Director of Advancement, College of Engineering - University Development Office

Posted May 5, 2014
Business Purdue Research Foundation
Kurz Purdue Technology Center,
Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette ,
1281 Win Hentschel Blvd., West Lafayette
Position Type Full-time, Exempt (Full benefits apply)
Start Date Immediate Availability

Duties / Responsibilities

Essential Functions

  • In cooperation with the Associate Vice President for Advancement and working closely with the Dean and other development and academic staff, develop and execute a plan for the Engineering Administration team and across all Schools within the College to bring donors to the unit and the University through the active use of the development process, including solicitation of major gifts.
  • Supervise the College’s stewardship and advancement support staff and collaboratively manage the special events staff.
  • Secure major gifts, a minimum of $3M annually, aimed at meeting the strategic goals of the unit leadership, their programs, disciplines and the University.
  • Design and implement a comprehensive advancement program and navigate the various areas across Engineering in a sensitive and respectful manner.
  • Serve as liaison to the Schools of Engineering Heads and the advancement staff; serve as a member of the Dean’s Cabinet.


  • Orchestrate and execute the advancement of relationships with prospective donors through appropriate stages of qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Identify, establish and maintain personal contact with current and prospective donors whose interests and financial capacity have the greatest likelihood of meeting the Dean, College and University fundraising goals.
  • Collaborate with appropriate advancement and academic staff to develop prospect strategies and build relationships.
  • Use the full complement of the fundraising process, including personal visits and “asks” to move relationships forward.
  • Set specific objectives to effectively advance toward solicitation of major gifts.
  • Prepare proposals and solicit prospects for gifts in support of the Dean’s strategic plan for fundraising priorities.
  • Work with the Engineering development team to plan and implement the advancement program for the College including development, alumni relations, and marketing and communications for advancement.
  • Provide primary support to areas within Engineering that do not have a dedicated development professional.
  • In partnership with the Dean and Engineering Leadership Team, explore and develop creative funding models that introduce non-traditional and innovative philanthropic concepts that will build on the College’s fundraising success.
  • Host or co-host receptions and other donor events locally and nationally.
  • Working with the Engineering Leadership Team, develop and implement a fundraising plan, including strategies and a timeline for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual, corporate and foundation donor prospects.
  • Provide stewardship of gifts including acknowledgement process, coordinating recognition events, dedications and working with the University Development Office on appropriate recognition.
  • Provide reports and analyze data that will assist in the regular assessment of progress being made toward the College’s development goals.
  • Provide vision and coordination for the College’s advancement and communications activities.
  • Become adept at using the Advancement database in support of major gift activities; utilize the system and its reporting mechanisms to keep the Dean informed of progress being made and/or opportunities for improvement.
  • Ensure the planning, implementation, and coordination of alumni relations activities for the College.
  • Ensure appropriate coordination and communication with the Engineering Alumni Association, the Purdue Alumni Association and the Engineering Advisory Council.
  • Continually improve professional competency through participation. 

Requirements / Qualifications

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate well in writing and speak before large groups.
  • Ability to think creatively and demonstrate excellent problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Ability to anticipate the needs of the Dean of Engineering and the College of Engineering.
  • Superior attention to detail required.
  • Acumen for data and the ability to synthesize data.
  • Strong understanding of the overall Advancement operation and the implications within the College.
  • Ability to interpret and articulate the mission of Purdue University and the College of Engineering as needed.
  • Ability to interact with stakeholders from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to represent the College/University with tact and diplomacy at all times, as well as use good judgment and maintain confidentiality.
  • Possess initiative and the ability to collaborate effectively as part of a team.
  • Excellent supervisory, relationship building skills, organizational and time management skills.
  • Knowledge of finance, planned giving, alumni relations, corporate and foundation relations, and advancement communications preferred.
  • Desire to continuously improve professional competency through participation and/or leadership in professional organizations and other non-profits.
  • Ability to travel and perform evening and weekend duties as required.
  • Excellent computer skills.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree a plus.
  • Five to seven years of experience in development, including solicitation of major gifts and/or related work experience required.
  • Knowledge of philanthropy and fundraising principles required.
  • Experience managing/supervising professional staff preferred.
  • Experience in higher education required.
  • Familiarity with the programs of the College of Engineering preferred but not required.


This position is located on the Purdue University campus. 

Application Instructions

If you are interested in applying, please send a cover letter and resume to the Director of Human Resources at A criminal conviction check and negative controlled substance test are required for employment in this position. Purdue Research Foundation is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce.