Chief Development Officer, Knight Campus

Department: Knight Campus
Appointment Type and Duration: Regular, Ongoing
Salary: Commensurate with experience
FTE: 1.0

Application Review Begins
Immediately; position open until filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants
Please submit a resume, cover letter describing major ($100k+), leadership ($1m+) and principal ($5m+) gift experience, and three professional references with your online application.

See for a full description of the position.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, and referrals can be directed to Isaacson, Miller .

Position Summary
The University of Oregon (UO) Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact (Knight Campus) seeks a strategic, collaborative, and entrepreneurial fundraising leader to serve as chief development officer (CDO). The CDO will work closely with Vice President and Executive Director Robert Guldberg and his senior leadership team to propel the campus by securing philanthropic support, particularly at the principal and transformational gift levels. The CDO will join the university as it approaches the finish line of its ambitious $3 billion comprehensive campaign, the largest campaign ever undertaken by a university in Oregon. A signature achievement of the campaign was the creation of the Knight Campus, made possible by a $500 million gift from Penny and Phil Knight. The CDO will play a crucial role in the exciting trajectory of the campus, building upon the momentum of the campus’s start-up phase and generating the support necessary for sustaining growth and accelerating scientific and economic impact for the university, the state of Oregon, and the world.

UO and Knight Campus leaders recognize the need to strengthen existing and substantially increase new philanthropic revenue streams for the Knight Campus in order to attract world-class faculty and students, fund new areas of interest, and maximize the overall impact of the university and Knight Campus through translational research. The CDO will partner closely with Dr. Guldberg, academic leaders, and University Advancement colleagues to build upon the momentum generated by the recent creation of the campus, conceptualizing and implementing a sustainable fundraising program from the ground up. This position provides a unique opportunity to play a central role in the new campus by building a development program in support of critical new initiatives and investments in new ideas, thereby providing faculty, students, and investigators with the resources to realize their ambitious educational and research vision for the public good.

In addition to serving as Dr. Guldberg’s chief strategist on all fundraising matters, the CDO will craft a multi-year advancement strategy that will ensure long-term growth in philanthropic contributions through the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of an international cadre of donors, identifying key civic and business leaders with an affinity for the mission and programs of the Knight Campus and the University of Oregon. The Knight Campus has exceptional freedom and flexibility to pioneer new models for teaching and research that typically aren’t available in higher education. The CDO will be an active and engaged partner with campus leaders and other stakeholders in generating and evaluating the fundability of new ideas and work to effectively operationalize the most promising of these ideas. This provides ripe ground for the CDO to match the campus’s research innovation with creativity in discovery efforts aimed at new high-capacity individual and institutional donors, including those currently unaffiliated with the university. A core objective of the CDO will be to drive strategy for prospecting, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major, principal, and transformational gifts.

In accordance with its core values and mission, the University of Oregon is especially interested in recruiting individuals with a demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will reflect and embody the core values of UO advancement, leading development efforts and serving the campus with warmth, humility, and humor. The successful candidate will bring a broad institutional perspective to the role, and, through open and proactive channels of communication across the enterprise, will raise funds to the benefit of both the Knight Campus and the university. The CDO must be a strong and thoughtful writer with impressive skills that include crafting compelling cases for support and engaging and building authentic relationships with the campus’s diverse community, connecting individuals not only to the UO’s history but also to its ambitious future. The candidate must be a self-starter with a sense of urgency and a clear set of priorities; demonstrate a high level of integrity and trust; have the ability to adapt in a dynamic environment; and exhibit the emotional intelligence to effectively engage and partner with key stakeholders. The candidate must possess the ability to build bridges and strong collaborative relationships across the university.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five to ten years of progressively responsible leadership experience in a high-performing fundraising operation, preferably with significant experience within higher education or academic medicine. The CDO must possess strong strategic planning skills; a keen understanding of best practices in fundraising; a comprehensive knowledge of all major industry functions and trends; and a track record of significant personal success in donor discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship at major and principal gift levels. The ideal candidate possesses a growth mindset and uses an innovative approach to building and guiding a program, has the ability to increase the effectiveness of a development program through established objectives and performance standards; and possesses the intellectual acumen required to articulate a vision and mission of a program and its leaders, translating complex scientific concepts in clear and compelling language. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required; an advanced degree in the sciences is preferred.

FLSA Exempt: Yes

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit .

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at or 541-346-5112.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination .

In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at .

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