Associate Vice Chancellor, Development

Apply now Job no: 493665
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Alumni / Development / Fundraising

Review of application materials will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Nominations, inquiries, and applications, including letter of interest and resume, should be forwarded, in confidence, to:  

Susan VanGilder, Partner

Matthew Bunting, Managing Associate

Applications submitted through the DU jobs website will NOT be considered.

The University of Denver invites nominations and applications for the position of Associate Vice Chancellor, Development.

The University of Denver: An Overview

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is an independent, doctoral-granting university with high research activity and robust undergraduate and graduate education. DU has become increasingly known, nationally and internationally, for its creative, 21st-century approaches to problem-based scholarship, as well as its holistic, student-centered approach to learning and its dedication to the public good through local, national and international partnerships. The University plays an integral role in the cultural, social, economic, and educational vibrancy of the fast-growing city and region it calls home.

DU Campus and the Rocky Mountain Region

The University of Denver is located on a 125-acre campus less than 30 minutes from downtown. The neighborhood surrounding the University of Denver features many amenities, including parks, farmers’ markets, South Pearl restaurants, coffee shops, public transportation, convenient shopping and a multitude of recreational opportunities.

During the past 20 years, DU has invested more than $852 million in renovating, modernizing and growing its campus. Three new buildings represent the first phase of the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan, an ambitious and innovative vision for the physical future of DU. The Burwell Center for Career Achievement and the Dimond Family Residential Village opened in Fall 2020. The Community Commons opened in Winter 2021. Through the Denver Advantage, the University aims to integrate the campus and its surrounding neighborhood, open the doors of campus to the city of Denver, and foster a great sense of belonging for the DU community. The beautiful campus, with sweeping views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains, includes an arboretum.

Both the city of Denver and the state of Colorado are attractive destinations for business and industry. Denver holds a top-five position for best places for business and careers (Forbes). Business Insider ranked Denver second in its “50 Best Places to Live in America Right Now,” and U.S. News and World Report rated Colorado as the nation’s top economy. Denver had the ninth-largest population growth in the U.S. between July 2017 and July 2018 and is a magnet for young professionals, with a median population age at just 34 years old (U.S. Census Bureau). Colorado ranks as the third-most educated state in America (WalletHub) and is the second-best state to find a job (U.S. News & World Report). U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best Places to Live study ranked the city of Denver in the second spot, citing the city’s proximity to outdoor recreation, a progressive mindset, and its walkability.

With 300 days of sunshine a year, there are plenty of reasons to get outside. Not only is Colorado the country’s most popular ski and snowboarding destination, but it is also home to four national parks, 42 state parks and many outdoor recreation areas for boating, hiking, camping, swimming, snowmobiling, bird watching, picnicking, world-class fishing, hunting, and biking. DU students, faculty and staff enjoy countless adventures in the great outdoors of the vast Rocky Mountains and can explore the diverse cultural attractions, art galleries, concerts, sporting events and the vibrant city scene of Colorado’s Mile High City.

The Strategic Plan: DU IMPACT 2025

The University of Denver has a bold and courageous vision for higher education in the 21st century. DU champions innovation and reform that will have an enormous impact on our students, the research of our faculty, the community and beyond. DU continues to innovate around its strengths in teaching, learning, and discovery. The faculty accelerates the ways research can be used to address society’s most vexing problems. Currently, Provost Clark leads implementation of DU IMPACT 2025 with the strong support of Chancellor Haefner, who has introduced five strategic imperatives that will accelerate DU’s progress toward the goals of DU IMPACT 2025. These imperatives include: ensuring a sustainable future for the next generation; creating a unique global, 4D student experience, emphasizing a holistic approach to learning and student success; cultivating an exceptionally diverse, inclusive, equitable and welcoming community; defining and modelling a global, engaging research university; and ensuring a signature portfolio of academic programs.

Academic Profile

The University enrolls approximately 14,000 students from all regions of the United States and over 85 foreign countries in its distinguished undergraduate liberal arts and science and graduate and professional programs. The University’s academic programs are led by eleven academic deans. Each program features cutting-edge curricula, professor-led courses and access to the latest tools and technology. The 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes allow personalized instruction as well as multiple opportunities for research, exploration, and holistic student development. There are more than 700 full-time appointed faculty members, of which 90 percent have earned the highest degree in their fields. DU faculty often collaborate on scholarly inquiry and pedagogical reflection with faculty and students from other disciplines, divisions, schools, and colleges across campus, as well as with community partners. These efforts—and many others like them—deepen the University’s intellectual portfolio and expand the opportunities available for its faculty and students. U.S. News and World Report lists the University of Denver among the nation’s top 100 universities. The Carnegie Classifications identify DU as a “Doctoral University: High Research Activity.”

