Posted On: 2019-08-08
Closing On: 2019-09-13
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Intermediate
Download File

Job Description

The Opportunity

The University of Victoria is seeking a new Associate Vice President, Alumni & Development (AVPAD) to lead the strategy and implementation of a mission-based fundraising and alumni relations program driven by academic, research, and service priorities.

As a crucial leader in the University’s External Relations portfolio, the AVPAD will represent the University to its major donors, volunteers, and community leaders, and foster ongoing connections with UVic’s more than 130,000 alumni.

One of Canada’s leading research universities, and located in the stunning city of Victoria, BC, the University of Victoria’s alumni and development program is poised for excellence. There are exciting changes taking place across campus, including a new Strategic Framework, a fundraising campaign for Engineering, and preliminary planning underway for a university-wide campaign. Finally, with new leaders joining the University, the time is right for a visionary and inspirational leader to guide the University in the next stage of its philanthropic growth.

Reporting to the Vice-President External Relations, the Associate Vice-President Alumni & Development will work with the University’s executive, AVPs, Deans, Unit Leaders, and other External Relations colleagues in fostering close connections and financial support for the University.

The AVPAD will work to support the goals of the University’s 2018 - 2023 Strategic Framework. Alumni and Development has also established their own five year plan, and the team has grown and established foundational success pieces over the past few years. 


About the University of Victoria

The University of Victoria’s vision is to be the Canadian research university that best integrates outstanding scholarship, engaged learning and real-life involvement to contribute to a better future for people and the planet.  Located on a stunning campus known for its open green spaces, tall trees and state-of-the-art buildings, the University is home to more than 21,000 students from 129 countries, including 3,000 graduate students, enrolled in academic programs offered by the University’s ten Faculties and two Divisions, including: Science, Business, Law, Engineering, Medical Sciences, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Continuing Studies, and Human and Social Development.

The University has over 4,500 employees, including 900 faculty members. We award approximately 4,600 degrees a year and have over 130,000 alumni worldwide. 

One of Canada’s leading research universities with over $118M in research income, UVic excels in diverse forms of research and creative activity, innovation and knowledge mobilization that advance human knowledge, improve and enrich lives, tackle global challenges, and promote the sustainability of the planet. UVic researchers are global leaders, as demonstrated by the University’s success in achieving international, national and regional recognition. This excellence is reflected in UVic’s dynamic capabilities for research in areas as diverse as: culture and creativity; data science and cyber-physical systems; environment, climate and energy; global studies and social justice; health and life sciences; Indigenous research; ocean science and technology; physical sciences and engineering, and mathematics and computer science.

UVic aims to be a preferred partner and a leader in local and global engagement. Working together for mutual benefit with community, private sector, government and other educational and research organizations, UVic will expand and inform its approach to engaged research, creative activity, learning and knowledge mobilization to foster connections and co-create positive change. UVic’s annual economic impact is over $3.7 billion.

UVic has one of Canada’s largest university co-operative education programs, integrating academic studies with relevant paid work experience in more than 40 academic areas. Each year, businesses and organizations across the globe hire UVic students to complete more than 3,000 co-op work terms. We also have nearly 100 exchange programs with institutions in 25 countries around the world.

The largest capital project in our history is currently underway - a $200M initiative encompassing two new student housing and dining buildings providing 620 beds for students currently living off campus, and will include a wide range of meeting rooms, informal gathering places, designated Indigenous student lounge and classrooms.

UVic consistently ranks number one or two in the Maclean’s Magazine comprehensive university category, and is very highly ranked in a number of surveys.

See for a full summary and other university facts.

The UVic Edge: The UVic Edge is where dynamic learning and vital impact meet, in Canada's most extraordinary environment for discovery and innovation. Together, these elements nurture creative activity and ground us in the urgency of sustainability and healthy societies; shape our world view with Indigenous and international perspectives; and fuel our commitment to economic well-being, technological advances and social justice.  To learn about the UVic Edge, see The Edge is Here.  


Strategic Framework 2018-2023

At the University of Victoria, we are deeply committed to contributing to a better future for people, places, and the planet. It is with this in mind that our new Strategic Framework articulates our shared understanding of our vision, values and priorities in fulfilling that commitment. This Strategic Framework defines UVic’s role in creating a strong, healthy future for our students and for our local and global communities.

Driven by a perspective unique to UVic, this ambitious framework is the product of widespread consultation and reflects the contributions and ideas of many people across campus and in the community. The framework builds upon the strength of our people and our collegial, inclusive and collaborative culture and extends the significant planning around research, student success, Indigenization, international activity, equity and diversity, the campus environment, and communications. It confirms our character as a research-intensive and student-centred university, and our commitment to excellence.

The framework’s objective is to serve as a guide to our future — setting out priorities and high-reaching goals in six key areas and articulating strategies to realize them:

  1. Cultivate an extraordinary academic environment
  2. Advance research excellence and impact
  3. Intensify dynamic learning
  4. Foster respect and reconciliation
  5. Promote sustainable futures
  6. Engage locally and globally

For more information on the Strategic Framework, see:


Alumni & Development at the University of Victoria

Under the AVPAD’s leadership, Alumni & Development nurtures a culture of pride and philanthropy at UVic and generates resources for the University's priorities. It comprises a committed staff team who work both centrally and in faculties and departments to identify opportunities where donors and alumni can be instrumental to enhancing the university’s programs, research and student support. 

The University currently has over 130,000 alumni living in over 127 countries. Our Alumni Relations staff work in partnership with the UVic Alumni Association, a volunteer team of more than 20 alumni, to encourage a lifelong relationship between UVic alumni and their university. The Alumni Association delivers quality events, services, and communications aimed to stimulate interest, cultivate involvement in the prosperity of the university, and inspire feelings of loyalty and pride among alumni and current students.

With the generous support of our donors, we are committed to providing undergraduate and graduate students with an accessible education of the very highest quality. Donations to scholarships, bursaries and fellowships open doors for students seeking financial assistance, and encourage and reward their talent, effort and achievements. In addition, philanthropy supports cutting edge research and research integrated learning.

The University is currently in year three of a five-year development plan that seeks to increase fundraising from an average of $15 million in recent years to $25 million in 2022. The University is on track to make this goal and raised close to $19 million in the last fiscal year. The University is committed to this growth by making additional investments in the Alumni & Development budget.

In addition to new fundraising revenue, the University of Victoria Foundation, established in 1954, manages more than $440 million in assets and administers over 1,300 endowment funds that disburse more than $15 million annually for scholarships, bursaries, and other university purposes.


Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities

Reporting to the Vice-President External Relations, the Associate Vice-President, Alumni & Development will be responsible for the following:

Planning and Leadership

  • Work directly with the President, Deans, and University leadership to identify University-wide, and Faculty/Unit-based fundraising priorities that are congruent with the mission, values, and strategic focus of the University and the Strategic Framework.
  • Promote UVic’s academic and research vision in order to inspire philanthropic and volunteer support, through furthering the university’s brand messaging and differentiation implicitly and explicitly through channels such as presentations, promotional  materials and speeches that answer the question “why UVic?” in clear, compelling and persuasive ways.
  • Represent and advocate for Alumni Relations and Development offices with the various University board members, alumni, donors, and other educational institutions.
  • Maintain an active and visible presence to the broader external community through attendance at community functions and other public engagements as appropriate.
  • Actively engage key volunteers both individually and collectively, ensuring their support and participation where needed in unit activities (ie: the Alumni Association, University Board of Governors, and the four UVic Foundations).
  • Act as President of the University of Victoria Foundation and the U.S. Foundation.
  • Participate and contribute to External Relations’ strategic planning processes, and collaborate with other members of the External Relations Management Team, in particular Communications and Marketing and Community and Government Relations.
  • Provide advice to the Vice-President External Relations on matters related to the entire Division, and stand-in for the VP in their absence whenever possible.
  • Serve as a member of the University Integrated Planning Committee.
  • Provide leadership and management to over 55 employees.
  • Work with the unit Directors and Manager on the development of annual individual work plans that complement the Annual Work Plan; annually evaluate all direct reports.
  • Ensure oversight and management of all program budgets.
  • Work with the Director of Advancement Services to ensure an effective and robust advancement program that meets the unit’s strategic needs, ensuring the use of management and organizational processes and technological tools that support a rigorous program and appropriate accountability measures.
  • Work with unit leaders to ensure seamless integration and knowledge of each others’ activities and goals; model a culture of transparency and collaboration.


  • Provide strategic guidance for the Director of Fund Development, including development of strategic plans and tactics.
  • Review on an ongoing basis the Development program and ensure the implementation of a successful and sustainable mission-based fundraising program driven by academic, research and services priorities.
  • Personally cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of UVic’s most significant donors and prospects.
  • Effectively champion and manage the participation of senior administrators, including the President, Vice-Presidents, and other key stakeholders in the fundraising process, specifically in principal and major gift fundraising.
  • Identify, recruit and support key volunteers for participation in major gift solicitations.
  • Work with the Director of Fund Development to ensure full integration with Alumni Relations activities and plans, and full deployment of Advancement Services resources.
  • Work collaboratively with other University units raising non-philanthropic funds, such as governmental support, corporate sponsorships, and research investment.

Alumni Relations

  • Provide strategic guidance for the Director of Alumni Relations, including development of strategic plans and tactics, and financial targets.
  • Ensure best practices in alumni program and annual giving metrics and success measures; evaluate program success with Director on an ongoing basis.
  • Participate in alumni events and activities as needed; lead by example to establish a culture of support and engagement with alumni.
  • Work with the Director of Alumni Relations to ensure full integration with Development plans and opportunities.
  • Champion the alumni relations program with university and academic leadership; advocate for participation, funding, and support as required.


