York University is seeking an aspirational and inclusive leader
to spearhead our advancement, development and alumni engagement
strategies and programs, while building a leading advancement team
across the University.
Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the
University’s senior leadership team, the Vice-President will
oversee and mentor a team of 80 staff.
Understanding that success will come from collaboration and
teamwork, the Vice-President will empower and encourage the
Advancement staff, volunteers, and colleagues across the University
to work together in achieving revenue and engagement goals.
This position will be based at York University’s Keele
Campus, at 4700 Keele Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The
successful candidate should also expect to travel within North
America and internationally (as it is determined safe to do so
pending COVID-19 guidelines) in order to meet with alumni, partners
ABOUT YORK UNIVERSITY
York is a leading international teaching and research University
and a driving force for positive change. Empowered by a welcoming
and diverse community with a uniquely global perspective, we are
preparing our students for their long-term career and personal
success. Together we are making things right for our communities,
our planet, and our future.
We are a community of changemakers. Every day, in every field,
we at York are redefining excellence. Cultivating creativity,
collaboration and innovation, we are building a culture of student
success, academic and research excellence and community engagement
that is shaping the global thinking of tomorrow.
Key to our strategy is to enhance local and global partnerships
with other academic institutions, the private sector, government
and not-for-profits in shaping the future of higher education and
strengthening our impact on the United Nations Sustainable
Founded in 1959 on the Traditional Territory of the Anishinabek
Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat, York
has become a leading interdisciplinary research and teaching
University, all while staying true to our original values of
accessibility, social responsibility, and academic excellence.
Located in Toronto and within one of North America's
fastest-growing regions, York reflects the multicultural diversity
of its wider community on its Keele and Glendon campuses,
facilities in downtown Toronto, and in two international campuses
in India and Costa Rica. The University has an established
reputation worldwide with over 280 partnerships with international
universities around the world, attracting international students
with roots tracing back to over 170 countries. Last year, we began
construction on a new campus in Markham, Ontario. The Markham
Campus will be a catalyst for learning, research and innovation
while serving as an anchor institution in vibrant York Region.
We have a student population of over 55,000 enrolled in more
than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. Our community
includes more than 330,000 alumni worldwide, as well as 7,000
faculty and staff. We have 11 Faculties offering more than 5,000
courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and a budget of
$1 billion – making us the second-largest University in Ontario,
and the third largest in Canada. Recognizing our role in overcoming
the legacy of systemic racism for Black Peoples, Indigenous Peoples
and Peoples of Colour, as well as other forms of discrimination, we
are putting equity, diversity and inclusion at the centre of all
aspects of our work.
Our unique research collaborations have social, scientific and
technological impact, and our international partnerships are
helping students think bigger, broader, and more globally than ever
before. We are one of the most ethnically diverse universities in
the world, with enormous potential for future development given our
location in the centre of a region experiencing the fastest growth
in both population and innovation.
Academic & Research Excellence
Our goal is to offer a high-quality postsecondary education to
diverse local, provincial and national communities, enriched
through the research and scholarly activities of faculties that
provide students with the knowledge and skills needed in a future
fuelled by innovation and entrepreneurial creativity. High-impact
and experiential learning are at the heart of our educational
model. On a path to further intensify our scholarship, research and
creative activities, we are strengthening our reputation as a
leading influencer in the future of modern universities.
Increasing our impact necessarily means that the success of our
students is a top priority. We are committed to increasing the
percentage and diversity of the population with access to a
university education, and to ensuring their success by providing
resilient knowledge and skills that meet the needs of employers and
the external communities we serve. We have strengthened our new
student support programs, expanded our communications and outreach
efforts, and delivered countless services to help our students
achieve their personal and professional goals.
York has adopted a perspective on the concept of community that
is simultaneously global and local. We continue to contribute to an
expanding innovation ecosystem collaborating with partners on
complex research problems of common concern and creating
experiential education opportunities for our students. Our programs
are reaching communities near and far, our researchers are
contributing invaluable knowledge to a wide array of disciplines,
and our alumni are taking their comprehensive training to people
down the street and across the globe.
