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Foundation: President, Executive Director of Blugold Real Estate and Blugold Innovation Foundation

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Commensurate with Experience
Date posted
Jun 10, 2024

Position Announcement 

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC), a comprehensive regional public university with a reputation for academic excellence and fostering undergraduate research, in Eau Claire, WI, invites nominations and applications for the position of President of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. In this role, the President also serves as Executive Director of the Blugold Real Estate Foundation (BGREF) and Executive Director of the Blugold Innovation Foundation (BIF). 

This position is an employee of the University, reports to the Chancellor, and is appointed to the Foundation Presidency at the discretion of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Board Executive Committee. The Chancellor and the Board Chair work collaboratively to determine goals and assess performance. The President/Executive Director will play an integral role in providing insights and resources to advance the University's ambitious strategic objectives including leading efforts related to strategic partnerships and innovative resource development in support of the University. Key partnerships include the Eau Claire Community Complex and Mayo Clinic. 

The President/Executive Director shall show aptitude for leading complex and multi-partner initiatives; possess business operational acumen and understanding; exhibit proven experience sustaining strong professional relationships internally and externally; provide evidence of ability to lead engaged volunteer boards; and possess leadership necessary to guide the Foundation into higher levels of success. 

The President/Executive Director shall work collaboratively with the Foundation Vice President/Chief Development Officer to ensure the success of all fundraising initiatives, including the completion of the Sustaining Human Innovation Campaign.  The President/Executive Director shall work collaboratively with the CFO to ensure financial integrity and alignment with mission at all levels. The integration of best practices is expected to improve both results and performance within all areas of the Foundation's operations. 

The President/Executive Director will have direct responsibility for the overall success of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, an institutionally related foundation with total assets of more than $180 million, including nearly $70 million in endowment funds. The President/Executive Director provides leadership for BGREF, a supporting entity of the UWEC Foundation.  The role of the BGREF is to acquire, develop and manage real estate projects in alignment with Foundation and University strategic plans and to meet the University's off-campus facility needs. BGREF owns two off-campus student apartment buildings and a former convent that has been converted to a childcare center and student housing. BGREF also was instrumental in the development of a community arts facility in downtown Eau Claire and the County Material Complex off campus that consists of a 120-yard field house, 5,000 capacity event center and a 15,000 square-foot health and wellness center.  BGREF has been responsible for more than $250 million in development benefiting the university. 

The President/Executive Director shall lead the work of the BIF, a new related entity of the Foundation established to further the innovation that is and will continue to occur thanks to an innovative collaboration between UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic.

University and Eau Claire Community

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is a leader in academic excellence, undergraduate research and high-impact practices in the University of Wisconsin System. Consistently ranked among the top 10 public Midwestern universities, UW-Eau Claire is home to 10,000 students, who are drawn to Wisconsin's most beautiful campus. Innovation, collaboration, leadership, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable stewardship are core values at UW-Eau Claire. 

About 90% of students participate in at least one high-impact practice such as student-faculty research. UWEC students undertake more than 100,000 hours of community service each academic year. UW-Eau Claire has approximately 1,400 faculty and staff, with a faculty/student ratio of 1:19. There are nearly 100,000 UW-Eau Claire alumni living across the United States and around the world.

Groundbreaking community partnerships in manufacturing, business, health care and the cultural arts produce myriad opportunities for faculty scholarship, community supported/creative activities and student internships. UW-Eau Claire is one of the only universities in the world to have a master collaborative research agreement with Mayo Clinic Health System. 

Eau Claire is western Wisconsin's largest city, home to nearly 70,000 residents who live, work and play in the area situated at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers. The Eau Claire metropolitan area of approximately 173,000 people is 90 miles east of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Eau Claire is known for its beautiful parks and trails, small-town neighborhoods, excellent schools, vibrant arts scene, diverse local food culture, and abundant recreational opportunities. UW-Eau Claire's campus is within walking distance of two popular shopping districts that feature coffee shops, art galleries and live music venues.

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this leadership profile.

Detailed Position Description 

The President of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Executive Director of the Blugold Real Estate Foundation (BGREF) and Executive Director of Blugold Innovation Foundation (BIF) serves as the university's chief executive officer responsible for the strategic direction, vision and management of the University's institutional advancement. This position supports the strategic priorities of the University by leveraging relationships and resources to ensure student success. 

