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wide shot of O U campus with bear lake in the front and Elliott Tower in the back

Vice President for University Advancement Search

Oakland University (OU) in Rochester, Michigan, announces a national search for the Vice President for University Advancement. The Vice President reports to the OU President and serves as a leader on OU’s President’s Cabinet. To apply, please visit

Position Description

Oakland University Vice President for University Advancement

Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan announces a search for a Vice President for University Advancement. Oakland University is recognized as a student-centered doctoral research institution with a global perspective. Established in 1957, the University enrolls approximately 20,000 students, has more than 110,000 alumni, and offers more than 250 degree and certificate programs.

The new Vice President will join Oakland University at an exciting time. President Ora Pescovitz, appointed July 1, 2017, is engaging all constituencies of the University in its strategic plan to guide the institution’s continuing forward progress. The successful candidate will have a unique opportunity to join a leadership team committed to ensuring the next era of excellence and achievement in advancement and alumni engagement in support of the University’s strategic vision, aspirations, goals, and programs.

Position Description
Oakland University seeks an experienced professional to lead and coordinate the University’s strategy in advancement. Under the direction of the President, this individual will bear the responsibility for performance management and organizing, executing, reporting and evaluating all University fundraising initiatives, such as the annual fund, major gifts, planned giving and special purpose fundraising and comprehensive fundraising initiatives.

Reporting to the President, the Vice President for University Advancement will be the University’s chief advancement officer, and will develop and implement a comprehensive advancement program for the University that includes an operating plan with targeted priorities, annual goals, and strategies for fundraising and engagement that will expand the University’s visibility and importance among targeted philanthropic constituencies. The Vice President for University Advancement will serve as the primary strategist for all University fundraising activities, and work closely with the President, Provost, Deans and Directors to appropriately balance centralized and decentralized operations to ensure that the goals of the University are met, and that individual units are successful in both the short and long terms. Concentrating on both campus-wide priorities and needs that fall outside individual units, the Vice President for University Advancement will provide direction for the entire University’s advancement operation.

The Vice President for University Advancement will lead dynamic development and engagement teams that understand the importance and urgency of exceeding expectations for raising funds from alumni, friends, corporations, foundations and other organizations needed to achieve University goals. He/she will also actively manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and donors by personally participating in their cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and retention, and will articulate the case for support for the University’s priorities as well as coordinate and leverage the efforts of the college, schools and other academic units. He/she will also plan and manage alumni programs and activities to impact alumni engagement and alumni fundraising.

Accomplishing this ambitious task will require an advancement professional of considerable skill and expertise. The successful candidate must be a visionary leader capable of harnessing the momentum and excitement of others, effectively engaging the time and talents of all stakeholders, and be a superior strategist and relationship builder able to inspire a high level of initiative, creativity and passion. The successful candidate will also have a strong personal resonance for the intellectual environment of a teaching and research university, its faculty, students and staff. The successful candidate should possess a minimum of ten years of successful, progressively responsible managerial experience in an advancement discipline, along with substantive and successful experience creating collaborative opportunities between advancement, alumni engagement, and the campus community. Strong leadership experience in the successful completion of comprehensive fundraising campaigns of considerable scope and complexity that secured transformational gifts from new sources is desired. Along with a demonstrated ability to plan, execute and successfully close significant major and principal gifts and building long-term donor relationships, the successful candidate must have a proven track record of mentoring effectively across an organization, including working collaboratively with unit leaders to enhance their fundraising efforts. This position requires an individual with exceptional problem solving abilities and people skills, a proven track record of executing plans and strategies, successful change management experience, and experience with budget preparation, planning and resource management. The successful candidate must possess honesty, integrity, enthusiasm, perspective, and a strong work ethic supported by commitment and follow-through, and a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively both in writing and orally. Graduation from an accredited college or university with an advanced degree or training and work experience at a level commensurate to an advanced degree is required. Certified Fund Raising Executive credentials are strongly preferred. Travel and ability to work weekends and evenings when necessary is required. Salary is commensurate with the qualifications of the successful candidate.