Student Life

In Fall 2020, there were 5,699 undergraduates and 8,157 graduate students. Four and a half percent of students are international, 60 percent of students are female, and over a quarter identify as a domestic minority. DU students display great ethnic, cultural, and spiritual diversity. What binds them together is a commitment to creativity and scholarly excellence, attention and access to professors and an insatiable curiosity and drive to make a difference in the world. Students work closely with faculty, staff, peers, members of the broader Denver/Rocky Mountain area, and international communities on projects, research and fieldwork. They cross disciplines to discover new perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. To prepare students for the challenges of productive citizenship, the University of Denver offers rigorous programs that emphasize critical thinking, innovative problem solving, ethical leadership and global engagement. When students leave DU, they are ready to make a difference in organizations and communities around the world.


The University has total annually budgeted revenues of $538 million and total endowment assets exceed $786 million as of June 30, 2019. The University’s research partnerships with corporations include Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance, DePuy, Arrow Electronics, DaVita, Ball Corporation and others.

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

DU has a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The DEI Action Plan serves as a guide to DU’s abiding commitment to truly embody a forward-looking institution and community where all can belong, contribute, and thrive. Three senior administrators in the chancellor’s cabinet have direct accountability for DEI work: the vice chancellor for student life and inclusive excellence, the vice chancellor for human resources and inclusive community and the vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, who provides overarching thought leadership for diversity, equity, and inclusion work on campus.

DU is fully committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse community and promotes the full participation and prosperity of all of its members. The University embraces a distinctive philosophy that employs senior leadership as catalysts in a concerted effort to recruit all members of the University community—students, staff, faculty, and administrators—in the implementation of comprehensive plans for diversity and inclusion. DU’s IRISE research incubator is just one example of that commitment.

About the Chancellor 

Named chancellor by the University of Denver Board of Trustees in 2019, Dr. Jeremy Haefner is the University of Denver’s 19th chancellor and brings over three decades of leadership experience in higher education. Chancellor Haefner seeks to continue and build upon the DU community’s momentum. Dr. Haefner strongly believes DU is an institution uniquely able to serve students as they prepare for successful careers and meaningful lives—today and into the future. In DU’s faculty, he sees limitless potential and talent and knows their research will further the creation of knowledge and serve the public good. As chancellor, Jeremy Haefner energetically supports the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence, and he will continue to build on DU’s long legacy of fearless innovation and ethical leadership.

Previously, Chancellor Haefner served as DU’s provost and executive vice chancellor. He has also served in other leadership positions such as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and, at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, as dean of engineering and applied science, associate vice chancellor for research and dean of the graduate school. He has held fellowships with the American Council on Education, the National Learning Infrastructure Institute, and the University of Murcia in Spain. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in mathematics and has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.

About the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

In Summer 2020, Mary Clark began her tenure as provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Denver. With expertise in the areas of higher education law, women’s legal history, legal ethics, judicial politics, and property, Provost Clark also holds an appointment as professor in the Sturm College of Law. Prior to being named provost and executive vice chancellor at DU, Provost Clark served as interim provost, deputy provost, and dean of faculty at American University, associate dean for faculty & academic affairs at AU’s law school, director of its doctor of juridical science program, and acting director of its Law and Government Program. Before joining American University, Provost Clark was a visiting lecturer and research scholar at Yale Law School, a Supreme Court fellow with the Federal Judicial Center, a teaching fellow and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and an appellate attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. She clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Montgomery, Alabama, following graduation from law school. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College (magna cum laude) and Harvard Law School and publishes in the fields of women’s legal history and judicial politics.

DU Advancement

DU Advancement has created an achievement framework that serves as the foundation for how advancement staff approach the work they do and the goals they set. This framework reflects aspirational and actionable commitments aligned with DU IMPACT 2025 vision and five strategic imperatives which represent our most pressing priorities and most exciting potential. These collective commitments, as outlined in the FY 2021 Strategic Plan, shape and guide the work of DU Advancement – impactful student and alumni career development, authentic engagement, and purposeful philanthropy.

There are more than 144,500 active alumni worldwide, including almost 79,000 graduate and 59,000 undergraduate alumni. More than 40% of DU alumni live in Colorado. Outside of the state, the top cities with DU alumni include Chicago, New York, Seattle, Portland and Washington, D.C. Notable DU alumni include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice; U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton; Time Magazine Editor-at Large David von Drehle; former New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal; Olympic gold medalist Michelle Kwan; Prosecutor of the Special Court of Sierra Leone Brenda J. Hollis; Hockey Hall of Fame member Craig Patrick; former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Crisanta Duran; former CFO of Home Depot Carol Tomé; former CEO of Reynolds American Debra Crew; Chief Strategy Officer of Snapchat Imran Khan; Chairman of Cox Enterprises Jim Kennedy; General George W. Casey, Jr.; and Peter Coors, chairman of the board of MillerCoors. 

ASCEND: The Campaign for the University of Denver concluded in June 2014, with a campaign total of $490 million. The University is currently in the silent phase of its next campaign, which will be the largest in DU’s history. Significant investments in staff and technology have been made and a feasibility study to test campaign themes and goals will be conducted in the coming months.  

In FY 2019 – a historic year for gifts and engagement from the broader DU community – $82,556,546 was received from more than 20,943 supporters including foundations, alumni, parents, corporations and others committed to the University’s capability to change the world.

DU Advancement’s current annual operating budget is approximately $17 million, and the team consists of 147 full-time employees. The senior vice chancellor leads a senior executive team that oversees three divisional units: Global Networks, University Development, and Advancement Operations. These units collectively include alumni relations, annual giving, parent and family giving, major and principal gifts, gift planning, foundation relations, prospect management and research, development and alumni marketing and communications, advancement and business services, and donor relations and events. Always at the forefront of innovation, career and professional development also sits within Advancement to maintain strong relationships with students and alumni across the course of their professional lives. Seventy percent of students currently participate in the career center’s offerings, and this percentage continues to grow.

About the Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement

Val Otten joined the University of Denver as the senior vice chancellor for advancement on March 30, 2020. Val has over 25 years of experience as an advancement professional. She has demonstrated achievements in fundraising results and a solid track record in leading highly productive teams. For the past 10 years, Val served as a senior advancement executive for the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and previously, for the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, ArtCenter College of Design, and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. She holds an MA in public communications from American University, and a BA in communications from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

In Val's most recent role as associate vice president for development at Caltech, she developed and led a strong and diverse team of professionals who carried out the Institute’s $2 billion Break Through campaign while fostering a culture of innovation, creativity, collaboration, teamwork and accountability. In partnership with the president, academic leadership and the vice president for advancement and alumni relations, she developed long-term relationships and solicited principal and transformational gifts in support of Caltech's highest priorities. This included helping to secure six gifts of more than $100 million including a $750 million commitment in support of renewable energy and sustainability.

In her current role at the University of Denver, Val oversees development, advancement operations and global networks. She is responsible for developing and strategically growing the advancement organization, including recruiting and retaining exceptional advancement staff as we move toward the public launch of our next comprehensive campaign. An accomplished and experienced fundraiser, Val is building strong, sincere, and lasting relationships with the University’s alumni, staff, faculty, parents, and friends and is partnering closely with the chancellor, deans, and university leadership as we garner resources to support University priorities.

Position Summary 

This is a unique opportunity for a highly experienced, driven, and passionate leader to join a dynamic, growing and purposeful enterprise committed to serving students and creating scholarship that serves the public good and contributes to human knowledge.

Reporting directly to the senior vice chancellor for advancement, this position is responsible for advancing the philanthropic culture of the University of Denver. This position strategically drives the University of Denver’s fundraising programs and will have the opportunity to create the overall strategy for the fundraising continuum of annual giving, leadership annual giving, major gifts, leadership gifts, and principal gifts. This includes campus‐wide programs as well as college and unit‐based development teams. The Associate Vice Chancellor must be a dynamic, thoughtful, and diplomatic partner to deans, administrators, advancement professionals, and other partners across campus.

They will also play a key role in developing and enhancing relationships with major and principal gift prospects, discovering their philanthropic passions, and aligning them with the funding priorities identified in the DU IMPACT 2025 strategic plan. The Associate Vice Chancellor will develop and mature a targeted portfolio of major and principal gift donors in pursuit of individual fundraising goals. They will lead fundraising efforts in preparing and executing the next capital campaign.

Primary Responsibilities


  • Provide comprehensive leadership of the University’s development operation. This includes supporting the day‐to‐day functionality of a large and complex team of fundraising professionals, as well as leading the team’s recruitment, hiring, training, mentoring, evaluating, and professional development activities. The Associate Vice Chancellor directly supervises three Assistant Vice Chancellors of Development and indirectly supervises an additional 58+ FTEs
  • Provide strategy, guidance, and direction in support of the mission, vision, values, and goals of DU Advancement and the University of Denver
  • Lead the annual goal‐setting process for campus‐wide fundraising activity, including setting individual and team goals for major gift officers
  • Serve as a major architect of DU’s anticipated comprehensive campaign, and necessary transformative gift concept development efforts
  • The Associate Vice Chancellor is also responsible for effectively managing his/her operating budget as well as the associated budgets under his/her purview. This includes monitoring transactions and participating in budget modeling and forecasting processes


  • This position is responsible for engaging philanthropic support for the campus’ top priorities as described in DU IMPACT 2025
  • The Associate Vice Chancellor will develop meaningful and productive relationships with a small, targeted portfolio of major and principal gift donors including alumni, friends, and parents
  • This position is accountable to annual fundraising goals, which are established each year in consultation with the Senior Vice Chancellor
  • This position is also accountable to annual goals related to the quantity of successful major gift closures, proposals and in‐person meaningful contacts. Such goals will be established annually in consultation with the Senior Vice Chancellor

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience
  • 10 years of paid fundraising experience, working within the full spectrum of development, including cultivation, gift solicitations, stewardship, and donor recognition
  • 7 years of experience managing personnel, to include managing other fundraising professionals

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in a University setting or similarly complex non-profit environment
  • Master’s degree in related field

Salary Grade Number
The salary grade for the position is 18.

Salary Range
The salary range for this position is $200,000 - $230,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver. 

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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