Posted On: 2017-11-16
Closing On: 2018-01-01
Location: Kingston, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
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Job Description

Vice-Principal (Advancement)

The Opportunity

Queen’s University is seeking a new Vice-Principal (Advancement) to lead the institutional Advancement strategy, efforts, and team.  The Vice-Principal (Advancement) will serve in this highly visible role as the senior administrative officer with overall leadership responsibility for a comprehensive, integrated approach to fundraising and alumni engagement.

Reporting to the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, the Vice-Principal (Advancement) will work closely with the Principal, Provost, Vice-Principal (University Relations) and other Vice-Principals and Deans, and with the Board of Trustees and its External Relations and Development Committee, as well as with academic leaders, to advance the mission of the University through our engagement and partnership with alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, parents, and other constituents.  As a member of the University’s senior leadership team, the Vice-Principal (Advancement) makes recommendations on matters of policy and program priorities, participates in university-wide planning, and advises the Principal on urgent matters.

The role entails a significant amount of hands-on relationship building and engagement with major donors, alumni, and other key stakeholders in support of the University’s advancement objectives.  The Vice-Principal (Advancement) will be a key ambassador and fundraiser for Queen’s, working with the Principal to achieve our Advancement objectives, while directly participating and leading staff in major and transformational gift cultivation and solicitation to further build on the strength of Queen’s alumni and donor relationships.

This is a fantastic time to join the Queen’s team.  In 2016-17, Queen’s University celebrated its 175th anniversary buoyed by an unprecedented decade of philanthropy, culminating in the remarkable success of our recent $640 million Initiative Campaign.  Through this collective success we have demonstrated that our university community understands and values Advancement.  The commitment of our alumni, donors, and the broader Queen’s community has proven powerful, and the impact of the campaign can be seen throughout the University, across Canada, and around the world.  We look forward to welcoming a new colleague and leader who will help us build on this success as we strive to go boldly into the University’s next 175 years.


Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a high-level strategist who has the ability to establish a collaborative vision and rally people around common objectives.  Forward thinking and innovative, the successful candidate will use strong analytic abilities to identify and undertake changes that will effectively broaden the scope and impact of Advancement’s work across the University.  The Vice-Principal (Advancement) will quickly grasp the complexity and nuances of Queen’s, and will help us prioritize and direct our energy to the best opportunities and impact.

Ideally bringing previous university experience, the Vice-Principal will possess a deep understanding of the core mission of the University, including research and innovation, teaching, and learning.  The successful candidate will encourage and foster interdisciplinary projects, and will engage with priorities of all of the academic and shared services units that drive Queen’s strategic framework.  A team player with a strong sense of political acuity, the new incumbent will work with colleagues to help them understand how to best partner with, participate in, and achieve success in their Advancement efforts.

A leader who facilitates and collaborates, the Vice-Principal (Advancement) will appreciate and acknowledge the efforts of others.  The ideal candidate will possess significant experience leading and managing people, programs, and change.  A people-builder who has proven experience in coaching teams and guiding people to their full potential, the Vice-Principal will be generous with knowledge, experience, and time.  The successful candidate will have an integrative approach to work and to Advancement, and will value input, ideas, and discussion with others.  Respectful and direct, the Vice-Principal will be known for exceptional follow-through, and for keeping others informed of progress and challenges.

The ideal candidate will possess a broad Advancement experience, including exposure to all the major areas of the portfolio.  In addition to demonstrated success in major and transformational gifts, the Vice-Principal will bring experience in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing significant integrated fundraising campaigns.  Thoughtful about issues, trends, and opportunities affecting advancement, the successful candidate will bring a strong understanding of the philanthropic landscape across the country and around the globe.

A person of integrity and humility, the Vice-Principal (Advancement) will be a culturally-competent networker who builds authentic relationships internally and externally.  The successful candidate will possess exceptional interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.  Curious and consultative, the Vice-Principal asks questions, listens, and talks with people to understand different perspectives and needs.


A confident communicator who is comfortable in the limelight, the successful candidate will nonetheless prefer to shine the light the stories, impact, and potential of Queen’s.  They will excite and inspire our investors and partners, and will champion and celebrate donors at all levels.  The Vice-Principal should also have significant experience working with a Board, and/or other senior level volunteers.


