San Jose State University

Associate Vice President, Alumni and Community Engagement
and
Executive Director, Alumni Association

THE ORGANIZATION

San José State University (SJSU) is a major, comprehensive public university located in the heart of Silicon Valley. A member of the 23-campus California State University System, SJSU is the oldest state university in California, granting bachelor and master’s degrees in 145 areas of study. Among the top 200 universities in research and development expenditures as surveyed by the National Science Foundation, SJSU offers rigorous course work and research opportunities to more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The University’s academic colleges include Applied Sciences and Arts; the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business; the Connie L. Lurie College of Education; the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering; Humanities & the Arts; Science; and, Social Sciences. SJSU occupies 19 blocks in downtown San José with 23 academic buildings and seven residence halls. Located 1.5 miles away on 62 acres is the South Campus, which includes the Spartan Stadium and athletics fields.

 

The university’s 154-acre metropolitan campus is at the epicenter of Silicon Valley, the global hub of technology innovation and America’s leading patent-generating city. Its location makes it an exceptionally rewarding learning environment for students. Technology and other firms in the region employ more graduates of SJSU than of any other university in the nation. Evidence of SJSU’s motto, “Powering Silicon Valley,” is reflected by the fact that SJSU alumni comprise the largest share of Apple’s workforce of any college or university.  In fact, the number of SJSU alumni employed by the top five technology companies in the Valley ranks in the top three across the board. Silicon Valley firms and agencies also regularly seek SJSU students for internships, summer work programs and for assistance with research and development projects.

 

Since 1873, the University’s Alumni Association has endeavored to connect graduates to their alma mater and each other, while adding value to their SJSU degree. The Association serves the University's 270,000+ network of graduates. Each year, the Association hosts a variety of educational programs, social and recreational events, including Homecoming Weekend, the Golden Grad Reunion, and many other regional events throughout the country.  

A Campaign for the Future: Investing in Extraordinary People

In 2013, SJSU successfully completed “Acceleration,” the first comprehensive campaign in its history. The university has recently completed a comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process with input from the university and other communities and collaboration with nearby industries. The 10-year plan, Transformation 2030, lays the groundwork for unparalleled growth, ensuring a dynamic future for SJSU as a leading 21st Century urban public university recognized nationally and internationally for the quality of its academic programs and research and the applied learning and educational access opportunities it provides to students.

 

To help realize its vision for the future, SJSU is embarking on a major comprehensive campaign, the most ambitious private fundraising effort in its history. The campaign will include investments in teaching and research programs and significant renovations and capital improvements to the university’s physical plant, including the renovation of Tower Hall, the oldest building on the SJSU campus, into a full-service alumni center. In addition, the campaign will seek increased support for endowed chairs and professorships, graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships as well as for program initiatives that improve the quality of student life and the teaching and research mission of SJSU.

THE POSITION

Reporting to the Vice President of University Advancement, the AVP for Alumni and Community Engagement leads and drives overall strategy for a comprehensive outreach and engagement program that will increase involvement of alumni and members of the community in the life of the University. The AVP and their team will identify and provide meaningful opportunities for volunteerism, service, and personal and professional development while offering a menu of educational and recreational activities to enhance constituent loyalty and engagement. The AVP and their team will support broader University Advancement initiatives by developing programs to facilitate lifelong dialogue between SJSU and its constituents to promote the reputation and educational mission of the university and increase alumni participation, student success and philanthropic support. 

 

The AVP serves as a key member of the Vice President for University Advancement’s leadership team and is responsible for coordinating the work of the Alumni and Community Engagement team with the other functional areas in University Advancement. The AVP develops and maintains cooperative and collaborative relationships and programs with other university units, as well as deans, vice presidents, directors, and other leaders and campus groups. 

 

The AVP will also oversee the university’s events program, including alumni and community engagement events, wider University Advancement events and broader University-wide events, including commencement and events for the Office of the President. They serve as the Executive Director of the San Jose State University Alumni Association and are responsible for all board development, operational, personnel, and financial aspects of the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The AVP serves as the Alumni Association’s primary liaison between the University and the wider community on issues related to and involving SJSU alumni.

 

The ideal candidate will be an experienced alumni relations/advancement professional, preferably in higher education. The candidate should be energetic and enthusiastic with proven experience managing staff and volunteers, strong leadership skills, and the ability to work with others to create effective engagement programs across many platforms. They will demonstrate the proven ability to develop good working relationships up, down and across an organization, and be skilled at communicating with a broad range of audiences. The AVP oversees a team of 15 and will directly manage four positions: Director of Alumni Engagement, Director of Constituent Engagement, Director of Special Events, and Administrative Assistant.                       

