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Vice President of Advancement

Adams State University
Alamosa, Colorado
The pay range for this position is $132,000 to $151,000 commensurate with experience and education.
Date posted
Mar 18, 2024

Adams State University invites applications as it seeks a Vice President of Advancement to help move the University into a new era of engagement and innovation.  

A regional, comprehensive liberal arts institution, Adams State offers 10 associate’s, 29 bachelor’s, and nine graduate programs. Located on a 90-acre campus, Adams State serves both residential and online students. Adams State’s central purpose is “to provide equitable access to education for all." Adams State University draws on its rural location in the San Luis Valley of Colorado to serve and empower all students, especially those from historically underserved populations. Adams State’s vision statement is “to become the university community of choice for diverse, historically underserved groups and all who value quality education and inclusivity." Adams State University has a total student population of close to 3,000 students (roughly 1,700 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate), that is 37% Hispanic. Adams State has been Colorado's foremost four-year Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) since its designation by the U.S. Department of Education in 1998; the first HSI in Colorado. Adams State also has a very high percentage of minority students overall (52%). Over 50% of Adams State students are the first in their families to attend college, and 46% are eligible for Pell grants.

Adams State University takes great pride in serving as an engine of opportunity. The University serves the largest share of low-income students of any university in the state. Perhaps more importantly, Adams State does better than any other university in Colorado at producing positive economic mobility for those low-income students and moving them up the income strata following graduation. This is central to who we are.  

The President is Dr. David Tandberg. Dr. Tandberg is an alumnus of Adams State and a fierce advocate of the University. He has helped inject new energy and optimism into the institution, its alumni and donors, the surrounding community, and among state leaders.

Adams State’s commitment to serving Hispanic, low-income, and other underrepresented students is also reflected in the institution’s 2025 Strategic Framework. The Framework ensures the institution meets internal goals to:

1) Foster student achievement

2) Champion practices for lifelong learning and development

3) Advocate for equity and inclusion

4) Engage in innovation and creativity

5) Exemplify operational excellence

Adams State’s Vice President of Advancement will be an innovative, effective, and engaging leader who understands the need for aggressive outreach, marketing, community and state level engagement, and fundraising in order to protect and improve the University’s competitive position.  This will need to be done with an understanding of and commitment to Adams State's unique mission, and an ability to cultivate an appreciation of the diverse cultures and traditions of the San Luis Valley community. The Vice President of Advancement will play a key role in helping determine how the institution will move forward into its next 100 years.

Adams State University

Adams State University is a state-supported, regional comprehensive university located in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado and the city of Alamosa. As an engine of opportunity, Adams State is ranked as the number one university in Colorado at producing positive economic mobility for its students. Likewise, the university takes its role as a steward of place in the San Luis Valley seriously. In that regard, it is a major economic driver in the San Luis Valley, and is a critical source of job creation, education, culture, entertainment, outreach, and community engagement. At Adams State, we believe everyone is an educator and contributes to the experience and education of its students. The university offers undergraduate programs in the arts and humanities, engineering and computer science, physical and natural sciences, social sciences, kinesiology, fine arts, business, and nursing, and specializes in educator preparation in several disciplines. Adams State also offers graduate degrees in cultural resource management, public administration, music education, kinesiology, higher education administration and leadership, history, business (MBA), and educator programs, including counselor education; the university also has a doctoral (PhD) program in counselor education. The university has an active athletic program. The Adams State Grizzlies athletic teams compete under the auspices of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).