The successful candidate will embrace the traditions and the exceptional spirit of the Queen’s community.  Warm and engaging, the Vice-Principal (Advancement) will connect effectively with students, alumni, and volunteers in a respectful, appreciative, and enthusiastic manner.  The new incumbent will enjoy and see the value of engaging students as equal partners, seeking their input and collaboration.  The Vice-Principal will bring a global mindset and commitment to diversity, and will be supportive of both inclusion and international priorities for the University and our alumni.


About Queen’s University

Widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading universities, Queen’s University has an international reputation for scholarship, research, social purpose, and spirit.  Founded in 1841 and located in Kingston, Ontario, Queen’s is committed to using its talents and resources to rise to the challenges facing our local, national, and global communities.  The campus has a fully integrated network of six libraries and is home to several outstanding museums and arts facilities, including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

Queen’s student body consists of approximately 24,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students, drawn from more than 100 countries and every Canadian province and territory.  International students make up 8.1% of the full-time student population and 95% of the student population comes from outside of Kingston.

Queen’s attracts extraordinary students.  When compared to 500 other institutions as part of the Collegiate Learning Assessment, first-year Queen’s students rank in the 90th percentile for critical thinking, problem solving, written communication, and lifelong learning skills.  By fourth-year, our students are in the 98th percentile, underscoring Queen’s transformative learning experience.  Over 87% of our students graduate, which rank first in Canada according to Maclean’s 2016 Rankings.  Queen’s ranked 4th among medical-doctoral universities in Canada in Maclean’s 2016 University Rankings, and 1st for student satisfaction.

Queen’s offers a full spectrum of undergraduate and graduate research-based programs, with a concentration of expertise in physics, chemistry, cancer research, geosciences, environment and biodiversity, social determinants of health, surveillance studies, and art history and art conservation.

Research prominence is a pillar of Queen’s Strategic Framework and plays a critical role in the University’s ability to contribute knowledge and ideas to Canada and to the world.  A 5-year faculty renewal plan has been launched to further research and academic excellence. Innovation Park, the Office of Partnerships and Innovation, and the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre are actively building a global hub for innovation and an innovation eco-system for Eastern Ontario.

Queen’s is home to Canada’s most recent STEM-field Nobel Prize winner, 41 Canada Research Chair holders, a Canada Excellence Research Chair, a Canada First Research Excellence Fund award, and is second in Canada in faculty awards.  Queen’s is also the recent recipient of three Canada Foundation for Innovation grants under the Major Science Initiatives fund and two Networks of Centres of Excellence grants, all of which recognize the awarded research centres and scholars as national and international leaders in their respective research fields.


Student, Alumni, and Volunteer Engagement

Students are at the centre of Queen’s, and the University’s relationship with students is unique compared to other universities.  Queen’s students are actively and intimately involved in all levels of university governance and decision-making.  The value of student life and engagement at Queen’s often leads our students to become engaged alumni, which in turn leads to high levels of pride and commitment to Queen’s.  This in turn leads to high levels of volunteerism, both locally and around the globe, as well as donations from a great number of alumni.  This virtuous cycle contributes to excellence at Queen’s, and an unparalleled student experience.

The Office of Advancement works closely with student and alumni associations, volunteers, and leaders.  These include the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA), the Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA), the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) and the Alma Mater Society (AMS), the undergraduate Student Government.  Together, we advance the reputation of Queen’s as an exceptional research based institution of higher learning.

The student government organizations serve and represent the diversity of students at Queen’s, and advocate for students with all levels of University administration.  As well, the AMS and SGPS provide services and activities to students, serve as a liaison between the various affiliated student societies, and cultivate a sense of social awareness and responsibility amongst students. In partnership with the University and alumni, the AMS and SGPS have always been on the forefront of student life and continue to build experiences and a lasting legacy for students and the community.

Volunteer engagement is a key priority in the Office of Advancement.  Queen’s works closely with alumni as volunteer partners and recognizes the unique contributions that alumni volunteers make to Queen’s. The Office of Advancement partners closely with the QUAA Board of Directors, the Global Branch Network, Class Reunion Planners, and alumni volunteers in other programs across campus and around the world.

The mission of the QUAA is “To reach out and foster a lifelong association with Queen’s, to engage our members in the life and work of the University, and to serve the alumni community in all its diversity." All graduates of Queen’s University, as well as students who have completed one full academic year are automatically members of the QUAA.  We work to unite our diverse alumni community and celebrate our many contributions and achievements.  The Queen’s University Alumni Association is governed by a volunteer President and Board of Directors and works closely with the Department of Alumni Relations.

The Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA) is a not-for-profit student-run organization that prepares students for success by connecting them to their future lives as engaged Queen’s alumni. Volunteer student Ambassadors work alongside the department of Alumni Relations and the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) Board to connect students to their future as alumni, and to offer students the opportunity to hear, network, and connect with Queen’s alumni.


University Strategic Priorities

In early 2014, with the support of Queen’s Board of Trustees, the senior administration introduced the Strategic Framework to help guide the University community through the challenges of an institution with both teaching and research missions.  After 175 years, Queen’s has earned its reputation for excellence, but in these times of economic change, technological advance, and the globalization of education and knowledge, we cannot take that continued success for granted.


Four strategic drivers were developed, along with specific metrics and performance targets that directly support Queen’s success in its endeavours.  Two sets of supplementary indicators, measuring the quality of our student population and additional components of financial sustainability, are also monitored.  The key performance indicators for the Strategic Framework’s four drivers are:


Student Learning Experience

  • Undergraduate Student Engagement
  • Graduate Student Engagement
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Experiential Education Opportunities
  • New Credentials: Professional and Other Innovative Programming


Research Prominence

  • Research Intensity and National Position
  • Tri-Council Funding
  • Alignment with the Strategic Research Plan


Financial Sustainability

  • Revenue Generation
  • Revenue Diversification
  • Cost Containment



  • International Research Engagement
  • International Undergraduate Student Recruitment
  • International Undergraduate Student Engagement

Interim implementation reports on the Strategic Framework have been released, which highlight the steps taken by the Queen’s community to advance progress in our performance in key areas and to illuminate the path ahead for Queen’s.


Queen’s University - Links & Additional Information


Advancement at Queen’s

Philanthropy, in the form of volunteerism and donations, has been an essential ingredient in Queen’s success over its 176-year history.

Led by the Vice-Principal (Advancement) and in partnership with the university’s senior leadership, the Office of Advancement leads and coordinates alumni relations, alumni marketing and communications, fundraising and stewardship to build life-long relationships with alumni, volunteers and friends of Queen’s to advance the strategic vision and academic mission of the university.

Advancement uses a centralized/decentralized model comprised of approximately 130 positions across Central Advancement and faculties and schools.  Central Advancement provides systems and supports for all advancement activities, strategy, and fundraising for university wide priorities and assistance for faculty/school priorities.  The lead faculty-based Advancement staff typically have a direct report to the Chief Development Officer or the VP Advancement, with a dotted line to their respective Deans.  The university has adopted an Activity-Based Budget model, and Central Advancement has a $12 million operating budget.  


Alumni Relations & Annual Giving

The Department of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving works to develop informed, involved, and invested stakeholders who engage in, and financially support, the priorities of the university.  The Department builds strong relationships with a diverse, passionate, and highly-educated base of stakeholders comprising alumni, students, parents, members of Queen’s faculty and staff, and other friends. 

Our alumni body of 150,000+ is stretched across the globe.  The team interacts directly with alumni and also works closely with the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) to reach out and foster a lifelong association with Queen’s, to engage our members in the life and work of the university, and to serve the alumni community in all its diversity. Equally as important, by working with the Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA) we strive to connect students to their future as engaged alumni and to help prepare them for their best chance of success in their life as Queen’s alumni.

Alongside the QUAA and the QSAA, we work to unite our diverse student and alumni communities and celebrate our many contributions and achievements.  This is done through a variety of communications, programs, events and reunions, philanthropy, volunteerism, and other engagement opportunities. Together, we advance the reputation of Queen’s as an exceptional research-based institution of higher learning. 

The Alumni Relations program seeks to keep alumni – nationally and internationally – connected to their university and to one another through a variety of programs, services, and benefits.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Volunteer support and engagement
  • Annual giving activities and programs
  • Homecoming and reunion events
  • Branch activities across Canada and the globe (50 active branches and 90 branch events were held in 2016-17)
  • Affinity partnerships
  • Alumni education and travel programs
  • Career services and network

In fiscal 2016-17, the overall Annual Giving program at Queen’s, both centrally and in the faculties, secured $7.6 million in annual funding to help meet Queen’s greatest needs.  Over $5 million of this total was contributed by more than 8,000 alumni donors.  Many individuals begin their giving relationship at Queen’s with annual gifts and go on to make major or planned gifts.


