Western Kentucky University (WKU) seeks a talented and experienced development executive with a strong record of accomplishments in fundraising and fundraising administration. Reporting to the President of WKU, the Vice President will have broad authority and responsibility for oversight of all aspects of the University Philanthropy office, including administrative resources, advancement services, alumni engagement and philanthropy. 

As part of the executive leadership team, the Vice President will work with President Timothy C. Caboni and the other members of the executive team to help implement President Caboni’s and the Board of Regents’ vision for the University. In order to help implement this vision, the Vice President needs to have great leadership and communication skills to interact with various campus and community constituency groups.

Responsibilities and Expectations: 

  • Align philanthropy and alumni engagement goals, initiatives and activities with the Climbing to Greater Heights:  The WKU Strategic Plan 2018-2028.
  • Develop a new portfolio of key donors as well as maintain the current one;
  • Lead, motivate and teach the philanthropy and alumni teams by implementing professional growth strategies;
  • Possess an understanding of fundraising essentials including: major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving and planned giving;
  • Create and implement metrics and use the appropriate data to grow the donor base;
  • Recognize opportunities, develop strategies, and implement enhancements that contribute to WKU’s mission;
  • Foster collaboration amongst the various University affiliated foundations;
  • Build strong relationships with alumni that motivate financial and other support and result in benefits to students, faculty and staff;
  • Possess expertise in the lifecycle of a donor including identification through stewardship;
  • Support the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the University;
  • Represent WKU professionally and transparently to its stakeholders, with outstanding oral and written communication;
  • Develop and lead an innovative capital campaign and other fund-raising efforts to secure needed resources for emerging programs and scholarships as well as infrastructure improvements.


The mission of Western Kentucky University (WKU) is to prepare students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. The University provides research, service, and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty, and other constituents. The University enriches the quality of life for those within its reach. 

Western Kentucky University was founded in 1906,and is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, an ethnically and racially diverse city of 61,500 people, about 110 miles south of Louisville and 65 miles north of Nashville. More than 50 different languages are spoken in and around Bowling Green and people from 35 nationalities call the area home. We seek to attract research- and teaching-active faculty, as well as staff members, from academically and culturally diverse backgrounds. The university's population of approximately 20,000 students includes 35% first generation university/college, 15% underrepresented minority and 6% international students. A regional comprehensive university, WKU is student-centered and focuses on applied research that expands knowledge; improves learning; and serves the region, state and nation. SACSCOC reaffirmed the University's accreditation for 10 years in 2015. The next scheduled reaffirmation is 2025.


  • Significant development experience building effective constituency-based philanthropy programs;
  • Experience in working with university advancement and alumni offices;
  • Demonstrated experience and a track record of leading a team and cooperating with leadership in a collaborative and results driven environment that enables the team to cultivate donors, and plan, execute and close major gifts and create a vibrant alumni network;
  • Significant experience with alumni engagement, as well as experience engaging and cultivating new donors;
  • Successful direct experience in planning or leading major comprehensive campaigns, with the anticipation of launching the public phase of a comprehensive capital campaign in the Fall of 2019;
  • Experience in working and interacting with governing boards and other volunteer leaders;
  • Demonstrated success with hiring and team development; and 
  • A baccalaureate degree, master’s degree preferred.

Parker Executive Search is assisting Western Kentucky University in this search. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made.  Interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials by February 15, 2019, to receive optimal consideration. Inquiries, applications and nominations are strongly encouraged and will be considered in confidence. Application materials should include a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements, a curriculum vitae and contact information for at least three references.  Confidential inquiries, nominations, and application materials should be directed to https://www.parkersearch.com/current-opportunities or:

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Grant Higgison, Associate
pwilliams@parkersearch.com || ghiggison@parkersearch.com
Phone: 770-804-1996 ext. 118 Fax: 770-804-1917

Applications will be considered in confidence, but the name and curriculum vitae of finalists will be released prior to on-campus meetings with key constituency groups as part of the final interview process.

University policy and state law require a thorough background investigation of finalists.

Western Kentucky University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services (EEO) at (270) 745-5121, a minimum of five working days in advance.

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