Review of applications will begin on November 27, 2017. To apply, visit

For a printable version of this job description, click here.

Search Committee

Vice President for University Advancement Search Committee

James P. Lentini
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Chair, Search Committee

Tonya Allen – Trustee
Louay M. Chamra – Dean, School of Engineering and Computer Science
Alison K. Gaudreau – Director, Campaign and Stewardship
Padraic S. McMeel – Senior Associate Athletic Director–External Relations, Athletics Administration
William M. Rogers – Director, Golf and Learning Center
John O. Young – Vice President, Communications and Marketing

About OU

An educational leader, a partner in the community

For more than 50 years, Oakland University has played an integral role in the growth and development of southeast Michigan and the State of Michigan as a whole. By preparing tomorrow’s leaders, advancing research frontiers, fostering academic excellence and engaging with business, educational and community partners, Oakland University has been a catalyst for significant growth opportunities and inspired leadership.

Located in Oakland County, the second largest of 83 counties in the State of Michigan, it is at the center of Michigan’s most prosperous region, and the heart of its economic activity. Located 30 miles north of Detroit, Oakland University is classified as a doctoral research university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Students, faculty and alumni embrace and take advantage of many opportunities, which makes for a compelling component of the overarching Oakland University story.

Oakland University is a national university classified as a Doctoral University with the character of dynamic southeast Michigan communities. It delivers a broad range of arts and science majors, professional schools and graduate programs – providing students with the ability to engage in intellectual development while pursuing other aspects of their lives, preparing them for the challenges of a contemporary workplace in an ever-changing global environment.

Alumni, students, faculty and staff are vital members of society, contributing intellectual excellence, scientific innovation, cultural vibrancy and an industrial spirit – all in an accessible setting on the grounds of the historic Meadow Brook Estate. An ethos of hard work, in combination with the educational product Oakland University delivers, results in graduates who are better prepared than their peers; ready to contribute and compete right away.

Established in 1957, the University has grown to accommodate total student enrollment of over 19,000. With 140 bachelor's degree programs and more than 135 graduate degree and certificate programs, Oakland is dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience rooted in a strong liberal arts tradition. The University also is committed to delivering strong and distinctive graduate programs that nurture academic excellence through student engagement, research and scholarship.

Always focused on the overall academic experience, general education classes include a foundation in writing, critical thinking, and technological and interpersonal skills. Students develop an essential understanding of diversity and the tools to navigate today’s global environment. Oakland University responds to local and global market demands by creating innovative programs in new and emerging fields.

A variety of specialized majors in business, education, engineering and computer science, the humanities, math and laboratory science, nursing, health sciences, visual and performing arts, and the social sciences are part of the University’s program offerings. Students are also offered the opportunity to explore unique areas of interests through the integrative studies program, which allows the development of individual academic majors with an interdisciplinary curriculum.

From the Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Foundation Nursing Diagnostics Laboratory to the Eye Research Institute, from a 110-acre biological preserve to the Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education, OU offers hands-on learning in every program. The University's emphasis on learning by doing is valued by area stakeholders, as evidenced by the significant number of alumni in the area.

Decades of research in higher education validate that students most likely to succeed in college are those who get involved on campus. OU is home to more than 250 student organizations that encourage engagement, socialization and support. These organizations provide a valuable opportunity to further the campus community, both internally and externally. Through these groups, students and faculty are involved in many local, regional and global philanthropic and industry-based initiatives.

The University strives to provide students across southeast Michigan with convenient access to high-quality academic programs and services. In order to further this goal, a wide array of bachelor's and master's degree programs are also offered at two sites in Macomb County, Oakland County's neighbor to the east, which is home to roughly one-third of all OU students and more than 22,000 OU alums. In 2011, the University inaugurated the Anton/Frankel Center in downtown Mt. Clemens, while continuing to offer academic programs at the Macomb University Center located on the center campus of Macomb Community College in Clinton Township.

