Vice Chancellor for Advancement #001683

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Vice Chancellor

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Vice Chancellor for Advancement #001683


Office, VC, Advancement

Position Summary:

This position is on site at our Cullowhee campus.

The Vice Chancellor for Advancement will function as the senior development and alumni engagement officer at Western Carolina University (WCU). The Vice Chancellor will advise the Chancellor and other senior officers of the university on all aspects of development and alumni affairs and will effectively promote internal and external understanding and support of the university’s mission as correlated with giving and engagement goals. The Vice Chancellor’s primary responsibilities will be to develop and implement university-wide and unit-specific strategies for development and alumni engagement including any comprehensive or project or program specific campaigns; to build and lead the necessary central and volunteer infrastructure to support these efforts; to staff the Chancellor and other key internal and volunteer leaders in their work with top prospects and donors; and to provide coordination for development and alumni engagement efforts across the university.
Western Carolina University is a public regional institution of higher education whose mission is to create learning opportunities that incorporate teaching, research, service, and engagement through on-campus, off-campus, on-line, and international experiences. The university focuses its undergraduate, master’s, and three doctoral programs, educational outreach, research, and creative and cultural activities on sustaining and improving individual lives and enhancing economic and community development in western North Carolina and beyond.
As the westernmost institution in the University of North Carolina System, WCU provides comprehensive educational opportunities to residents in the state’s western region and attracts students from around the globe to explore the region’s vast natural diversity. Founded in 1889 as a teaching college, WCU now provides an education to more than 12,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs.
The story of WCU is one deeply connected to the people of the region. It is rooted in its service to the people of Southern Appalachia and beyond. WCU belongs not just to its students and its faculty and staff, but to the whole community, for it is integrally connected to this region as its educational, economic, and cultural center. WCU’s vision is to be a national model for student learning and engagement that embraces its responsibilities as a regionally engaged university.
WCU has been consistently ranked as one of the top 15 public regional institutions in the South.

The Vice Chancellor for Advancement will report to Chancellor Kelli R. Brown and will serve as a member of Chancellor Brown’s Executive Council, providing counsel and support for an array of issues facing the institution.
The Division of Advancement is comprised of three departments including Advancement Services, Alumni Engagement, and Development. Each department has a leader who reports directly to the Vice Chancellor. An executive assistant also reports to the Vice Chancellor.

The Vice Chancellor for Advancement position at Western Carolina University offers the opportunity to join a growing, vibrant university focused on students first; make a personal and lasting impact; take philanthropy at WCU to a new level that increases the university’s excellence; increase the alumni experience; build true strategic partnerships and collaboration, especially with Athletics and college deans. And being located in the beautiful Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina provides an exceptional environment to live, work, and enjoy the nature that embodies this region.
Western Carolina University has been on a growth trajectory that includes nine record enrollments in the past ten years. This fall’s enrollment again surpassed 12,000 students. Faculty and staff care deeply about the mission of WCU as a regional public university and are focused on students and their success.
In May 2019, WCU completed its second capital campaign, with its primary focus being scholarships. This was achieved two years ahead of schedule and over $10 million ahead of goal. The campaign achieved a total of $61.9 million with an initial goal of $50 million by 2021. Forty-six percent of donors were first time donors. This is a great foundation to build upon. Chancellor Brown would like to begin laying the foundation for initiating a $100 million campaign. This is a significant opportunity to plan, build, and execute a significant philanthropic legacy.
WCU has a strong base of alums and chapters. Building upon this base and enhancing the alumni experience will further WCU’s reputation, assist with WCU’s growth, and further alumni commitment and philanthropy to the university.
The university is ready for an advancement leader to collaborate, partner, and work together across organizational lines to further friend-raising and fundraising objectives – regardless of who gets credit. The focus will be looking at the university as a whole; being engaged not just in advancement concerns, but with overall university concerns and strategy. This includes being a full, engaged, and contributing member of the Chancellor’s Executive Council.
WCU is young in its philanthropic culture. Part of this is due to WCU’s early history as a teachers’ college. However, alumni, faculty, and staff “bleed purple;” truly loving this special place. The university culture is special and exciting. Alums and students tell heartfelt stories about the life changing experiences that occurred there, especially for those from the western North Carolina region. WCU truly believes it is in the business of changing lives.
This is a time where a Vice Chancellor for Advancement could really make a significant impact on the university as well as achieve significant personal and professional accomplishment.

