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Associate Vice President for University Development

University of Pennsylvania

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Job Details

Associate Vice President for University Development

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Associate Vice President for University Development

Job Profile Title
Associate Vice President

Job Description Summary
Reporting to the Senior Associate Vice President for University Development, the Associate Vice President for University Development will be responsible for providing managerial supervision and strategic support and guidance to an assigned portfolio of School/Center fundraising units and, as necessary, associated institutional priorities and/or special fundraising projects assigned by the SAVP. The AVP will guide units to effectively set and achieve goals, create growth-oriented strategic plans and pipelines, and optimize unit infrastructure to maximize results. They will also focus on effectively connecting and integrating these programs into the work of Central Development and Alumni Relations and other administrative activities, i.e. Office of the President, Office of the University Secretary, Budget Office, et, to enhance overall unit-based fundraising and alumni relations efforts.

The AVP will co-manage a cohort of school-based Directors of Development (DOD) as dual reports with unit-based Deans. They are also responsible for the joint management of each unit's staff and infrastructure, working in tandem with the DODs and by extension Deans, CFOs/COOs and HR Directors to make staffing and budget decisions that impact the entire unit-based department. They will play a key talent management role in recruiting and retaining DODs and providing interim support to cover vacancies as necessary.

At a strategic level, the AVP will work closely with the SAVP, University Development, unit-based Deans, DODs, and other academic and administrative leaders to help advise on cases for support and related giving opportunities and to help DODs in building visibility, engagement and pipelines for key unit-based and multi-disciplinary priorities involving their programs. The AVP will be expected to engage in frontline work on behalf of their units, supporting efforts to broaden prospect pools and pipelines and working to identify, qualify, cultivate, and solicit new prospects as appropriate and coordinated with DODs and Central DAR frontline colleagues.

The AVP will be an active participant in planning, strategizing and policymaking within the Central University Development team and will serve as a member of the SAVP's Senior Leadership Team. The AVP will have a particularly developed partnership with University Development's additional AVP who sits over a similar portfolio of primarily school-based programs and with whom there will be natural opportunities to coordinate around planning, best practices, and managerial guidance.

Job Description
Specific Responsibilities
  • Provide strategic management and direction to a portfolio of four to six school- and/or center-based development programs, working in tandem with unit-based DODs.
  • Build collaborative partnerships within Central DAR (DAR Services, Capital Giving, Budget, Finance and Human Resources etc.) to assure that resources and services are provided to meet the goals of annual operating plans.
  • In collaboration with the SAVP, UD's additional AVP and the Strategic Planning and Services team, work closely with unit-based DODs on developing and implementing fiscal year and strategic plans designed to assure realization of annual/campaign goals and key priorities for the units.
  • Act as counsel to Deans, DODs, staff and volunteer leaders on a wide range of development activities.
  • Provide strategic direction in supporting the creation and incubation of key unit-based priorities and initiatives and/or assess feasibility of emerging unit-based opportunities.
  • Conduct planning meetings with unit-based leadership to develop gift strategies for top prospects with a focus on 1M+ prospects.
  • Support efforts to broaden unit-based prospect pools and initiative-driven pipelines, including the identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of new prospects as appropriate and coordinated with unit and Central DAR frontline colleagues.
  • Analyze and maintain data on potential donor sources (individual, corporations, foundations), prospect pools and fundraising programs to guide programs and support data-informed decisions about performance, infrastructure, and impact of strategies.
  • In a dual reporting framework with unit-based Deans, foster a team-oriented culture focused on sustainable and significant performance growth for each of the portfolio fundraising units. In this capacity, provide leadership, guidance, and mentorship to unit leaders, ensuring that they are performing at the highest levels while supporting them in their professional development.
  • Conduct searches for, hire and onboard Directors of Development at the schools and centers; support transitions by serving in interim leadership roles at the unit-level as necessary when there is a DOD vacancy.
  • Conduct or supervise audits on existing development programs as necessary.
  • Working closely with the Office of the University Secretary, assist the schools to assess their current Board structures and evaluate tenures of current Advisors; assist with developing plans for membership for new Board members; attend Board of Advisor meetings at the schools and centers.
  • Build cohorts and foster best practices within and beyond the team and work with other members of the UD Senior Leadership team to ensure the alignment of policies, processes, and best practices.
  • Build and support a culture of inclusion.