In Macomb County, OU is strategically focused on enriching lives through expanded access to higher education options, nurturing college-bound youth, engaging with alumni and in the local communities, and supporting economic development.


The competitive advantages of Oakland University can be summarized by the following key characteristics:

Comprehensive: Oakland University is a “national” university. Only the most comprehensive universities in the country have this classification. Oakland University offers a balance of undergraduate liberal arts and professional programs, a broad array of graduate degrees, and is engaged in academic research across many disciplines.

Community-centric: The majority of students come from the surrounding area, and many live at home and work in the community while attending school. Many Oakland University students stay in the community upon graduation. This pattern is distinct among national universities. Academic and professional engagement makes Oakland University an integral part of its environment.

Committed: Oakland University creates an atmosphere that is supportive, nurturing and inclusive. It is committed to student engagement on and off the campus. It has an outward commitment to serving the public good.

Character: Oakland University is uniquely positioned in an area characterized by growth, employment, natural and economic resources, and an affluent population. An industrial American spirit is a reflection of the inherently hard-working, knowledge-seeking, community-oriented people of the region, who are our students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters.

Convenient: Oakland University integrates seamlessly with the community providing students with the ability to engage in intellectual development while pursuing other aspects of their lives, preparing them for the challenges of a contemporary workplace. Located in suburban Oakland County, it is geographically positioned at the population and commercial center of the state. Oakland University is a constituent member of the southeast Michigan community.

Connected: Oakland University is a place, an institution and people. The faculty, staff and students share the University with the general public, businesses, municipalities and other educational institutions (including secondary and primary schools, community colleges, and other colleges and universities). Alumni, students, faculty and staff are vital members of society, contributing intellectual excellence and scientific innovation.

Creative: Oakland University fosters creativity and innovation through scholarship and engagement. Cutting-edge research is conducted to develop new knowledge, and convey this knowledge for the greater good of the community.

Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences with its School of Music, Theatre and Dance; the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine; and the schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing and the Honors College.

Research, opportunities, growth

Investing more than $17 million in research each year, Oakland University offers knowledge, resources and programs that help companies grow and researchers achieve breakthroughs in the laboratory. The University is active in applied research and technology development.

The OU SmartZone Business Incubator, OU INC, provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions to local startups and spinoffs engaged in the development of intellectual property, business planning and capital acquisition. The OU-Macomb Incubator is located in a Sterling Heights facility and is a joint venture between Oakland University, Macomb County and the City of Sterling Heights.

Excellence across campus

There are many outstanding academic units across Oakland University’s campus. These include, but are not limited to:

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB)
The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is a collaborative, diverse, inclusive and technologically advanced learning community, dedicated to enabling students to become skillful, ethical and compassionate physicians. They are inquisitive scientists who are invested in the scholarship of discovery, and dynamic and effective medical educators.

Oakland University plays a key role in Oakland County’s plans to become a national health care destination. The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, formed through a partnership with Beaumont Health System, offers a unique curriculum and patient-centered philosophy to prepare physicians to practice modern medicine. Medical students train at three of the eight Beaumont Health Hospitals: Beaumont Royal Oak, Beaumont Troy and Beaumont Grosse Pointe.

As a pivotal partner in Oakland County's Medical Main Street initiative, OUWB is training more doctors, helping position southeast Michigan as a thriving center for biotechnology and biomedicine research, generating new jobs and helping transition the region from its historically dominant manufacturing base to a more knowledge-based economy. The school welcomed its charter class of 50 students to campus on August 2011 and today they admit 125 new students each year with a total student enrollment of 475 as of fall 2017.

Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is comprised of 16 departments and six centers. Oakland's commitment to undergraduate research is demonstrated in the College's participation of the annual Meeting of Minds Conference, during which students make more than 100 undergraduate research presentations. The College is also home to the Richard Burke Lecture Series in Philosophy, Religion and Society, which honors the first faculty member hired by Oakland. In addition, the College boasts award-winning student groups who are recognized for research, classroom and service excellence. The Model United Nations team and OU's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta are two groups that exhibit this strong student performance.