We are home to a host of talented faculty and staff whose
curiosity, passion, and engagement with their local and global
communities is changing the world. York believes in nurturing a
culture of respect. We value the contributions of all members of
our community and celebrate each success as both an individual
accomplishment and an institutional one.
We are amid a tremendous transformation on our campuses. As our
campuses expand, so do our horizons.
With two TTC Subway stations now operating, we are fully
connected to the GTA. In 2023, the York University Markham Campus
(MCC) will open its doors and offer students innovative programs
focusing on technology and entrepreneurship to meet the emerging
labour market and research needs of the region. We are also
building a new home for our School of Continuing Studies and an
innovative new art gallery on our Keele campus, and have many
exciting capital projects – from new science and engineering
facilities to a revitalization of campus public space – in the
pipeline. We are also currently planning to submit a proposal to
government for a new School of Medicine, and in the longer term, we
are developing a vision for using our undeveloped campus lands to
create vibrant new spaces to support our own needs as well as those
of industry and the community.
ADVANCEMENT AT YORK UNIVERSITY
The Division of Advancement is responsible for the
identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors
as well as building mutually beneficial relationships with alumni
and many other members of the community. We are also deeply
committed to building the reputation of York University as a
leading, progressive, research-intensive University that will drive
positive change in the 21st century.
Our mission is to lead and inspire meaningful engagement and
philanthropic support from our diverse community of alumni and
friends to advance the University’s excellence in education,
research, and community service. We accomplish our mission through
our values of accountability, collaboration and
This mission is carried out by nearly 80 employees in four
departments within the Division:
- Alumni Engagement: builds meaningful
relationships and provides targeted programs and services to engage
more than 330,000 York alumni worldwide in the life of the
University and our students
- Principal Giving, Donor Relations &
Stewardship: leads effort to secure principal giving
and is responsible for the full scope of activities related to
donor relations, including stewardship and recognition
- Development: leads efforts to promote and
secure philanthropic support and build meaningful relationships
with alumni, donors, friends, and community members
- Advancement Services &
Operations: manages ceremonial events like
convocation, alumni and donor systems including research, data
management, and gift processing along with finance, operations and
HR for the Division.
York University’s Alumni Engagement efforts are focused on
engaging York alumni, supporting our grads in life beyond York, and
ensuring we are strategically leveraging alumni relationships,
talent, and voices to benefit the University and our students. We
achieve this through a variety of programs and services, and in
partnership with the York University Alumni Board
The YUAB is comprised of dedicated individuals from a variety of
academic backgrounds who are passionate about York and its mission.
Whether the activity is in the form of advocacy, counsel,
philanthropy or any other form of volunteer assistance, the
graduates of York University have a unique and valuable role to
fill in promoting the excellence, advancement and prestige of the
Impact: The Campaign for York University
Our current campaign is both a celebration of what York has
already contributed to society and a challenge to ourselves and to
our community to do even more. Building on our many successes, we
will leverage our greatest strengths — our bold and progressive
spirit, our community commitment, both locally and globally, and
our exceptional record of philanthropic support from alumni and
friends — to launch the largest campaign in York University’s
Impact: The Campaign for York University is our commitment to
ourselves, our alumni and our friends to accelerate our impact and
change the world. The campaign will help to advance our research
discoveries and innovation, open the minds of our future leaders
and strengthen our communities on campus and around the world.
The campaign is organized around three themes.
We have surpassed our ambitious goal of raising $500 million for
the campaign, and are now looking towards next steps and developing
a future campaign vision.
Academic Plan 2020 -
Board of Governors
Social Impact Report 2020
Annual Report 2020
Framework for York University
Campaign: Faculty Priorities in Action
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
Possessing high expectations and even higher aspirations, the
Vice-President, Advancement will create, implement, and serve a
broad-based, integrated, long-term agenda to weave advancement into
the fabric of York University. A committed and collaborative
colleague, the new incumbent will partner with the President, Vice
Presidents, Deans, and administrative leaders to develop mutually
beneficial ideas and engagement strategies that lead to advancement
success and the achievement of our strategic priorities as
expressed in the University Academic Plan, 2020-25.
