Brown University — Assistant Vice President, Academic Initiatives

Job Description:

The Assistant Vice President (AVP), Academic Initiatives is responsible for developing and implementing fundraising and engagement strategies to secure philanthropic support for Brown University’s degree granting schools, select institutes and centers, and designated programs. Drawing on the expertise of Deans, department chairs, and faculty, the AVP will identify and develop opportunities to maximize philanthropic support from alumni, parents and friends whose interests and values align with the academic mission of the University.

As a senior leader within the Division of Advancement, the AVP will lead the Academic Initiatives team, working with senior managers, to ensure a unified approach to supporting the academic mission and research profile of the University. Serving in a pivotal role, the AVP will leverage individual and organizational connections that enable academic leadership to access financial and advisory resources on behalf of their programs. Main responsibilities of the position are:

  • Provide a framework for operational support that is appropriately sized and resourced according to fundraising goals and potential, complexity of program, and programmatic reach. Align program efforts with evolving needs as fundraising priorities and organizational efforts evolve throughout the campaign and beyond.
  • Oversee team of approximately 15 staff, including two leaders on the AI team. Determine the appropriate allocation of time liaisons split between managing major gifts prospects and serving as primary liaisons to Deans and/ or administrative leaders of institutes, centers and programs, taking individual portfolio responsibilities into consideration. Assess the effectiveness of the current program and hybrid fundraising/liaison model, and recommend and implement any modifications that support Advancement objectives.
  • Develop metrics that clarify priorities and incentivize activities and outcomes and build results oriented culture. Manage team activities in alignment with goals and promote accountability for achieving goals in accordance with the increasing expectations for Advancement’s goals of $500M+ annually.
  • Serve as a senior Advancement representative, building relationships with University leaders including Deans, Directors and Department Chairs. Respond to inquiries relating to academic priority fundraising, as well as emerging initiatives. Work with senior university leadership to manage scope of liaison activities and ensure fundraising priorities are approved.
  • Coordinate occasional training for Deans, department chairs, institute directors, and faculty. Interface with Provost, Dean of the Faculty, VP Research offices to align priorities.
  • Serve as liaison to a priority academic area to advance fundraising activities. Personally manage a portfolio of highly rated individual prospects, some of which may align with liaison area focus.
  • Develop and refine processes that support collaborative approaches to fundraising activity. Lead cross-team efforts to streamline processes and coordinate timing to meet annual engagement and fundraising activities. Work closely with AVPs for Development to build the fundraising pipeline for all initiatives. Partner with Advancement Services colleagues to ensure consistent reporting and stewardship.

Brown University is committed to advancing diversity, inclusion and equity. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply. Brown University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Education and Experience

  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum 10 years of experience in fundraising required.
  • Minimum of 4 years staff management experience required.

Required Qualifications

  • Computer proficiency and knowledge of CRM systems required.
  • Demonstrated success with major/principal gifts, initiative fundraising, and fundraising operations.

Job Competencies

  • Demonstrated commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), including experience/ability to identify and emphasize diverse perspectives in programming, communications, and strategy.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with proven ability to successfully interact and collaborate with varied constituencies in a professional manner, exhibit excellent written and oral communication skills and team-building skills.
  • Must be detail-oriented, a self-starter with a demonstrated ability to work independently and manage multiple projects, priorities and staff to meet goals and timelines.
  • Strong organizational leadership and planning skills with the ability to execute and evaluate strategies that support activities and contribute to the overall goals and objectives of Brown University.
  • Ability to inspire, mentor, motivate team performance and promote accountability. Provide appropriate training, support and feedback to all fundraising professionals, including early, mid-career and senior level gift officers. Proven effectiveness at recruiting, hiring and retaining high-performance fundraising staff.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal background check and education verification satisfactory to Brown. Applicants are asked to provide a cover letter and resume with their applications.

Recruiting Start Date:

Job Posting Title:
Assistant Vice President, Academic Initiatives


Grade 14

Worker Type:

Worker Sub-Type:

Time Type:
Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:

Position Classification:
Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Vaccination Requirements:
In order to maintain 90% or greater universal vaccination rates on campus, all newly hired employees at Brown University must receive the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before they begin work, unless they are approved for a medical or religious exemption. All employees must also receive a COVID-19 booster within thirty (30) days of becoming eligible. For more information, please visit the Healthy Brown site.

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EEO Statement:
Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

Apply Now:–Academic-Initiatives_REQ184922