Vice President for College Advancement

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The State University of New York College at Geneseo, a residential public liberal arts college, and one of the 13 university colleges in the SUNY system, seeks a dynamic advancement leader with a tangible record of major gift fundraising, tested campaign leadership experience, and skill in alumni engagement to serve as its next Vice President for College Advancement.


The Position: The Vice President for College Advancement reports to the President and is a member of the cabinet, contributing expertise to campus-wide initiatives. The Vice President for College Advancement position presents an exciting opportunity to provide leadership and capitalize on Geneseo’s tremendous potential in the Advancement area. The next Vice President will be able to lead the strategy for further cultivation of highly engaged alumni and community partners as well as identify many additional loyal alumni who see their Geneseo experience as life-changing. In addition to leading the office of College Advancement, the Vice President serves as Executive Director of the Geneseo Foundation. The Vice President for College Advancement leads a staff of 20, including alumni relations, advancement services, major and planned gifts, leadership and annual giving, donor relations, and special events. The Vice President for College Advancement is responsible for fostering strongly engaged communities of alumni, parents, and friends in support of Geneseo and enabling the College to realize the full potential of philanthropy to enhance the institution’s mission. Partnering with the President, College and alumni leaders, faculty and staff, and Geneseo Foundation Directors, the Vice President for College Advancement provides strategic leadership to advance programs designed to sustain strong, meaningful relationships with key stakeholders and to raise private support for the College. The next Vice President will find campus partners who are eager to work collaboratively with the College Advancement team. The successful candidate will have significant executive leadership experience in complex settings, marked by the capacity to build strong partnerships and trusted relationships across all College constituencies and with diverse internal and external communities. The next Vice President for College Advancement will relish the challenge of shaping an innovative advancement program that has a sustained and lasting impact on the College’s public liberal arts mission of life-enhancing education, active community engagement, and deep commitment to students.


Qualifications: The Vice President for College Advancement will have significant professional advancement experience in higher education and/or institutions with educational missions. The successful candidate will be a proven major gift fundraiser with a history of cultivating strong relationships with donors and a deep knowledge of effective advancement programs, including alumni relations, annual fund, planned giving, stewardship programs, and advancement services. Demonstrated knowledge of the planning and management of a successful comprehensive campaign and experience leading or serving as senior staff to a foundation board, alumni board, advisory board, and/or board of trustees (or equivalent) will be key for the next Vice President. Highly developed executive communication skills including proven written, verbal, and interpersonal competencies; the ability to build and sustain internal and external relationships; and a collaborative leadership style are imperative. Other essential characteristics include integrity, financial and investment acumen, an entrepreneurial mindset, a demonstrated commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive working and learning environment, and the ability to passionately advocate for the College and the enduring power of a public liberal arts education. A Bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred) and significant, progressively responsible development experience within a comprehensive advancement program, preferably with demonstrated leadership experience in higher education, are required.


The Institution: Founded in 1871 as a Normal and Training School, SUNY Geneseo is distinguished by a single purpose: to prepare students to lead successful, humane, and productive lives. The College, a residential public liberal arts college with selected professional and graduate programs, is considered one of the nation’s best public liberal arts institutions. SUNY Geneseo seeks a motivated professional to join a team known for its extraordinary faculty, dedicated staff, welcoming atmosphere, and reputation for producing loyal alumni. Dedicated to developing socially responsible and globally aware citizens who are prepared for an enriched life and success in the world, SUNY Geneseo offers a uniquely warm, collaborative environment for discovery and embraces the values of learning, creativity, inclusivity, civic responsibility, and sustainability. Nearly 5,500 SUNY Geneseo students have an opportunity to pursue more than 50 undergraduate programs, 27 interdisciplinary minors, and graduate programs in accounting and education. The College employs 379 faculty, with 17 SUNY-ranked Distinguished Professors and 60 Chancellor Award for Excellence in Teaching recipients. For additional information about the College, please visit


About the Foundation: Established in 1971, Geneseo Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized for the purpose of inspiring philanthropic contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations in support of activities and programs of SUNY Geneseo. Responsibility for governance of the Foundation is vested in a Board of Directors, comprising alumni, parent, and College representatives. The Foundation is the principal mechanism for the receipt and administration of charitable contributions and grants for the benefit of SUNY Geneseo. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, independent from the College, with an endowment totaling $36.5 million. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit


Location: SUNY Geneseo is located in picturesque Geneseo, N.Y. stands on land with historic ties to the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Tonawanda Seneca Nation. A historic village and one of only 24 communities in the nation with its historic district recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Geneseo is a jewel of the Genesee Valley. With a population of approximately 8,000 residents, the small-town feel, stunning landscapes, and rolling farmlands combine with the vibrant energy of students and the commitment to scholarship and learning from professors to make Geneseo one of the most desired areas to live in the western Finger Lakes region. In addition to local cafés, farmers markets, and unique shops, Geneseo’s location offers easy day-trip access to Niagara Falls; Toronto, Ont.; Watkins Glen, N.Y.; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Rochester, N.Y.  The area offers reasonable cost of living options, making it ideal for families.


Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at Please do not submit references at this stage, as they will not be retained. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please call Amanda O’Donnell, Vice President and Senior Consultant, or Dana John Cohick, President, at 570-321-6111. The review of candidates will begin on September 13, 2019, and first-round interviews will commence thereafter.


SUNY Geneseo is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction