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Senior Director, Alumni Relations

Posting #: 4728
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Administrator, University Advancement

Position Title & Department:

 Senior Director, Alumni Relations; University Advancement
Posting #


Department Description:

With nearly 80,000 alumni living in every state and over 100 countries, the Office of Alumni Relations creates programming, communication, and networking/engagement opportunities for alumni and friends locally, nationally, and around the world. Alumni Relations, a department within the division of University Advancement and headquartered in the Degheri Alumni Center, coordinates engagement and scholarship fundraising for many alumni affinity groups, including Black, Latino, and Native alumni networks, Ministry Search Retreat alumni, and PRIDE alumni, among others. In addition, the Alcalá Alumni Fund, made up of unrestricted gifts from alumni, supports the university’s greatest needs. Signature events include the annual USD Wine Classic fundraiser supporting student scholarships, Alumni Honors, and Homecoming and Family Weekend. Alumni Relations also partners with Career Services to provide support for alumni seeking professional opportunities as well as connecting alumni with hiring opportunities to the USD community. Other significant USD partners include Parent & Family Relations, Athletics, Admissions, Student Affairs, and University Events & Partnerships. All graduates of the University of San Diego are members of the Alumni Association, managed by the professional staff in Alumni Relations. The Association serves as the umbrella organization for all alumni groups on campus and strives to create a welcoming environment for all alumni. Alumni Relations is advised by a volunteer Board of Directors, led by the president of the Alumni Association Board, with strategic task forces focusing on communication, experience, philanthropy, and volunteerism. The Senior Director of Alumni Relations serves as Executive Director of the Alumni Association. The mission of the Association is to engage and enrich the Torero community for life. USD’s national and international prominence is enhanced through stronger ties with alumni and by the alumni themselves.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

The senior director of Alumni Relations is responsible for strategic planning and implementation of meaningful alumni outreach, leadership development opportunities, effective communications and marketing plans, engaged volunteer management, and fundraising programs in support of the priorities, mission, and goals of the University of San Diego. This position will oversee and guide the activities and resources of the Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) and the Alumni Association Board of Directors, strategically driving broad-based engagement as part of a collaborative and fully integrated advancement model, maximizing philanthropic support and increasing the university’s Alumni Engagement Metric (AEM) score. The senior director is responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of assigned donors and prospective donors including alumni, parents, and friends of the university. The senior director is part of the vice president’s Advancement Leadership Team (ALT), serves on the President’s Cabinet, and is responsible for working closely with University Advancement staff, university leadership, deans, faculty, alumni colleagues in the academic units, athletics, and other university departments to articulate and implement policy, plans, goals, and activities related to alumni relations and engagement. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Leadership and Development     

  • Lead a forward-thinking, data-driven program that continually evolves in response to alumni needs, industry trends, and university priorities.
  • Evaluate and establish an effective communications and marketing strategy for alumni relations to ensure the efficient delivery of programs and events, both nationally and internationally, focusing the application of resources on markets of greatest potential. 
  • Create, plan, coordinate, supervise, and evaluate alumni engagement programs including but not limited to:
    • Local, regional, and international programming;
    • Affinity alumni group and Torero Clubs programming; 
    • Homecoming/Family Weekend and Class Reunions;
    • Alumni online community and e-correspondence;
    • Student programming and Student Alumni Association;
    • Annual USD Alumni Honors and the Wine Classic;
    • Alumni benefits and partnership programs. 
  • Monitor and assess programs; create metrics of success in alignment with CASE’s alumni engagement metrics framework. Network with other similar high-profile alumni programs across the nation to stay abreast of trends, successful programming concepts, and best practices.
  • Oversee the development of online opportunities for alumni connectivity.
  • Execute a complex annual calendar of activities in a cost-effective and timely manner. Develop a budget strategy maximizing effectiveness of OAR’s operating and restricted accounts; supervise budgetary planning for regional programs, international alumni engagement, and student programming, ensuring compliance with USD’s purchasing and financial policies.
  • Ensure subordinate supervisors and administrative professionals adhere to defined internal controls; manage systems and procedures to protect departmental assets. 
  • Direct the work of the professional staff in OAR including those supporting academic units; establish departmental goals and objectives; inspire productivity and new, strategic approaches.
  • Conduct annual performance evaluations and provide feedback on a regular basis including, but not limited to, coaching and corrective action.
  • Promote professional growth and provide development opportunities for employees.

Alumni Association Board of Directors     

  • Direct and guide the mission and vision of the Alumni Association; set both short-and long-term goals, objectives, and strategies for alumni relationship building and fundraising.
  • Serve as liaison to the Alumni Association Board of Directors, provide leadership in board activities and overall management of volunteer recruitment, training, and stewardship of Alumni Association board members.
  • Oversee the scheduling of board activities; develop initiatives to enhance alumni involvement and interaction with the university.
  • Serve as the main point of contact for the President of the Association and the Executive Committee of the Board. Identify and recruit top alumni to be members of the Board of Directors to further support the mission and goals of the university.
  • Oversee the successful integration of the Student Alumni Association with the strategic directions and initiatives of both the Alumni Association and the division of Student Affairs.
  • Provide experiential learning opportunities for students and enhance Alumni Association outreach efforts to prospective students.
  • Designate appropriate staff members to serve as support for the working committees of the Alumni Board and the Student Alumni Association.

