Founded in 1963, Kennesaw State University is a highly innovative institution with a history of tremendous growth and a trajectory for continued excellence in the future. KSU has grown to an enrollment of more than 35,000 students, and is now one of the top 50 largest public universities in the nation and the third largest institution in the University System of Georgia. With 150 graduate and undergraduate programs, KSU has quickly ascended into R-2 Carnegie Classification – a doctoral institution with “high research activity” - which places it in the top 6% of all colleges and universities nationwide that are classified as either R1 or R2.

KSU operates campuses in Marietta and Kennesaw, separated by Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park with 2,965 acres of historical and scenic hiking/biking trails. KSU features Division I athletics and combines a suburban setting within the dynamic environment of the Metro-Atlanta region (home to 15 Fortune 500 companies).

To build upon this growth, Kennesaw State seeks an exceptional individual to help develop and execute strategies that will position the university as a world-class academic institution poised to broaden and expand its mission on a regional, national and international level.

Position Summary

The Associate Vice President (AVP) for Development reports to the Vice President for University Advancement and Chief Executive Officer of the KSU Foundation, and serves as a key member of the Vice President’s senior management team. The AVP will be an experienced leader with a comprehensive grasp of advancement and the critical role that advancement plays in the success of the institution. Communications and relationship building skills are of paramount importance, as is the ability to inspire ever-higher levels of support from the campus community, volunteers, alumni, donors and prospects.

At Kennesaw State University, the Associate Vice President develops, orchestrates and manages the overall fundraising strategy, execution and goals in coordination with the Vice President for University Advancement and Chief Executive Officer of the KSU Foundation and other members of the development team. These duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Provide direct supervision, coaching and mentoring to a team of 20 staff members/development officers - encompassing annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, stewardship/donor relations, and development operations.
  • Provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture that empowers the development team to meet the needs and expectations of advancement while maintaining focus on strategic funding priorities.
  • Set mutually acceptable individual and team goals, holding staff accountable for performance and ensuring that each individual effectively utilizes moves management strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift prospects and donors based on University priorities.
  • Personally cultivate and manage a select portfolio of major gift prospects (~20-30 donors/prospects) with the capacity to make commitments at the six and seven figure levels.
  • Work collaboratively with the Deans and President’s Cabinet Members, their respective development officers, and volunteer leaders to articulate and coalesce a congruent and compelling set of fundraising objectives throughout the academic enterprise.
  • Maintain a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of current fundraising priorities within the University, and keep that agenda in front of the academic and administrative leadership.  
  • Implement effective engagement strategies involving campus partners, trustees and other stakeholders to effectively build the major gift pipeline.
  • Assist with design, strategy, implementation and execution as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the campus’s upcoming comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Demonstrated success working with college Deans to orchestrate the articulation of strategic and compelling fundraising objectives, enhance the academic leaders’ fundraising skill sets, and provide direction, coaching and staff support to meet goals required.
  • Minimum 6+ years in higher education fund raising with 3+ years of management experience.
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills, strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated success in securing annual, planned, major and principal giving within a larger public university highly desirable. Experience with corporate and foundation giving, strategic stewardship initiatives, and volunteer management preferred.
  • Familiarity with Moves Management implementation and best practices is preferred.
  • Experience with comprehensive campaigns in higher education at a large, public institution.
  • Travel regionally/nationally as well as attend evening and weekend activities as required.

Other Required Information

As part of the background check process, this position WILL require a satisfactory Criminal, Consumer Credit check and MVR (Motor Vehicle Report) as a condition of employment. See and for policy details.

Application Process

The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (with a letter of interest, a complete CV, and a list of at least five references that includes contact information), or expression of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting Kennesaw State University. Review of materials will begin immediately, and continue until an appointment is made. Please submit nominations and applications by March 1, 2019. Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the hiring authority. The successful applicant will be required to send academic degree transcripts to Kennesaw State University.  Background checks will be conducted prior to taking the position. Please submit application materials through the Parker Executive Search website.

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Grant Higgison, Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900
Atlanta GA, 30328
Tel: 770-804-1996 ext. 118 || Fax: 770-804-1917 ||

Kennesaw State University, a member of the University System of Georgia, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and/or veteran status. Georgia is an Open Records state.

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