The institution is committed to increasing the diversity of its professional staff and is actively seeking qualified applicants who have experiences, skills, and/or personal attributes that augment the perspectives of our current faculty and staff. We are working to diversify our faculty and staff and especially encourage applications from women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ community members, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other historically-underrepresented populations. We will give particular consideration to qualified applicants with experience in ethnically diverse settings; persons who possess varied language skills and a record of successful experience in engaging diverse communities/student populations. We also give particular consideration to job seekers who can contribute to equity, diversity, and inclusion through their leadership in advancing teaching, service, and scholarship; student recruitment, learning, and success; and/or administrative excellence. The successful candidate will join a campus that is dedicated to inclusive excellence and acknowledges Adams State’s purpose to foster the educational goals of its students and the well-being of the surrounding community. For more information see: About Us- Diversity & Inclusive Excellence

Position Summary

The Vice President of Advancement at Adams State University is responsible for strengthening relationships with external and internal constituents through stewardship, communications, media relations, social media, marketing, alumni relations, fundraising, and other activities. As a Hispanic Serving Institution located in Alamosa, Colorado in the bucolic rural, agriculturally rich San Luis Valley, the primary purpose of this key leadership position is moving Adams State forward in a strategic and collaborative manner. This is an exceptional opportunity to join a vibrant leadership team and play a central role in enhancing the visibility of an amazing institution. The Vice President of Advancement provides strategic and operational oversight to the following departments: Public Relations & Marketing (to include all forms of internal and external communication, branding, and messaging of Adams State University), Alumni Relations and Engagement, and the University’s fundraising operation, including the Foundation and Major Gifts. Vice President of Advancement will also lead the University’s community engagement efforts. Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President of Advancement is expected to use extraordinary judgment and reflect the highest degree of personal and professional integrity. The Vice President will serve as a confidential advisor to the President on critically important and also highly sensitive matters. The Vice President is a member of the President’s Executive Council and therefore plays a key role in helping lead the University.

Specific Job Duties (Essential Functions and Responsibilities)

Leadership and Management:

  • Promote a broad understanding and awareness of the University’s mission and programs. Develop strategies to promote and highlight the university’s commitment to serving as an engine of opportunity for underserved populations  Guide and support the President in their role as chief spokesperson and fundraiser, serving as advisor and co-strategist in cultivating prospective donors, soliciting transformative gifts, and operationalizing bold new ideas. Similarly guide and support senior leaders, volunteers, faculty, and other key constituents in advancement-related activities. Work closely with the President to advance the institution’s image through engagement with all constituencies to include at a minimum: students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors. Foster relationships with community members, legislative/elected officials, and other stakeholders related to Adams State University. Serve as a member of the President’s Executive Council, representing the division in the development, implementation, and evaluation of institutional plans, goals, and strategies; fulfilling the expectations outlined in Adams State’s 2025 Strategic Framework. Oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing plan to include news/media relations, marketing communications/publications, special events, and use of social media. In collaboration with the Offices of Admissions, Academic Affairs, and Graduate Studies, develop and implement a marketing strategy to attract new students and drive up enrollments. In collaboration with the major gifts officer, develop and execute fundraising plans utilizing best practices for annual, major, and planned gift programs. Oversee the enhancement of alumni relations and support new efforts to engage and renew relationships with close to 25,000 alumni. Seek and cultivate partnerships to enhance the mission and services of the University. Serve as an exemplary advocate in the community with local leaders, boards, committees, business, and corporate partners; build relationships closely linking the community with the University and the University with our communities. Prepare, recommend, and implement budgets for assigned areas, monitor expenditures, and assure that human and financial resources are allocated efficiently and effectively. Ensure institutional compliance with federal, state, and other applicable governing regulations within their area. Serve as a confidential advisor to the President.

Community Engagement:

  • Help the University to expand on its mission to serve as a steward of place in the San Luis Valley Lead the University’s efforts to engage with local leaders, communities, and entities in the San Luis Valley. These include, but are not limited to, town, city, and county governments; workforce development boards; chambers of commerce; businesses; service organizations; non-profits; local boards and commissions; and other local organizations. Engage with state level entities to advance the University’s mission Coordinate with the President to advance the University’s legislative agenda.