Communications and Fundraising 

  • Develop and implement an integrated and cohesive strategic marketing and communications plan to advance Alumni Relations’ engagement and fundraising efforts; broaden awareness of programs and activities; and increase the visibility of programs across key constituent audiences.
  • Strengthen alignment of OAR activities and strategies with major giving, annual giving, and principal gifts, closely coordinating with the vice president and president to facilitate speaking opportunities with alumni groups.
  • Identify alumni with significant donor potential and assist in the development of relationships that will result in significant financial commitments to the university.
  • Fully comply with the university’s prospect management/move management system including the filing of donor/prospect contact reports; protect confidentiality in all communications regarding proposed and consummated gifts.
  • Steward assigned prospects and solicit contributions, as appropriate. 
  • Work closely with the Development team to integrate the variety of fundraising opportunities among, and initiatives by, alumni. 
  • Coordinate with university leadership to ensure their support and participation in fundraising endeavors. Ensure proper reporting of progress against identified goals related to AEM scores and total dollars raised from various constituencies.
  • Assist OAR team members with stewardship and cultivation activities. Assist OAR team members with sponsorship solicitations in support of key programs, including but not limited to the Wine Classic, Alumni Honors, and Homecoming/Family Weekend.
  • Project manage and partner with University Advancement and Development colleagues to raise sponsorships in support of key programs including but not limited to the Wine Classic, Alumni Honors, and Homecoming/Family Weekend.

Internal and External Relations 

  • Understand the university’s unique culture and administrative, governance, communications, and fiduciary protocols and responsibilities.
  • Articulate the significance of USD’s Catholic identity, mission, core values, and strategic directions in maintaining and advancing the university’s profile, reputation, and position.
  • Serve as the principal staff representative of the University of San Diego to its alumni. Serve as the principal staff representative of the alumni of the University of San Diego to external professional and community organizations.
  • Serve on various university committees on behalf of alumni relations.
  • Communicate OAR opportunities and successes to ALT and appropriate university leadership.

Special Conditions of Employment:

Effective June 1, 2023, based on CDC guidance, the University strongly encourages all campus members to stay up to date with Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination recommendations.  For more regarding information USD's COVID-19 protocols, please visit sandiego.edu/onward.

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 


Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in a successful higher education alumni relations program.
  • Strong interpersonal and management skills. Proven positive work ethic and professional attitude. 
  • Ability to communicate positively and effectively both in writing and orally with a divergent audience. Must remain calm and thoughtful under pressure; a high level of discernment required when responding to constituent concerns. 
  • Ability to recruit, organize, and manage salaried or volunteer personnel, as well as direct any individuals or committees of influence and affluence in fundraising protocol and competencies. 
  • Familiarity with emerging technology and electronic opportunities to create interactive relationships with alumni including mass email applications, database and project management software, and CRM systems. 
  • Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends.
  • Willingness and ability to travel.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ten years’ experience with a successful higher education alumni relations program.
  • Fundraising experience.

Performance Expectations - Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong sense of integrity and ethical conduct. Cultural competency and sensitivity a must; ability to understand different cultural contexts and viewpoints, demonstrate respect for others, adapt to different cultural settings; and accept cultural differences. 
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire confidence, to motivate, and to persuade; strong managerial and leadership skills.
  • Skilled at the assessment of staff to ensure they are appropriately aligned to deliver the objectives of the organization.
  • Ability to establish credibility and rapport with trustees and other key volunteers and prospects.
  • Entrepreneurial, creative, self-starter, and oriented toward action and results.
  • Ability to anticipate, recognize, and solve problems. Ability to organize time effectively, establish priorities, set and meet goals, and manage a large number of tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to manage budgets and prepare financial reports; work with various technologies including advanced knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Handle all activities and highly confidential information with patience, discretion, good judgment, courtesy, and tact while working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Knowledge of trends and issues in higher education, alumni engagement/programming and philanthropy.
  • Knowledge of Catholic faith, practice, and culture.
  • Knowledge of USD’s policies and procedures.
Posting Salary:

$11,894 - $12,500 per month; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

The salary range provided in this posting reflects what we reasonably expect to pay for this position.  Actual compensation offered or earned is dependent on experience, education and other factors including departmental budget.

Special Application Instructions:
Resume and Cover Letter Required

To be considered for this opportunity, please submit your letter of interest

and qualifications for the position as outlined in the Search Specifications in confidence to:





If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at jobs@sandiego.edu.

Additional Details:

Hours: 40 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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Notice of Availability: In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available at www.sandiego.edu/safety/documents/annualreport.pdf. This report is published by October 1st of each year and includes current institutional policies and procedures concerning campus safety and security; fire safety and evacuation policies; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response stands and protocols; and crime and fire statistics for the three previous calendar years. To request a paper copy, please contact the Clery Act Compliance Manager via email at clery@sandiego.edu, by calling (619) 260-4768, or in-person in the Hughes Administration Center, room 150.