Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.

Vice President for College Relations Schenectady, NY

Union College, a nationally recognized, distinguished liberal arts college, seeks a strategic and innovative leader to become its next vice president for college relations (VPCR). The VPCR will develop and lead an ambitious development and alumni relations program through a transformative campaign and beyond. Reporting to President David Harris and serving on his senior leadership team, the VPCR will oversee and influence all fundraising and alumni relations efforts across the College, inspiring its alumni, friends, and staff, and increasing engagement and philanthropy.

Founded in 1795, and located in Schenectady, New York, Union is one of the oldest colleges in the nation and the first to redefine traditional liberal arts education with modern languages, science, and engineering early in its history. Today, Union integrates these disciplines—along with the arts, humanities, and social sciences—in new and exciting ways. A Union education is rigorous, innovative, and encourages its more than 2,000 students to work beyond the limits of disciplinary boundaries, allowing them to think globally and lead creatively in a world where problem-solving requires breadth across humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering without sacrificing depth of preparation.

Since the start of President Harris’s tenure in 2018, Union has strengthened and innovated as a liberal arts college and built on its academic excellence. Union’s strategic plan, The Power of Union, launched in 2020 with the vision to develop every student to lead with wisdom, empathy, and courage, in ways large and small, now and across multiple tomorrows. Simultaneously, Union publicly launched Powering Union: The Campaign for Multiple Tomorrows, which has surpassed its $300 million goal nearly a year early.

The VPCR will successfully lead the current campaign to its conclusion and map out a vision for post-campaign philanthropy. To this end, the VPCR will continue to strengthen Union’s development and alumni relations programs through the implementation of best practices, team and capacity building, and the application of data-driven outreach and fundraising strategies that will create an increasingly effective philanthropic enterprise. Union seeks a VPCR who is imaginative, experienced, and capable of building and deploying a first-rate advancement operation. The VPCR will be President Harris’s principal adviser on all advancement-related matters and serve as an integral member of his senior leadership team.

The successful candidate will be an accomplished individual with a track record of success as a senior advancement professional, preferably in a higher education institution. Key qualifications include: superb skills and demonstrated success in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship at major and principal gift levels; significant experience managing staff and programs within a sophisticated development and alumni relations operation across all stages of a campaign life-cycle; experience developing and implementing effective fundraising and engagement strategies; demonstrated ability to build and lead diverse teams; excellent communication skills; proven ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment; and an ability to embrace the culture and values of Union College. The ideal candidate will also be able to articulate the mission and aspirations of the College with passion and conviction, be intellectually curious, and be committed to active engagement in the campus and local communities. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Jack Gorman is leading this search with Elizabeth Neustaedter and Lisa Clayton. 

Union College is an equal opportunity employer and strongly committed to student and workforce diversity.

Union College is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its application process for individuals with disabilities and encourages applicants with disabilities to request any needed accommodation(s).

Union College’s Strategic Plan highlights the role of diversity
 in providing an effective education for the 21st century at the heart of our mission and vision for the College. Diversifying the student body, the faculty, the administration, the staff, and the curriculum requires a commitment to honor our mission and advance our goals. Union provides a blend of intellectual, social, and cultural opportunities to facilitate the integrated academic, social and personal development of a diverse community. We value and are committed to a host of diverse populations and cultures including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and national origin.

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