The Ideal Candidate

The new Associate Vice-President will be an inspiring visionary and strategic thinker, able to grasp and articulate the role and value of a university generally, and UVic in particular in society and our community. Passionate and motivating, with exceptional active listening skills, the ideal candidate will be adept at influencing, coaxing, and uniting others to seek aspirational goals, while also mastering the subtle art of leading from the side.  

The ideal candidate’s own ambition and drive, seeking to aim high and take risks, will be tempered by a pragmatic nature. The new AVPAD’s patience and persistence will allow them to thrive in a highly consultative and collegial organization, where diverse perspectives are sought out and encouraged.

The new incumbent’s technical skills will ideally include significant experience and accomplishments as a fundraiser and a comprehensive knowledge of alumni relations and fundraising in a complex organization, including campaign experience. 

Driven to represent the university with our various communities, the successful candidate will be an expert steward and builder of relationships, both in the community and on campus.  The new AVPAD will therefore quickly engage donors and leaders to foster and nurture these important connections. The ideal candidate will possess significant principal gifts experience, having worked closely with a President, Deans, and senior volunteers. 

An accomplished team leader, the new incumbent will be a motivator, enthusiastically and transparently communicating the division’s goals and needs, and supporting staff’s understanding of where they fit into them. An effective delegator and champion of their staff, the new AVPAD will quickly grasp when to lead, when to manage, and does both in dialogue and partnership. The ideal candidate will be a guide and facilitator who will possess a history of building successful, productive, collaborative teams. The AVPAD will bring out the best in others by providing a framework for developing and harnessing their creativity, talent, and commitment.

Reflective and analytical, the successful candidate will have a business focus and a sound knowledge of best practices, establishing clear expectations for performance and behaviour. The successful candidate will focus on training others to feel equipped, confident, and supported as they engage in relationship-building and fundraising on behalf of the University.

Building on the University’s evolving culture of philanthropy, the new AVPAD will employ education and collaboration to help others learn and understand why a healthy development and alumni relations enterprise is critical to the ongoing success of the University mission. The new incumbent will be comfortable with change and working in ambiguity, and ideally has helped onboard new senior leaders.

Excited to be a true community member and patron, the ideal candidate will appreciate all that is unique about BC, the Island, Victoria, and UVic. The new incumbent will align closely to the university’s values and west coast sensibilities, and will engage authentically in discussions regarding responsible investing, reconciliation, and climate change.


Required Skills & Experience

  • Proven fundraising leadership experience gained within a large, complex organization and involving collaboration and leadership of a large team responsible for all facets of development, both centrally and in unit-based programs.
  • A broad and deep understanding of multi-faceted campaign planning, implementation and management, with a track record of success in major gift fundraising and, ideally, involvement or exposure to comprehensive campaigns.
  • Strategic planning experience with the ability to identify opportunities and anticipate challenges, both in the internal and external environments, and to incorporate broad vision into short-term and long-term goals.
  • Proven ability providing leadership and effectively developing and managing high-performing and creative teams in a decentralized environment; adept at recruiting top personnel, empowering staff, and developing the capability of employees to capitalize on their full potential.
  • Effective in developing a shared vision and strategy among academic leaders, staff and volunteers working within a university brand framework to  provide a strong sense of purpose and a culture that is focused on building lasting relationships between UVic and our donors and alumni.
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities to gain the confidence and respect of academic leaders, faculty members, the Executive Council, Board of Governors and other internal and external stakeholders as well as to influence and build consensus.
  • Experience working with Alumni Relations and/or a sound understanding of the important role that alumni play in a university.
  • An articulate communicator with highly effective presentation and public speaking skills who combines excellent oral skills with equally strong written skills, and has a proven ability to relate to diverse groups of people and communicate effectively at all levels, and to all audiences and settings.
  • Ability and commitment to develop and manage a broad, diverse set of relationships and to take initiative and work collaboratively with academic and administrative staff, External Relations colleagues, alumni, students and volunteers.
  • High standards of honesty, trust, and openness that reinforces the development and sustainability of a healthy, equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace environment; a respect for academic integrity.
  • Highly professional with the ability to maintain focus and effectiveness, emotional control and maturity.
  • Demonstrated high level of stamina and enthusiasm for an organization and its mission.


For More Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of The University of Victoria. For more information about this leadership opportunity, please contact Christoph Clodius, Vice President, Search + Talent by email at or by phone at 604-315-5629.

To view the full Position Brief, please visit:

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. To apply, please send a resume and letter of interest, to the email address listed above by September 13, 2019.


The University of Victoria is an equity employer and encourages applications from women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of the University. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen-speaking peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.