The Vice Chancellor for Advancement will
•partner with the Chancellor, faculty leaders, and senior staff to advance WCU with donors, stakeholders, alumni, campus, and community partners;
•plan, execute, and successfully complete WCU’s third comprehensive campaign;
•strengthen and support the University Advancement Team;
•strengthen collaboration with athletics;
•engage the western North Carolina community and look nationally and globally to build an expanded base of philanthropic support;
•build and empower alumni connections and commitment;
•foster a culture of philanthropy among faculty, staff, students, and alumni;
•partner with WCU Foundation Board, the WCU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the WCU Board of Trustees; and
•create a path from connection to community and contribution.

Diversity at Western Carolina University is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. It includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, geography, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language and linguistic differences, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.
The diverse perspectives encountered at WCU are an important part of the preparation of students for roles as regional, national, and global leaders who contribute to the improvement of society. It is expected that members of the WCU community will not only coexist with those who are different from themselves, but also nurture respect and appreciation of those differences. WCU encourages civil discourse as a part of the learning enterprise, and as a campus it does not tolerate harassing or discriminating behavior that seeks to marginalize or demean members of the community.

We seek candidates who have demonstrated expertise in dealing with matters pertinent to diverse populations.

To learn more about WCU and the Key Colleagues for this position, visit VCA Search

Minimum Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree is required for this position, master’s preferred. At least eight years of advancement experience, preferably in a higher education environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

Western Carolina University seeks a Vice Chancellor for Advancement with
•a successful track record of personally cultivating, soliciting, securing, and stewarding major and principal gifts;
•well-developed managerial, supervisory, and mentorship skills, including the ability to delegate effectively;
•significant and successful experience with the integration of development and alumni engagement staff and programs;
•strong communications capabilities including active listening skills and the ability to speak effectively both with groups of varying sizes and with individuals;
•experience with campaigns greater than $100 million that included facilities as part of a comprehensive campaign;
•experience with Division 1 athletics;
•an understanding of current and emerging best practices and the capacity to adapt these as appropriate at WCU;
•an ability to leverage effectively the time and talents of senior university and volunteer leaders in their contacts with prospects and donors, including strong preparation work and solid judgment in the balance of internal- and volunteer-driven efforts;
•skills in defining and implementing internal and external partnerships;
•a demonstrated appreciation for and reliance on data and quantifiable outcomes and reporting;
•an understanding of technology and its applications in both development and alumni engagement work;
•creativity, drive, and integrity in the creation and implementation of programs and strategies;
•a leadership style that is based on integrity, transparency, and inclusiveness, with a proven ability to influence others beyond formal authority; and
•a collaborative nature and sense of humor.

Position Type:

Permanent Full-Time

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Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions to Applicants:

All applications must be accompanied by a résumé, a cover letter, and a minimum of five professional references. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Western Carolina University.

In order to complete the application process, applicants must apply electronically via the WCU employment portal ( and include the following:
• Cover letter addressing qualifications as related to the job requirements and mission of WCU
• Current résumé
• Minimum list of five professional references, including name, title, email, and relationship (References will not be contacted until selection of on-campus finalists and candidate’s notified)

Review of applications will begin in early April 2021 and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.

For questions or additional information, contact Craig Fowler, Chief Information Officer and Search Committee Chair at [email protected]

To learn more about WCU and the Key Colleagues for this position, visit VCA Search

All inquiries will be held in confidence.


Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks.

Western Carolina University uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit Proper documentation of identity and employability are required at the time of employment.

Credential Verification:

All new employees are required to have listed credentials/degrees verified within 30 days of employment. All new employees who will be teaching are required to provide official transcripts within 30 days of employment. Transcripts should be provided for the highest earned degree and/or the degree which is being used to satisfy credential/qualification requirements.


Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; national origin; age; disability; genetic information; political affiliation; National Guard or veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program.
Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (828) 227-7218 or email at [email protected]

University Safety:

The Western Carolina University Annual Safety Report is available online at University Annual Safety Report or in hard-copy by request at the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 227 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7147) or the Office of University Police, 111 Camp Annex, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7301). The report, required of all universities participating in Title IV student financial aid programs, discusses crime statistics, procedures for reporting suspicious or criminal activity, security, police authority, crime prevention strategies, university policies on substance abuse and sexual offenses, workplace violence and fire safety.




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Job No:
Posted: 3/31/2021
Application Due: 5/30/2021
Work Type: Full Time