This position is an employee of the University, reports to the Chancellor and is appointed to Foundation Presidency at the discretion of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Board Executive Committee. The Chancellor and the Board Chair work collaboratively to determine goals and assess performance. The President of the Foundation is responsible for general management of the affairs of the Foundation. The President/Executive Director is a member of the Chancellor's Executive Staff and is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Foundation Board. In addition, this position serves as Executive Director of the BGREF, which is a supporting entity of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, and as Executive Director of the BIF, which is a related entity of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.    

Specific areas of responsibility: 

  • Oversees Advancement Operations, including but not limited to the chief financial officer, outsourced chief investment officer relationship, gift entry, alumni operations, IT, financial operations, scholarship administration, general staff support and student employees.
  • Collaborates with the Foundation's Vice President/Chief Development Office on developing and executing major fundraising initiatives. 
  • Works with Foundation's senior leadership team of the Vice President and CFO to develop Foundation strategic plans and prioritize strategic execution priorities. 
  • Oversees performance of Foundation Vice President, CFO and all staff.
  • Responsible for execution of new initiatives related to real estate development and initiatives related to the Blugold Innovation Foundation.
  • Oversees acceptance or refusal of  gifts tendered to the Foundation according to gift acceptance policy and in collaboration with the Vice President/Chief Development Officer.
  • Approves expenditures of Foundation funds.
  • Staffs Foundation board and provides leadership in support of Foundation board initiatives, strategic planning, board recruitment and retention and general Foundation board business. 
  • Works collaboratively with the CFO to develop the Foundation operating budget and strategically leverage Foundation resources toward priorities and with parameters that ensure long term fiscal health.
  • Works collaboratively with the CFO to develop appropriate budgeting and finance controls of the Blugold Real Estate Foundation and Blugold Innovation Foundation. 
  • Assumes responsibility for developing partnership agreements and contracts
  • Represents the Foundation and university on key community, industry and contractual collaborations.
  • Advises the Chancellor on matters related to strategic partnerships involving the Foundation, BGREF and BIF on behalf of the University and its strategic initiatives.
  • Serves on university committees as designated by the Chancellor. 
  • Establishes and maintains positive community relations that contribute to the University's ability to fulfill its mission and foster innovative partnerships for the benefit of students.

Qualifications and Desired Characteristics

  • The successful candidate will be an experienced leader, with the energy and interpersonal and leadership skills needed to lead a successful and complex institutionally related foundation. The successful candidate will have:
  • Evidence of solid performance in managing a complex non-profit organization or business.
  • Experience providing direction and oversight resulting in year over year growth of the endowment.
  • Proven ability to create and maintain collaborative partnerships with business partners and community leaders to effectively leverage Foundation assets.
  • Experience in understanding the Foundation's role in developing capital assets to create cross-campus and community wide collaborations to fulfill the university's mission.
  • Experience in overseeing professional staff and independent contractors.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with volunteer leaders on the various Foundation boards as well as other volunteers.
  • High degree of skill in relationship-building and partnering with individuals and organizations to fulfill the Foundation and University missions. 
  • Passion for results and data-driven action.
  • An appreciation of UW-Eau Claire's mission of excellence and inclusion, and an ability to communicate what makes the institution distinctive. 

Required Qualifications 

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; master's degree preferred.
  • Experience developing financial statements, financial projections and annual operating budgets.
  • Minimum of five years of demonstrated success working in a leadership position at a complex non-profit or business entity. 
  • Demonstrated success in building strategic partnerships to further the institutional mission.
  • Experience working with diverse populations. 


Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled with a priority date of July 15, 2024.  All inquiries and nominations/referrals should be sent electronically and in confidence to:  Kimera Way, Chief of Staff, at; 715-836-5180

Applications must be submitted electronically through the campus website at: (Foundation President/Executive Director of University Advancement, Job ID # 20953).  Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this leadership profile.  Also, the names and contact information of three professional references. 

The university reserves the right to contact additional references with notice given to the candidates at an appropriate time in the process.  Employment will require a background check. Employment will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding past conduct related to sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. §. 19.36(7).

The UW-Eau Claire Police Department is dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure environment for learning and working. Although crime at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is limited, the University Police want students, faculty and staff to be aware of crime on campus and the area surrounding the campus. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose annual information about campus crime.  Visit Campus Security and Fire Report  (  Also visit our Campus Security Authority policy (

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer, is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender identity, genetic information, religion, or sexual orientation.

The University reserves the right to contact additional references with notice given to the candidates at an appropriate time in the process. Employment will require a background check. Employment will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding past conduct related to sexual violence and sexual harassment.

UW-Eau Claire is an AA/EEO/Veterans/Disability employer.

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