Public Relations & Marketing Functions:

  • Oversee public relations and communications, including brand management and the development of a strategic communication plan with a wide array of audiences and through a variety of platforms. Directly collaborate with the Office of Admissions and Office of Graduate Studies to develop and implement marketing plans to recruit new students and boost enrollments. Prepare and disseminate information to the internal university community as well as to local and state media. Maintain a close working relationship with the academic schools, and the Offices of Academic Affairs, Graduate Studies, Admissions, Athletics, & Student Affairs. Promote and publicize institutional activities and programs through development of marketing materials and a strategic advertising plan. Foster a culture of quality service to internal customers in the development of marketing materials and University publications. Provide consultation to the President and Executive Council on communication and public relations matters. When appropriate, serve as the spokesperson for the University Support the Adams State University President and Board of Trustees with public communication as needed. Oversee the operations of the Print Shop.

Alumni Relations & Engagement:

  • Oversee the programs, activities, and communications designed to increase alumni pride in and active engagement with the university. Build a network and volunteer structure to support alumni engagement to promote the University. Create short- and long-term strategies aimed at increasing lifelong engagement between alumni and the University. Help cultivate a culture of giving among the alumni Support and collaborate with the Vice President for Student Affairs to ensure a strong parent and family program leading to stronger ties to the University. Cultivate and promote relationships between current students and alumni.


  • Provide active leadership, direction, and expertise to all fundraising programs for the university, including annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, major gifts, planned giving, and prospect research. Supervise and oversee the University's major gifts officer and their fundraising strategy and efforts. Oversee the Foundation and their efforts and staff Collaborate with the Adams State President and other university leadership to increase private charitable support for the university’s initiatives. Ensure timely and accurate updates of progress and information are provided to the President. Collaborate with the Foundation staff and major gifts officer to ensure strong relationships are developed with key donors; work with the staff to develop strategies to secure gifts and donations to the University.


Professional Attributes and Qualifications

The successful candidate will be innovative, strategic, and share a commitment to the mission and values of Adams State University. The individual should be a strong starter with the creative confidence and spirit to bring in and develop new approaches, and should possess the energy and creative ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and develop solutions to complex problems in a fast-paced environment.

The Successful Candidate Must Demonstrate the Following Professional Attributes:

  • Commitment to service to the university, students, and community Ability to efficiently undertake responsibilities and administrative tasks using appropriate technologies while meeting deadlines Ability to identify, resolve, and consult on a wide range of administrative and personnel issues with a clear sense of institutional needs and priorities Commitment to their own professional development, learning, and awareness of national best practices within their field Self-awareness of one's own cultural beliefs, perspectives, and privileges as a part of one's orientation towards teaching and leadership Valuing of equity, treating cultural and linguistic diversity as assets, and sensitivity to and understanding of diverse students Dedication to treating others with respect, civility and courtesy and to work honestly, effectively, and collegially with employees, students, and the community.

Minimum Qualification:

  • Five years of progressively responsible experience in higher education public relations, marketing, fundraising, and/or related areas. Demonstrated ability to lead and develop a strong and talented team. Demonstrated ability to think strategically and analytically. Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Ability to perform with a high degree of diplomacy, confidentiality, and professionalism. Ability to organize and prioritize multiple responsibilities and meet multiple deadlines. Demonstrated ability to work collegially and collaboratively with diverse internal and external constituencies. Demonstrated ability to consider alternative and diverse perspectives in decision-making. Ability to treat others with respect, civility, and courtesy and to work honestly, effectively, and collegially with employees, students, and the community. This includes the ability to use appropriate conflict management skills to effectively manage any disagreement that might arise or to bring the disagreement to management for assistance in productive resolution when the situation requires. Proven commitment to honesty, confidentiality, efficacy, and collaboration.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in marketing, communication, business administration, fundraising, public relations, higher education, or related field. Demonstrated ability to effectively use data and research in decision making. Experience with internal and external communities with high cultural and ethnic diversity. Experience in higher education at a Hispanic Serving Institution or a Minority Serving Institution. Knowledge of Adams State University and the San Luis Valley and their history. Bi-lingual English/Spanish.