  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Minimum10 years of progressively responsible development experience including successful fundraising interactions with major gift donors and demonstrated success in program management, preferably in a complex and decentralized environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and strategic direction. Ability to develop trust and strong collaborative working relationships.
  • Solid volunteer and staff management skills; the ability to develop strategic plans, set objectives, performance standards, and achieve program goals and objectives.
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written; must be able to communicate effectively to a large/diverse audience, including senior administration, donors, prospects, volunteer leaders, coworkers, and other University employees.
  • Must be a growth-minded self-starter with a sense of urgency, a clear set of priorities, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances in an environment where working across boundaries and leveraging strengths are necessary. Must have a creative approach to problem solving, and the ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities. A high level of energy, self-confidence, a positive “can-do” attitude, and the ability to function at peak levels in a high expectation environment are essential.
  • Superior interpersonal skills and a capacity to engage, inspire, and persuade faculty, University administrators, officers, volunteers, donors, prospects, and staff, both within the University and beyond. These skills should be combined with the ability to make the appropriate connections among members of these groups and to nurture strong and long-lasting institutional relationships.
  • Must be a team builder who takes a non-hierarchical approach to organization and who is willing to empower subordinates to get the job done while providing the support and advocacy they need. Must have a history of recruiting and developing exceptional people.
  • Ability to function independently yet relate comfortably to a multifaceted fundraising environment, participating in and contributing to a total team effort.
  • Appreciation for the mission and identity of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Travel, evening/weekend work, and valid driver's license required.

**Please provide a resume and cover letter in order to be considered for this role. Please upload all documents in the “Resume/CV” section of the application prior to submitting.**

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Development and Alumni Relations

Pay Range
$50,000.00 - $250,000.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit:

To apply, visit

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Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania! Penn is the largest private employer in Philadelphia and is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation.  

Across our 12 highly-regarded schools, more than 25,000 students, and more than 4,000 faculty members, we become one university: a wide-ranging, ever-changing community that draws its strength from a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, historical traditions, ages, religions, disabilities, veteran status, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Penn carries on the principles and spirit of its founder, Benjamin Franklin: entrepreneurship, innovation, invention, outreach, and a pragmatic love of knowledge. Franklin's practical outlook has remained a driving force in the university's development. To learn more, visit About Penn



As engines of knowledge and new ideas, universities have the unique potential to define the future rather than be defined by it; to pioneer change rather than merely manage it. To do so requires a plan both visionary and pragmatic. The Penn Compact 2022 motivates community members to innovate, be radically inclusive, and positively impact their local, national, and global communities. 


Penn’s fundamental priorities — increasing access, integrating knowledge and engaging locally, nationally and globally — are supported by the three core values that make us uniquely Penn: inclusion, innovation, and impact. 


Learn about the signature initiatives of the Penn Compact 2022:  




Understanding and appreciating diversity is one of Penn's most important priorities and is fundamental to success in today's world. 


Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. 


To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Penn visit: 




Penn offers a wide range of benefits and perks - from Penn's retirement Matching Plan to bike repair stations to access to the full LinkedIn Learning library to adoption assistance to workshops at the letterpress and book arts studio and much more! 


Campus and Beyond


We invite you to explore our campus and its stately buildings and state-of-the-art facilities. 


Try our self-guided tour! Come and visit


Learn about sustainability at Penn




Stay up-to-date with Penn's response to COVID-19: Coronavirus Information & Resources


Penn supports news publications that tell the ongoing story of the University community, communications services for external media, telephone and video services, and other media resources: Campus Media 


Connect with us!  


Instagram: @uofpenn 

Twitter: @Penn 



Company info
(215) 898-7372
3451 Walnut Street

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