Vanderbilt University Associate Dean of Development, School of Medicine and Basic Sciences in Nashville, Tennessee

Associate Dean of Development, School of Medicine and Basic Sciences (Job Number: 1801010)


Position Summary

The Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) for Vanderbilt’s Schools of Medicine and Basic Sciences is part of the Department of Alumni Relations, Development Teams at Vanderbilt University and is a manager responsible for leading the major gift fundraising effort and coordinates with the school-based alumni relations programs in each of these areas to drive greater levels of engagement and support.

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 schools’ leadership teams. They are also required to develop and maintain a strong working relationship with the Dean of Medicine and the Dean of Basic Sciences to facilitate partnerships around goals, priorities and outcomes.

About the WorkUnit

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.

Key Functions andExpected Performance

Design, implement, and coordinate the Schools of Medicine development programs, consistent with the overall development 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 Medicine and the Basic Sciences. The Associate Dean is expected to coordinate, plan and work directly with the Deans of these two schools and serve on the senior administrative team for each. They are charged with setting, tracking, and assessing progress towards Medicine and Basic Sciences fundraising goals in coordination with other DAR teams (e.g. Annual and Leadership Annual Giving, Corporate Relations, Foundation Relations, the Parents and Grandparents Campaign, and Planned Giving). The Associate Dean also works with the Deans 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 andprincipal gifts.

The Associate Dean serves as a major gift officer for the Schools of Medicine and the Basic Sciences – driving forward the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of approximately 85 prospects that are capable of making gifts of $100,000 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 theoverall fundraising success for the Schools Medicine and the Basic Sciences.

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 Deans 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.

Serve as liaisonto other development teams, university offices, and school leadership.

To maximize the success of the Schools of Medicine and the Basic Science’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 Medicine and the Basic Sciences 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 Schools of Medicine and the Basic Sciences is also part of the Associate Dean’s role. As a member of the Deans’ leadership teams, the Associate Dean will need to establish strong relationships with Medicine and the Basic Science’s senior staff in admissions, finance, career services, and faculty affairs. Strategic planning and advice are highly valued by the Deans, as these are skills frequently utilized to compliment the Schools’ efforts beyond development.

Establish oneselfas a knowledgeable staff member by:

§ Learning the Vanderbilt mission and being knowledgeable about Vanderbilt and the assigned school/college’s responsibilities to the mission

§ Attaining an in-depth understanding of the development programs and their goals in the assigned school and/or department.

§ Collaborating with DAR staff to build and maintain best practices in soliciting major gifts

Enhancedepartmental performance standards by:

§ Maintaining a level of reliability that generates stability in the department

§ Meeting or exceeding department performance standards

§ Fostering a spirit of cooperation

§ Understanding and effectively communicating departmental policy and procedures

§ Clearly communicating concerns and questions to team

§ Conveying thoughts/ideas to the leadership team on improving departmental performance

Approach eachsituation with a professional attitude by:

§ Exercising good judgment in discussing issues and results with the team

§ Maintaining composure and a calm demeanor during challenging situations

§ Respecting the need for confidentiality of donors and colleagues

§ Performing other duties as assigned

SupervisoryRelationships :

This position has the shared supervisory responsibility with a colleague of managing an Associate Director of Leadership Annual Giving, a Development Coordinator, and a DAR Assistant. Eventually, this position is planned to have a direct report of an Associate Director of Development.

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

Education andCertifications:

§ A Bachelor's Degree is required.

§ Advance degree is preferred.

Experience and Skills :

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 Schools of Medicine and the Basic Sciences within this larger academic community. Leading candidates should have:

§ 5 years of experience, or the equivalent is necessary.

§ Seven or more years of development experience preferred, with a background in a higher education setting

§ Willingness and ability to personally solicit gifts of $250,000 and larger

§ Excellent organizational skills, oral and written communications skills and the ability to articulate the needs, interests and accomplishments of Vanderbilt University to a wide range of audiences

§ Interpersonal skills and judgment suitable for exercising appropriate discretion and demeanor when dealing with alumni, parents, friends, and employees

§ Ability to exercise good judgment in the handling of confidential information

§ Ability to use current computer technology, such as Windows, Excel, Word, and Vanderbilt’s donor management system

§ 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

§ Experience in managing and leading volunteers and/or boards

§ Superb written and oral communication skills, specifically in the areas of proposal and presentation development

§ 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

§ Familiarity with Vanderbilt and/or solid understanding of a major research university environment is preferred.

§ The capacity to perform in an intellectually rigorous and complex academic environment

§ Ability to work independently, take initiative, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and adapt to ever changing priorities are essential

§ Exhibit personal characteristics enabling effective interaction with important constituencies and possess a genuine commitment to the advancement of education, research, and to the principles governing Development and Alumni Relations

§ Routine overnight travel is required

§ Some evening and weekend work, as needed

KeyCharacteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit:

§ Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.

§ Sharing – Shares information. Communicates proactively. Transmits knowledge; recognizes that “knowledge is power” is less effective than “sharing knowledge is power.” Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.

§ Teamwork – Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers; make them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do well. Doesn’t expect from others effort that one is unwilling to do themselves. Finds ways to acknowledge other’s strong suits.

§ Raisesthe Bar – Expects and delivers excellence. Is a creative problem solver. Is proactive. Welcomes input on making things better. Places a high value on learning and getting better

§ Autonomous – Self-managing; self-motivated. Manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track. Cleans up after themselves.


This opportunity requires a Bachelor's Degree and 5 years of experience or the equivalent.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 42312 - Development Teams

Job: External Affairs & Communications Professionals