experience working with university leaders, advisory board members, and other high-level volunteers

  • Proven ability to manage effectively during times of growth and change

  • Travel, evening and weekend work required as necessary


In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, VU offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at

Job requires Master's and 8 years of experience or the equivalent.

Primary Location: TN-Nashville-Loews Vanderbilt Plaza

Organization: DAR - Univ Central, EAVC Admin 144400

Job: Development and Alumni Relations