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Job Summary

UM-Dearborn is an inclusive, student-focused institution committed to excellence in teaching, learning, research and service, as well as access, affordability and metropolitan impact.  Founded on more than 200 acres of the original Henry Ford Estate, UM-Dearborn was forged on the principals of practical innovation of its industrialist benefactor.  UM-Dearborn offers its 9,300 students the opportunity for a transformative education aligned with the academic excellence of the University of Michigan and rooted in a deep commitment to metropolitan Detroit.  Since its inception UM-Dearborn has set itself apart from its peers through its diverse and inclusive campus community and its intentional, meaningful engagement with local industry, government and nonprofits.

Victors for UM-Dearborn Campaign

UM-Dearborn is participating in University of Michigan’s Victors for Michigan Campaign, with its own distinct brand, Transforming Students: Powering our Region, and a goal of $50 million.  Generous donors have committed $31.7M, with two years remaining in the campaign.  While the success of the campaign is a responsibility shared by all university leaders across campus, the Institutional Advancement (IA) team leads the planning and execution of the campaign.

Basic Function and Responsibility

Provide inspirational leadership in Institutional Advancement (IA) for oversight of activities that build life-long and mutually enriching relationships with University of Michigan-Dearborn’s 50,000+ alumni.  The successful candidate will be a fundamentally collaborative leader with the energy and creativity to continue to build a program branded by alumni to student engagement in support of student success, including enhancing outreach efforts and helping to build a philanthropic culture at UM-Dearborn.  Close and regular collaboration with the Sr. Director of Development and Campaign Operations and External Relations staff is expected, as well as with deans, other university leaders and faculty.  The selected candidate will devise and implement a comprehensive alumni engagement plan strategically designed to increase the number of alumni actively and effectively involved in supporting the university through time, talent and treasure.   

Reports to: Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

Supervises: Asst. Dir. of Alumni Engagement, Alumni Engagement Specialist and student workers

Alumni Relations Senior/Lead: This position may be filled at the lower classification depending on the qualifications of the selected candidate. Salary is commensurate with experience.


•Consistent with a clear and compelling vision for alumni engagement at UM-Dearborn, develop, implement and manage short-term and long-range plans to establish a productive continuum of alumni engagement and commitment.  Priorities should focus on innovative ways of matching the strengths, needs and opportunities of the university with the strengths, interests and needs of alumni, being ever mindful to build upon the campus’s uncommon culture of diversity and inclusion.  The overarching goal is to inspire life-long involvement and support of UM-Dearborn. 

•Provide developmental leadership and management to alumni engagement staff.

•Provide inspiring, collaborative and supportive leadership to volunteer leaders on the Alumni Society Board (ASB) and various alumni affiliate groups.

•Develop effective metrics to support ongoing evaluation of the efficacy of program strategies and tactics.  Pay close attention to benefits and outcomes in support of goals, not just the number and quality of activities and participants.  Collaborate with IA colleagues, as well as colleagues across campus in program assessment and analysis.

•Provide thought leadership for strategies and tactics across IA programs as a member of the senior team of directors.  Work collaboratively to leverage opportunities for positive outcomes across all functional areas within IA.

•Support efforts to achieve the Victors for UM-Dearborn goal, as well as fundraising goals beyond the campaign; generate innovative ideas to encourage alumni giving in the campaign and beyond; and help build a philanthropic culture.  Alumni engagement should provide a pipeline for increased giving to UM-Dearborn.

•Work with other IA directors to keep the Chancellor and the vision of the campus in front of the alumni and the larger community.  Be a leader in raising the visibility of UM-Dearborn in southeastern Michigan.

•Work with the Director of Campaign Marketing and Communications and the marketing and communication team in External Relations to develop and execute strategies for alumni engagement marketing and communications, including utilization of innovative social media campaigns to keep alumni connected.

•Serve as liaison to the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan (AAUM); seek best practices and opportunities for collaboration and leveraging.

•Serve as a resource to other IA colleagues on the best and most effective ways in which to engage donors, potential donors and other alumni in existing projects and new initiatives.

•Represent University of Michigan-Dearborn to all constituencies within the larger metropolitan community; represent IA to the greater university community.

Required Qualifications*

•Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or other relevant field

•7-10 years of alumni relations, volunteer management, fundraising experience and/or marketing and communications, with increasing levels of management responsibility

•Demonstrated strength in strategic planning, effectively establishing priorities and organizing resources

•Demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication, including story-telling, in a variety of formats for diverse audiences

•Demonstrated commitment to and experience with ongoing assessment of results/outcomes of various strategies and tactics and using the information to make decisions about future strategies and tactics

•Strong analytical and problem recognition, avoidance and resolution skills

•Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills with a strong commitment to customer service, collaboration and open communication; skilled at leading teams as well as being a team player

•Demonstrated ability to lead and collaborate effectively with senior faculty and staff, as well as colleagues at all levels in the university community, all the while exhibiting deep respect for inclusion and diversity

•Demonstrated high levels of energy, initiative and integrity

•Experience with effective utilization of technological advances in presentations, CRMs, digital/social media and an interest in learning about emerging trends and best practices

•An appreciation for a rigorous academic, student-centered and inclusive environment, coupled with a familiarity with the complexities and politics of the university setting

•Ability to travel and participate in evening and weekend activities

Desired Qualifications*

Graduate degree in a relevant field

Professional experience in higher education

All other things being equal, a UM-Dearborn degree would be preferred

Experience serving on a volunteer board

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.