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Senior Director of Development, College of Engineering / Development Officer III/S

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 749457
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 15
Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement
Department: Asc Vice Pres For University Development 10069230
Sub Area: APSA- Pro Supervisory
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Administrative/Business/Professional, Education/Training, Financial/Accounting, PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Professional Supervisory- APSA, Full Time (90-100%), Union

Position Summary


Michigan State University seeks a strategic, collaborative, and results-oriented individual to lead its successful College of Engineering advancement and engagement team as the Senior Director of Development

The Michigan State University College of Engineering will be recognized as the fastest rising College of Engineering in the nation and will deliver the highest quality engineering graduates, cutting-edge research and innovative technology for the benefit of society locally and globally.

MSU is poised to significantly expand its fundraising activity from prospects within Michigan, across the United States and abroad who are interested in the College’s agenda to impart knowledge to students at all levels including secondary, undergraduate, graduate, and lifelong learning is implicit in this core value. The College believes that the discovery of new knowledge through innovative research that encourages entrepreneurship and economic development to benefit our global society.

This is an exceptional opportunity for a seasoned advancement professional to expand and develop an already robust fundraising operation and to plan and execute Engineering’s part of the next capital campaign for MSU.

Serving as MSU’s chief engineering development officer, the Senior Director maintains a personal prospect portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and employs an aggressive, strategic moves management program to ensure movement along the development pipeline. Leading by example, the Senior Director will oversee the team and work closely with the Dean of the College of Engineering, faculty, and volunteer leadership to ensure that the MSU reaches its philanthropic potential from domestic and international individuals, corporations, and foundations. Reporting to the Dean of the College of Engineering and to the Senior Executive Director of Constituency Programs, will partner with key teams at Engineering, including marketing, communications and admissions, to ensure a holistic approach to building a more robust culture of philanthropy.

Michigan State University, founded in 1855, was the nation’s first land-grant institutions and it served as a model for future land-grant colleges. Considered one of America’s Public Ivy Universities, Michigan State pioneered the studies of agriculture, packaging, hospitality, supply chain management, and telecommunication. Today, Michigan State is the ninth-largest university in the United States, with 47,800 students and 2,900 faculty members.


Reporting to the Dean of the College of Engineering and to the Senior Executive Director of Constituency Programs:


  • Plan and implement comprehensive strategies for prospects through the donor cycle of identification, solicitation and cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, coordinating activities with development colleagues across campus and the geographic regions, where appropriate.
  • Develop strategies, systems, and procedures for advancing the goals and priorities of the College and departments.
  • Plans and implements the major, planned and principal gifts program for the College.
  • Personally develop and manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects, with emphasis on 6- and especially 7-figure gifts.
  • Provides assistance to donors regarding tax laws, policies and procedures and resolves problems in order to maintain a positive image of the University.

Personnel Management 

  • Supervise direct, motivate and evaluate staff in order to assure consistency, quantity and quality of work performed.
  • Set clear direction and priorities for professionals and administrative support staff.
  • Promote excellence through well-defined and measurable goals.
  • Lead by example; foster a work environment that recognizes and rewards team-based efforts. Celebrate current achievements and set clear expectations for future success.
  • Actively mentor and train staff, providing frequent opportunities for professional learning and growth; emphasize retention as a means of increasing capacity and expertise of the team. Fully leverage human and financial resources and promote greater efficiency.
  • Provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture that meets the needs and expectations of a successful and diverse alumni community.
  • Recruit, train, motivate and evaluate volunteers in order to accomplish college goals and objectives.

Programmatic Management 

  • Audit internal operations in order to develop standardized procedures and to ensure conformity with established policy.
  • Plan, host and communicate at meetings of the public and University personnel in order to provide information on the college and/or University.
  • Develop and monitor budget and expenses in order to ensure stewardship of university resources and alignment with departmental goals.
  • Assist in setting both long- and short-term goals/plans in order to determine resources required.
  • Collaborate and coordinate activities with the external relations staff, including public relations and communication, in order to ensure coordination of information to alumni and friends of the College.
  • Coordinate the composing, editing and publishing of unit and/or University literature related to international fundraising priorities in order to provide staff and volunteers with campaign case statements and progress reports.
  • Prepare and interpret statistical data results for College Administrators.


Interacts with:

  • Michigan State University Alumni/Individuals/Major Corporations/ /Businesses/Employees and Corporate Leadership - in order to solicit as potential donors, handle their donor requests and to cultivate and train them as potential volunteers.
  • Faculty - in order to educate and train them on Development direction, to seek their advice on needs, and to answer funding questions and advise them on funding strategy.
  • Staff - in order to train and oversee their work and to establish priorities.
  • Department Heads/Michigan State University Executive Management - in order to consult and coordinate work within University structure to aid in the identification of potential donors and gain support of special projects.
  • Michigan State University Vice President - in order to advise on the progress of specific College campaigns.
  • Michigan State University Development Board of Directors - in order to seek their advice on the cultivation and solicitation of major donors and to assist them in soliciting donors.
  • Michigan State University Trustees - in order to seek advice and obtain assistance for solicitation.
  • Peers/Professional Organizations - in order to obtain advice and council on options being considered for programs.
  • Government Agencies/Foundations - in order to assess current funding priorities and particular donor procedures.


Supervision over the Associate and Assistant Directors of Development, Alumni Relations Coordinator for the College and office support staff. 

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and/or Business; five to eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in professional and higher education fundraising, public relations, marketing, development of budgets, preparation and presentation of case statements and analysis of operations; or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Desired Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree; Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, Business and/or Engineering or Science-related preferred.
  • Seven to ten years in professional fund raising preferably five or more progressively responsible professional experience in higher education development; meaningful experience in or knowledge of all key development areas (major giving, annual fund, planned giving, and corporate and foundation relations).
  • Proven ability to cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership gifts at the six- and seven-figure level.
  • A track record of success leading a development operation; an approach to management that brings out the best in staff and yields pride, ownership and a sense of team effort.
  • Superior communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences; clear and effective written and oral presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and successfully execute a significant comprehensive campaign.
  • Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving.
  • The ability to travel regionally and nationally.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

Resume and Cover Letter

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Work Hours

Work hours are 8AM to 5PM with some nights and weekends

Bidding eligibility ends on 11/30/21 at 11:55 PM

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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