Applications Must Minimally Include the Following

  • A letter of application that specifically describes their qualifications and professional experience addressing the position description, essential responsibilities, professional attributes, and qualifications described above Leadership philosophy statement Curriculum vitae A list of 5 references Copies of all collegiate transcripts; official transcripts will be required of the successful applicant

Submit all application materials electronically, in PDF format, to:

Upon request, the candidate must provide a list of up to five additional references (email addresses and phone numbers) including those the candidate has supervised, the candidate’s peers, and the candidate’s supervisors.

Completed applications received April 29, 2024, will receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

Salary and Benefits

The pay range for this position is $132,000 to $151,000 commensurate with experience and education. In addition to salary, Adams State University offers a competitive benefits program including medical, dental, vision, disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, and retirement savings plans. For detailed benefits information please visit

Opportunities for supplemental contracts may be available.


In compliance with the Immigration Control Act of 1968 candidates for positions must provide proof of eligibility to work before an offer of employment can be made final.

Background Check Policy:

Adams State University performs background checks as a condition of employment for prospective employees and current employees seeking certain promotional opportunities. Offers of employment are contingent upon completion of an acceptable background check. Applicants will be asked to provide personal data and sign a release form before the background check is conducted. Applicants who fail to provide the data and consent form will not be considered for employment or promotion. Background checks include review of criminal records and sex offender registry background. Credit and driving record background may apply to certain positions.

Title IX Disclosure:

Adams State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Applications are sought from all qualified persons regardless of race, color, sex, disability, and, as covered by law, veteran status. In addition, University policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation including transgender status and gender expression, marital status, and parental status.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Part 106 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including in admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and CFR 106 to Adams State University (ASU) may be directed to ASU's Office of Equal Opportunity, Director Ana Guevara, and/or to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the Department of Education. Support resources for sexual misconduct, ASU's sexual misconduct policies, contact information for the Adams State University's Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX, as well as a detailed procedure for filing a grievance due to discrimination on the basis of sex may be found online at . These procedures also describe the University's response to reports and/or complaints of sex discrimination or sexual harassment. 

About Alamosa, Colorado

 Located in the beautiful San Luis Valley between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountain ranges. The vast San Luis Valley is designated the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. We are, at 7,500 feet, in the largest alpine valley in the United States. Alamosa is located approximately 3.5 hours from Denver, 1.5 hours from Taos, New Mexico, and 2.5 hours from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Alamosa has a population of 9,500, with recently built elementary schools, and a moderate cost of living. ASU takes a leading role in local theater performances and musical events and is in an area where the opportunities for outdoor recreation abound.

The city of Alamosa was established in May 1878 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and quickly became an important rail center. The railroad had an extensive construction, repair, and shipping facility in Alamosa and for many years headquartered its remaining narrow gauge service in Alamosa with tracks reaching many points throughout southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. Alamosa is a notable tourist town with many nearby attractions, including the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado Gators Reptile Park, surrounded by national forests and several mountain ranges with peaks exceeding 14,000 feet in elevation. The town hosts "Summer Fest on the Rio" which occurs the first weekend in June, the Early Iron car show over the Labor Day weekend, First Fridays in downtown Alamosa every month, and "Weekends on the Rio" on various Sundays throughout the summer. The city takes its name from the Spanish adjective Alamosa, meaning of “cottonwood," for the cottonwood forests which grow along the Rio Grande and throughout town.

Alamosa is located within the 8,000 square mile San Luis Valley, a high arid basin. The San Luis Valley is known for its abundant sunshine with over 320 days of sun. Surrounding Alamosa, the region is rich in history and culture. The earliest European settlements in Colorado are located within the San Luis Valley, and many families still living in the Valley trace their origins back over six generations. The Valley has abundant agriculture, with large and small farms with high output.

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