The ideal candidate will possess a deep understanding of the
interrelation between alumni and development, beginning with the
student recruitment and the student experience and continuing
through the lives of our alumni. A champion of equity, diversity
and inclusion, the Vice-President, Advancement will engage the
Alumni Board, donors, campaign volunteers, and other stakeholders
with authenticity and integrity.
Combining patience with tenacity, the Vice-President will
maintain focus on and balance between both short- and long-term
advancement goals. The new incumbent will prioritize activities and
delegate accordingly to ensure that relationship building with
alumni, donors, prospective donors, and key partners and volunteers
remain a primary focus for this role.
A strategist with strong intellectual capacity, the
Vice-President will possess creativity and exceptional critical
thinking abilities. The ideal candidate will be highly organized
and will be capable of equably dealing with the size, scope, and
volume of this role. The successful candidate will also possess
exceptional managerial and political acumen, ideally gained in a
post-secondary or other complex environment.
The successful candidate will champion advancement internally at
York and will serve as a conduit between the senior university
administration and the advancement leadership team. An inclusive,
accessible, and supportive mentor, the Vice-President will openly
share knowledge, experience, guidance and ideas. The ideal
candidate will be an energetic and empathetic ‘builder’ who will
combine passion and wisdom to instill optimism and confidence in
As a member of the senior executive team, the Vice-President,
Advancement will provide crucial leadership to York University as
we embrace an uncertain and dynamic post-COVID world.
KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Developing a strategic advancement plan, in consultation with
Senior Administration, academic and administrative leaders, Board
of Governors, and the York University Alumni Board, to improve
relationships and increase financial support to further York
- Engaging and strategizing with the President and University
Executive Committee, in active partnership to build and achieve
York’s overall vision and goals
- Designing, implementing and supporting effective decentralized
advancement programs at the Faculty level, in partnership with the
Deans and other faculty leaders, while maintaining centralized
reporting and management
- Collaborating with academic and administrative colleagues to
identify and develop funding opportunities and priorities for each
Faculty and for the University as a whole
- Providing guidance, training, and support to academic and
administrative colleagues who serve as partners in fundraising
- Leading, inspiring, supporting, and directing a team of
advancement professionals to deepen alumni and donor engagement and
to attract new and increased financial support
- Putting equity, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the
Division of Advancement, both in the growth of the internal team
and in our engagement with diverse communities within and beyond
- Inspiring and collaborating with academic and administrative
leaders, and with senior fundraising volunteers, to sustain
existing donor relationships and identify and build new ones
- Working closely with York University Alumni Board leaders and
volunteers, and with the Alumni Relations staff team, to ensure an
integrated approach to the ongoing engagement of our 330,000 alumni
in the life of the University
- Ensuring ongoing positive relationships with new and existing
individual donors, corporations and foundations, through
exceptional relationship stewardship
- Serving as York University’s chief development officer,
developing and maintaining strong relationships with a portfolio of
prospective donors, with accountability for personal revenue and
- In partnership with staff leaders, overseeing the overall
prospect pipeline and the flow of prospects through qualification,
assignment, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship
- Advocating for importance of data integrity and information
management, and potential of technology to improve and augment
- Continuing to ensure the rigour and quality of Advancement
programs through monitoring appropriate accountability measurements
for all aspects of development, alumni relations and advancement
- Serving as an ambassador and key spokesperson with donors,
alumni, and other external stakeholders, in the Greater Toronto
Area, throughout Canada, and internationally as appropriate
- Partnering with the Communications & Public Affairs and
Government & Community Relations teams to ensure consistent
messaging and to optimize the use of communications vehicles to
promote York’s key priorities and successes to key
- Maintaining networks with other professionals in the
post-secondary sector and in the broader advancement community to
maintain knowledge of competitive strategies and to benchmark
York’s advancement practices and performance
- Assuming overall accountability for the Advancement annual
revenue and expense budgets
- Ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards, and
University regulations and policies, as they pertain to
development, alumni relations, and advancement services
REQUIRED COMPETENCIES & QUALIFICATIONS
- Preference for senior level experience in a Vice President
Advancement role but no less than five years of experience working
as an Associate Vice President, Executive Director, or senior
advancement leadership equivalent, within complex
- Proven team leadership and human resource management experience
including the organization, motivation, and direction of a large
team of staff, colleagues, and volunteers who work collaboratively
to achieve shared objectives.