Alumni Marketing and Communications

Working in partnership with colleagues in the Office of Advancement and units across the university, Alumni Marketing and Communications develops print and digital communication strategies and materials that inspire pride, raise awareness of university priorities, and communicate the impact of philanthropy at Queen’s.

As a team, we work to engage Queen’s alumni, donors, and friends to help advance the university’s mission and vision.  Our work includes integrated communications planning, development writing, website and social media management, photo and video production coordination, and support for local and international advancement activities including, annual giving, gift planning, alumni relations, donor recognition, and stewardship. 



For many individuals, a voluntary financial donation is the ultimate expression of gratitude and trust for an organization.  The Department team is at the epicentre of this privileged exchange representing the university and works with benefactors (and families) on donations at the major and principal gift levels, including planned gifts.

Development is comprised of a core central team who support and work collaboratively with the senior leadership of the university, faculty members and development teams in faculties, schools and key programs.  Development staff assists alumni and friends with their giving to the university by matching their philanthropic goals with the priorities of the university.

It is important that potential contributors and benefactors understand the potential impact of support for Queen’s and how their values can be reflected in the priorities of the university.

Major gifts, principal level gifts, and planned gifts can be maximized by deploying any number of sophisticated gift vehicles and our experienced staff provide confidential advice to potential contributors and their advisors.  We also collaborate with colleagues across the university’s International, Research, University Relations, and Student Recruitment offices to ensure that we align our support for the university’s strategic objectives, and maximize our use of resources and relationships.

The Development team continues to engage benefactors well after a gift is completed through a contemporary approach to stewardship.  A designated group within Development provides a seamless and highly personalized level of service, liaising with front-line development officers to ensure that an appropriate expression of gratitude is conveyed to benefactors and their immediate family and friends.

Legacy gifts also are facilitated by Development.  A group of Gift Planning specialists works with people who would like to plan a gift to Queen’s as part of their legacy by providing confidential advice on the complexities of estate gifts, life insurance, annuities and many more giving options.

Development’s ability to identify and acquire a deeper knowledge of the interests and capacity of potential benefactors is augmented by the expertise and support of the Prospect Research group in Advancement Services.  Development Officers are provided with detailed information about prospective contributors, which helps inform strategic discussions with our leading “prospects”.


Advancement Services

The Advancement Services team works in partnership with colleagues in Advancement and other sections of the university to support our shared goals in the areas of relationship building and fundraising. Our operation provides integrated expertise and support in the areas of technology systems and infrastructure, business analysis and reporting, data management and integrity, prospect management and research, gift management and customer service. Queen’s Advancement uses the Ellucian Advance Web database.

The Prospect Research team discovers, gathers, and analyzes relevant knowledge about individual prospects and donors, and provides tools for sharing and using that knowledge.  The Gift Services team is responsible for gift consultation, processing, and receipting.  Gift Services is the primary conduit through which Queen’s reports to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and also supports advancement staff through policy development and training.

The Information Technology Management team supports the information and technology needs of Advancement through the maintenance of secure systems and information sharing processes.  Also, the team provides expertise in web application development, service desk support and application training.  The team is currently working on two new projects to expand our expertise in the areas of Business Intelligence and data governance.


Advancement Strategic Priorities

In 2017, Queen’s University celebrated its 175th anniversary buoyed by an unprecedented decade of philanthropy. During the Initiative Campaign (2006-2016), we were inspired by the commitment, generosity, and leadership of benefactors and volunteers, who have strengthened Queen’s global reputation for excellence, revitalized the campus landscape, and helped attract promising students as well as eminent scholars and researchers.

With Advancement’s assistance, the university has made significant progress in the priority areas of its Strategic Framework: Student Learning Experience; Research Prominence; Financial Sustainability; Internationalization.

Advancement’s Strategic Priorities 2020 directs our path for the next three years.  Supported by the budget model, and building on strengths developed during the period of the Initiative Campaign, we will pursue five strategic priorities:

Application Process

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this executive search on behalf of Queen’s University.  For further information about this leadership opportunity, please contact Tara George, KCI Senior Vice President, by email at   

Interested candidates are invited to send resume and letter of interest to the above email address by January 1, 2018.  Nominations are also welcomed for this position.  All inquiries, applications, and nominations will be held in strict confidence. 

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons.  The University will provide support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility. Recently named “Best Canadian Employer” by Forbes, Queen’s offers progressive compensation packages and strives to provide career enrichment, as well as staff learning and development opportunities.