Job Listings

Associate Dean of Development, Blair School of Music

Vanderbilt University
Job Location:
Nashville, Tennessee
Development and Fundraising
As the Associate Dean of Development for the Blair School of Music, you will join the Vanderbilt community located in Nashville, Tennessee, a world-class city on the rise with a cosmopolitan feel, yet small town appeal. Vanderbilt’s campus is located in a park-like setting on a 330-acre arboretum.
As a key member of the Development leadership team, the Associate Dean participates in setting fundraising goals and manages a portfolio of top prospects, in addition to developing and maintaining a strong working relationship with the dean, associate deans, business officer, and director of external relations of the Blair School of Music to facilitate partnerships around goals, priorities, and outcomes.
In preparation for Vanderbilt’s comprehensive campaign, the Associate Dean is charged with setting, tracking, and assessing progress towards Blair’s fundraising goals in coordination with other DAR teams (e.g., Annual Giving, the Parents and Grandparents Campaign, and Planned Giving). The Associate Dean also collaborates with the Dean to effectively engage boards, committees, or councils whose membership includes alumni or other supporters and whose responsibilities – in part or solely – include increasing philanthropy.

About Us:

Vanderbilt University is a community collectively striving to succeed through immersive learning, integrated research, and collaborative discovery. We encourage diverse perspectives and recognize that our differences, and our respect for alternative views and voices, is our greatest source of strength. We wed education and inspiration to challenge young, diverse minds to address society’s greatest challenges.

The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals. The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

About You:
As the Associate Dean of the Blair School of Music, you are a responsible, collaborative development professional who is excited to partner closely with our dedicated team members who are passionate about Vanderbilt’s mission.

You will be a key contributor on our Development leadership team, leading by example and fostering a culture of excellence and collaboration. In this role, your responsibilities will include securing major and principal gifts, increasing the overall fundraising success for Blair, as well as serving as liaison to other development teams, university offices, and school leadership.

In addition to building authentic rapport with the Vanderbilt community, you have the ability to work independently, take initiative, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and adapt to changing priorities.

Your Responsibilities:
  • Design, implement, and coordinate the Blair School’s development programs, consistent with the overall development program at Vanderbilt University.
  • Serve as a major gift officer for the Blair School of Music, driving forward the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of 40 - 60 prospects that are capable of making gifts of $250,000 or greater. Outright gifts, pledges, corporate and foundation awards, and planned gifts at this level are all part of the Associate Dean’s portfolio.
  • Oversee the comprehensive fundraising program that will drive larger success in securing funds to support key priorities, which could include, but are not limited to -- endowed scholarships and chairs, guest artists funds, academic program support, and capital projects.
  • Collaborate with the Dean and the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Development in the goal setting process each fiscal year to set targets that are both ambitious and achievable.
  • Work closely with the Dean to effectively engage boards, committees, or councils whose membership includes alumni or other supporters and whose responsibilities – in part or solely – include increasing philanthropy.
  • Coordinate, plan, and work directly with the Dean of the college and serve on the senior administrative team.
  • Work in collaboration with other members of DAR staff to be successful and support university-wide objectives, along with a commitment to being donor-centric.
  • Partner with other schools, colleges, and programs as well as developing prospect strategies for the effective utilization of the Dean, and possibly the Provost and Chancellor, around the most significant fundraising opportunities that support the mission of Blair.
  • Establish strong relationships with Blair’s senior staff in admissions, finance, communication, career services, and faculty affairs. Strategic planning and advice are highly valued by the Dean, as these are skills frequently utilized to compliment the School’s efforts beyond development.
Supervisory Relationships:
  • The Associate Dean has supervisory responsibility of a Director of Alumni Engagement & Leadership Annual Giving and a Program Coordinator.
  • This position reports administratively and functionally to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Development.
Education and Certifications:
  • A Bachelor's Degree, or the equivalent is necessary.
  • Master’s degree, or the equivalent, is preferred.
Experience and Skills:

The Associate Dean must be a seasoned and polished fundraising executive who understands and is able to articulate the nature and importance of a major research university, and in particular, the significant role of the Blair School of Music within this larger academic community. Leading candidates should have:
  • 5 years of relevant experience, or the equivalent is necessary
  • Seven or more years of development experience preferred, with a background in a higher education setting
  • Willingness and ability to personally solicit gifts of $250,000 and larger
  • Knowledge and passion for music is preferred
  • Experience building a portfolio for niche/non-traditional markets is preferable
  • Excellent organizational skills, oral and written communications skills, and the ability to articulate the needs, interests, and accomplishments of Vanderbilt University to a wide range of audiences.
  • Interpersonal skills and judgment suitable for exercising appropriate discretion and demeanor when dealing with alumni, parents, friends, and employees.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in the handling of confidential information
  • Ability to use current computer technology, such as Windows, Excel, Word, and Vanderbilt’s donor management system
  • A proven record of achievement in major and principal gift fund raising from individuals
  • Ability to plan, articulate and implement a major gift program that will include not only alumni, parents and friends, but also corporate, foundation and planned giving
  • Experience in managing and leading volunteers and/or boards
  • Superb written and oral communication skills, specifically in the areas of proposal and presentation development
  • Demonstrated success in working across teams and disciplines – facilitating solutions, designing new ideas, and driving forward priorities
  • A working understanding of education and research that will help drive forward new interdisciplinary initiatives
  • Familiarity with Vanderbilt and/or solid understanding of a major research university environment is preferred
  • The capacity to perform in an intellectually rigorous and complex academic environment
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and adapt to ever changing priorities are essential
  • Exhibit personal characteristics enabling effective interaction with important constituencies and possess a genuine commitment to the advancement of education, research, and to the principles governing Development and Alumni Relations
  • Routine overnight travel is necessary
  • Some evening and weekend work, as needed
  • Value of the importance of equity as an organizational operating principle and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion
Please use the online link to apply for this position.
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