- A personal commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and a
demonstrated track record of supporting and promoting inclusion and
belonging in the workplace.
- Proven ability to develop relationships of trust and respect
with Deans, Chairs, and academics.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively build and manage senior
volunteer relationships that serve to enhance and advance the
interests of the University and its mission.
- Respects and values the experience, ideas and perspective of
others and strives to make connections that are mutually beneficial
to the University.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as
exceptional listening skills.
- The ability to work in both English and French is considered an
asset but is not a requirement for this role.
- Strong emotional intelligence, maturity, diplomacy, and
- Demonstrated ability to analyze and interpret information, and
to make data-driven decisions.
- At least 15 years of experience working in Advancement,
preferably including some level of previous experience working
within the post-secondary education sector in an Advancement
- At least 10 years of experience specifically engaged in Major
- Established track-record in the development and implementation
of advancement strategy, including campaign and program planning,
financial management and analysis, and accountability and
- Extensive leadership in developing and managing multi-channel,
institution-wide, centralized/de-centralized fundraising and
- Experience translating strategic priorities into tactical
advancement activities and successes.
- Deep and proven success in managing a portfolio of major and
principal gifts prospects through identification, qualification,
cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
- Demonstrated ability to uncover and understand the interests of
prospective donors and align these against the strategic needs of
the University and its various units.
- Highly motivated and results-oriented individual who models the
achievement of activity goals (quantitative and qualitative) to
surpass individual and team targets.
- Clear understanding of and strict adherence to ethical
fundraising standards, and communication of these standards and
expectations for adherence to staff and volunteers engaged in
- Commitment to learning and to student success, and engagement
of students and student leaders in Advancement activities.
Education & Credentials
- A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required for this position,
and an advanced degree is preferred. Consideration may be given to
an equivalent combination of education and experience, if the
majority of other competencies are met.
- Possess or be eligible for the Certified Fund-Raising Executive
(CFRE) credential; candidates will be required to complete
certification within 12 months of commencing the position.
- A valid driver’s license and passport, and an ability to travel
locally, nationally, and internationally (once pandemic
restrictions are lifted). Such travel is a requirement of the
FOR MORE INFORMATION
KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this
Advancement leadership search on behalf of York University. For
more information, please contact Tara George, Partner/ Lead, KCI
Search + Talent via email at YorkU@kcitalent.com
All inquiries and submissions will be held in strict confidence.
We would ask interested candidates to please send their resume and
letter of interest to the email address above no later
than August 19, 2021.
To view the full Executive Brief, please visit: www.kcitalent.com
The University welcomes applications from all qualified
individuals, including, but not limited to women, persons with
disabilities, visible minorities (racialized), Indigenous Peoples
and persons of any gender identity and sexual orientation. York
University is committed to a positive, supportive and inclusive
York University offers accommodation for applicants with
disabilities in its recruitment processes. If you are contacted by
York University regarding a job opportunity or testing, please
advise if you require accommodation.
This position is open to all Canadian citizens, permanent
residents and those legally able to work in Canada. Other
individuals may be considered, per Canadian immigration laws.
Candidates should please include their status when inquiring about
or applying for this position.
Please note that the maximum salary for this position is
$270,000 per annum, with a target earnable performance bonus
of 10-15% (max 20%). A comprehensive
suite of benefits is also provided, including participation in
York’s pension plan.