Business Administration
Oakland University's School of Business Administration has achieved nearly 50 years of educational excellence by remaining relevant to the ever-changing global business environment and providing students a distinctive educational experience that integrates classroom learning with real-world business experience and research. Students find undergraduate and graduate programs centered on integrating theory, leading-edge research and real-world experience to give them a true understanding of how business works, preparing them for immediate success. Oakland University’s business school is one of only 182 business schools – out of more than 14,000 worldwide – to hold elite accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International for both its business and accounting programs. With more than 18,000 business school alumni at work at all levels of organizations through Michigan and around the world, our students graduate with access to a powerful network of professionals and industry leaders who appreciate the value of an Oakland University business degree.

Engineering and Computer Science
The School of Engineering and Computer Science leverages OU's proximity to the auto industry to provide faculty and students unique research opportunities. From GPS devices and communication systems to clean energy, SECS faculty are on the front lines of automotive research. In addition, the school’s research centers, such as the Fastening and Joining Research Institute (FAJRI), allow scholars to collaborate with auto makers as well as military units like the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research and Development Engineering Center (TARDEC). Since 2014, The School of Engineering and Computer Science has been housed in the state-of-the-art Engineering Center.

Education and Human Services
In addition to training great teachers, the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) houses the Center of Autism which focuses on outreach, academics and research. The Center encourages the exchange of ideas relating to the education and support of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as provides services and support needed to improve daily living. Once just a dream, the Avondale/Oakland University Partnership School project has developed into a full-fledged experiment in holistic education. In the fall of 2013, the partnership established Michigan’s first-ever laboratory school designed to support not only the whole child, but the whole family.

SEHS offers professional development for teachers and administrators through programs hosted at convenient off-campus locations and online. SEHS students, alumni and faculty enhance their communities, shape the future of their professions and touch the lives of thousands of learners, from pre-schoolers to professionals, inner-city teens to teachers in rural Chinese classrooms.

Health Sciences
Oakland University's School of Health Sciences provides an exceptional environment of collaborative, academic and clinical learning that helps transform students into leaders impacting the health needs of our communities in diverse wellness, safety and health-related practices. The School of Health Sciences is passionate about providing students with the best science-based health education, high-quality academic preparation, interdisciplinary teaching, and excellence in instruction in the classroom and clinical laboratory. Faculty and administrators prepare students using innovative teaching approaches, state-of-the-art knowledge sharing, research collaborations and by maintaining intellectual integrity.

The Oakland University Board of Trustees established the School of Nursing (SON) in 1974, offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The School has grown to include the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree (including a nationally ranked CRNA program) that prepares professional nurses for advanced nursing practice, leadership in the nursing profession and future doctoral study with tracks offered in:

  • Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Forensic Nursing

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is also offered as a terminal degree for nurses in clinical practice.

Honors College
Oakland University offers students in the Honors College, and the faculty who teach them, the opportunity to be national and global leaders in advancing undergraduate research. This provides building blocks for brilliant future careers, supporting opportunities for innovative learning that supports unique University experiences.

Music, Theatre and Dance
Housed within the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Music, Theatre and Dance is a leading center of performing arts education in southeast Michigan, offering outstanding educational and performance opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students plus community members. Students learn and grow as musicians, actors, dancers, designers, arts educators and researchers in a collaborative and supportive environment. Students choose SMTD for the excellence of its faculty and programs, which are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, National Association of Schools of Theatre, and National Association of Schools of Dance.

The school offers more than 150 student and faculty performances throughout the school year. Guests enjoy everything from musicals and intimate recitals to experimental plays and innovative dance performances. OU has earned a reputation for taking artistic risks, developing gifted artists, nurturing arts partnerships, and achieving new heights of quality and professionalism.

Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning
Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning is supporting and promoting 137 graduate programs, more than 3,400 graduate students, and the expansion and sustainability of graduate academic programs. It provides support and direction in academic planning initiatives, while monitoring the quality of graduate programs in a manner consistent with OU’s mission. Our graduate students, and the faculty who teach team, are both offered the opportunities needed to be successful in their academic work and careers.

Health Care
In fall 2012, OU opened a 172,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Human Health Building. It houses OU’s Schools of Nursing and Health Sciences, laboratories and classrooms. The facility balances a smart aesthetic and functional design with energy-efficient technologies.

The foundation for excellence in health care is rooted in the College of Arts and Sciences, with large and growing programs such as biological sciences and biochemistry, and graduate programs such as biomedical sciences and a health care concentration in public administration. In addition, the Center for Biomedical Research allows researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences to come together with colleagues from the schools of Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences and Nursing, as well as the Eye Research Institute.

Cultural highlights

Oakland University’s contribution to the arts has moved beyond local boundaries to a place of prominence in the region. Historically, OU has had a strong performing arts program with record-high enrollment numbers.

Oakland University is located on the estate of Matilda Dodge Wilson (widow of auto pioneer John Dodge) and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred G. Wilson. Meadow Brook Hall is the fourth largest historic house museum in the United States and is renowned for its superb craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale. Built between 1926 and 1929, the 110-room, 88,000-square-foot, Tudor-revival style mansion is complete with vast collections of original art and furnishings. The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated The Hall a National Historic Landmark, the highest recognition for historic properties in the United States. (See

The Oakland University Art Gallery (OUAG), housed in the Department of Art and Art History, continues to garner critical acclaim for the quality and scope of its exhibitions. From September to May, the OUAG presents up to six different exhibitions –from ethnographic Chinese and African art to contemporary, museum-quality displays by global artists to cutting-edge works produced by Michigan artists. The gallery also offers lectures, performances, tours, special events and more. More than 16,000 visit OUAG each year to experience art and cultural programs. (See

The outdoor amphitheater Meadow Brook Music Festival hosts top concerts on the east campus grounds including rock, alternative, adult contemporary, pop, country, and rhythm and blues; a wine and food festival; stand-up comedians; a mixed martial arts festival; and family entertainment.

Golden Grizzlies

Oakland University student-athletes have earned more than 2,000 Academic Honor Roll selections in 16 years since the program moved to the NCAA’s Division I. Oakland athletes have led the Horizon League in Academic Honor Roll and Academic All-League selections for the past four years, totaling more than 1,034 student-athletes.

In fact, 17 of the Golden Grizzlies’ 18 athletic teams earned a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher during the last school.

On the field, Oakland Athletics has won the Horizon League’s McCafferty Trophy, given to the league’s all-sports champion, the past three seasons.

Prior to joining Division I, Oakland University dominated the Division II ranks (1963–97), producing 10 NCAA national championships and 159 individual national champions. During the transition to Division I, Oakland changed the school’s nickname from the Pioneers to the Golden Grizzlies.

The men’s swimming and diving program has won 39 consecutive league titles and the women’s team has captured the last 24 league championships. In 2016–17 Oakland captured four Horizon League titles in women's cross country, men's and women's swimming and diving, and men's basketball.

In addition, longtime swim coach Pete Hovland was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, while men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe was inducted in 2017. Kampe owns the third longest tenure at one school in the NCAA. The two have coached more than 70 years combined and amassed more than 50 league championships between them.

Alumnus Brian Stuard (2001-05) has become the most successful professional athlete for the Golden Grizzlies and is now in his second year on the PGA Tour, his 12th year playing professionally. The Golden Grizzlies have also produced two National Basketball Association draft picks in Kay Felder and Keith Benson and Steve Clark is the goalkeeper for D.C. United of Major League Soccer


Oakland University was created in 1957 when the late Alfred and Matilda Wilson made a gift to Michigan State University of the entire 1,500-acre Meadow Brook Estate and $2 million in cash. Meadow Brook Hall and the surrounding 127 acres stayed with the Wilsons until their deaths -– Alfred in 1962 and Matilda in 1967. In 1971, Meadow Brook Hall opened for public tours and continues the tradition through present day with the annual Holiday Walk.

MSU's Woody Varner became the new campus' first chancellor. In addition to overseeing construction of buildings and infrastructure, Varner hired the best and brightest young Ph.D.s from across the country to serve as charter faculty. He created the academic curriculum through a series of meetings called The Meadow Brook Seminars. During 1958, educational, business and industrial leaders from across the United States met over many weeks at Meadow Brook Hall to create the serious and innovative educational experience that still characterizes Oakland University today.

Michigan State University-Oakland, or MSU-O as it was called, opened in September 1959 with 570 students and three buildings as a new and pioneering effort in higher education just as the space age was in its infancy. In 1963, MSU-O became known as Oakland University.

Founder Matilda Dodge Wilson was actively engaged in life on the new campus, hosting annual formal dances at her home and giving diamond rings to each student in the charter graduating class. Matilda died in 1967 on a trip to Europe to buy horses for her vast stables. In 1970, the state granted the University autonomy from Michigan State and appointed its first board of trustees. Today, Oakland works to continue the legacy left by Matilda Dodge Wilson and meet the high academic standards put in place during the school's early years.

About Oakland County and Southeast Michigan

More than 1 million residents enjoy the quality-of-life advantages available in Oakland County, including more than 1,400 fresh-water lakes, 88,000 acres of parkland, miles of trails, and pathways for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Ample shopping, entertainment and restaurant destinations are among the many advantages the county has to offer.

Driving educational excellence
Today’s business climate demands a knowledge-based workforce, which is why top-quality education is a priority in Oakland County schools. The county features an award-winning public school system, a number of higher education institutions and dedicated research facilities that focus on high-tech learning to help keep the region on the forefront of technology and innovation.

Oakland Schools’ 28 public school districts, 19 public school academies and 111 nonpublic schools serve 222,000 students and approximately 25,000 school staff. The county features 186 elementary schools, 62 middle and junior high schools, 60 senior high and alternative high schools, and four Oakland Schools Technical Campuses. Proven curricula challenge students and prepare them for successful employment.

What to do in Oakland County and Southeast Michigan

Oakland County has 82 public and private golf courses.

Skiers can enjoy three downhill sites in the region: Pine Knob in Independence Township, Mt. Holly in Holly, and Alpine Valley in White Lake Township.

Sports fans cheer for the Detroit Pistons (NBA), Lions (NFL), Tigers (MLB), and Red Wings (NHL) at great venues in Detroit.

Water lovers have more than 1,400 public and private lakes to enjoy, including the 430 square-mile Lake Saint Clair, which connects to Great Lakes Huron and Erie.

Some of the world’s top musicians perform at sites around Detroit: DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University campus, and Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill.

Weekend shoppers have their choice of fresh fruits and vegetables at any of several area farmers markets, including Birmingham, Waterford, Royal Oak, Rochester and Detroit’s Eastern Market, the oldest and one of the largest markets of its kind in the United States.

The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak attracts more than 1 million animal and adventure lovers each year with features such as the Arctic Ring of Life, one of the largest polar bear exhibit in North America. (See:

The Walter P. Chrysler Museum celebrates the proud American heritage of the automobile. Located in Auburn Hills, the 55,000-square-foot museum features three stories of more than 70 antique, custom and concept vehicles interspersed with interactive displays and historical exhibits that tell the story of the automakers’ contributions to design, technology and innovation, as well as the industry’s impact on America. (See:

The Henry Ford Museum (See:

Detroit Institute of Arts (See:

Detroit Symphony Orchestra (See:

Michigan Opera Theatre (See:

Oakland University links

Oakland County Links

Detroit Links