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Alumni Engagement

  • Provide vision, leadership, and oversight to SJSU’s Alumni and Community Engagement Program, the SJSU Alumni Association Board of Directors and its committees, and other internal and external constituents    

  • Assume full responsibility for the development, implementation, and assessment of programs, events, services and outreach activities designed to increase and enhance long-term relationships between and among alumni, students, faculty, broader community, and the university. Develop and provide meaningful opportunities for volunteerism, service, and personal and professional development

  • Manage strategic planning for the Alumni and Community Engagement program and report regularly on the team's progress towards goals

  • Form and foster strong collaborative and mutually supportive relationships within the larger university community to support and achieve institutional goals and objectives

  • Provide broad, strategic oversight of SJSU’s alumni marketing and communications efforts

  • Engage alumni in the life of the university through consistent and positive communication using electronic, print and social media

  • Foster diversity at all levels of the organization, including the professional staff, the volunteer corps, and the constituencies served

  • Develop and execute promotional events and partnerships that raise the visibility of the university and the Alumni Association among all university constituents

  • Serve as the Alumni Association's executive director and oversee the day-to-day operations and activities of the organization

  • Hire, manage and provide direction and mentorship to Alumni and Community Engagement staff and contractors

  • Set departmental budget, goals, and objectives in alignment with University Advancement’s organizational goals, in consultation with the Vice President for University Advancement

  • Work closely with the SJSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, ensuring that their policy and programs are planned, implemented, and evaluated appropriately and in accordance with university policy

University Events

  • Work in collaboration with university leadership to develop a comprehensive strategy to plan and execute on- and off-campus special events designed to garner maximum exposure and support for the university's mission, goals and priorities

  • Provide event leadership, professional expertise and direction, ensuring that all events advance the university's brand, organizational objectives and development strategies

  • Manage a portfolio of university events that include presidential and advancement events varying in size and complexity, from individual executive engagements to commencement

  • Implement and/or support events and other activities designed to enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level audiences, including prospective donors, corporations and foundations, key business leaders and other influencers

 

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE

Education:

      A Bachelor’s degree is required. Master's degree is preferred.

Experience:

 

  • Five to seven years of direct or related successful experience in alumni relations and/or advancement

  • A minimum of three years of experience managing and/or staffing leadership volunteers or boards of directors or other volunteer bodies comprised of prominent individuals of stature

  • Leadership skills and strong experience in alumni or donor engagement activities and events

  • Demonstrated experience building strong working relationships and strategic partnerships across an organization to maximize program effectiveness

  • Experience building high performance program or project teams, including hiring, training, developing, mobilizing and mentoring staff in a fast-paced and changing environment

  • Advanced knowledge of and demonstrated experience with volunteer development and oversight

  • Deep knowledge and experience in Advancement strategic planning and implementation

  • Thorough knowledge of or familiarity with a membership-based environment

  • Demonstrated organizational skills in budget management, program development and staff development and supervision

  • A record of achieving success in fiscal performance, including active involvement in fund-raising campaigns

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and use of database

COMPETENCIES/ATTRIBUTES

The successful professional will have or be:

  • Ability to effectively handle multiple, competing issues in a timely manner

  • Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to establish and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships throughout the university, outside agencies and other organizations

  • Commitment to promoting a multicultural environment where diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are embedded into all aspects of operations

  • An understanding of and demonstrated success in using multiple levels of communication technology for outreach and engagement with targeted constituents

  • Knowledge of best practices and organizational success in reaching out to and engaging alumni, parents, students and members of the community

  • Knowledge of marketing, especially in market segmentation, market research, program analysis, and the development of success metrics

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Ability to work in a highly complex institution with political savvy, patience, and tolerance for ambiguity

  • Ability to manage and motivate staff, typified by presence, accessibility, a commitment to professional development, a relatable personality, and personal integrity

  • Knowledge of and commitment to using information technology to support advancement programs

  • Ability to work independently with little or no supervision, as well as the judgment to seek direction from the Vice President when necessary

  • Familiarity with SJSU as an alum or through other relationships is a significant plus 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

 

This is a full-time, exempt position. A competitive salary and generous employee benefits package will be offered. To be considered for this position or for additional information on the opportunity, please contact or send resume to:


David N. Randall

Principal

Randall Search Associates

415 769 4210

david@randallsearchassociates.com

San José State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. It considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability. This policy applies to all San José State University students, faculty, and staff as well as University programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations are made for applicants with disabilities who self-disclose.