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Director of Advancement, Faculty of Engineering

Date: January 5, 2017
Reports to (Job Title): Dean of Engineering
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):

Associate Director, Development & Alumni Relations; Assoc. Director Marketing & Communications, Event Manager, Advancement Manager

Department: Dean of Engineeirng Office


Dean’s Office, Carl Pollock Hall


USG 15/16
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Director of Advancement is accountable to the Dean of Engineering for promoting and supporting the Faculty’s strategic priorities and enhancing Waterloo Engineering’s reputation as a world-class school of Engineering.  This position provides strategic advice and support to the Dean and senior administrators in the Faculty of Engineering, and leadership and guidance to a staff of 16 development, alumni, and communications professionals.

Key Accountabilities:


Strategic Planning.

  • Establishes and implements integrated strategic plans for the Faculty of Engineering’s development, alumni and communications activities
  • Monitors and evaluates the development, alumni and communications programs’ effectiveness against priorities and performance targets; effects changes required for improvement
  • Ensures Faculty development, alumni and communications programs are in line with overall university goals and objectives
  • Provides input to capital and other university-wide fundraising campaigns and project themes
  • Provides advice to academic leaders and senior staff with in the Faculty on the feasibility of fundraising goals and the effectiveness of communications strategies
  • Works with departments, schools and research institutes to develop fundraising, alumni and communications strategies aligned with the Faculty’s priorities



Management and Leadership

  • Provides leadership for a staff of 16 development, alumni, and communications professionals, including setting priorities, fostering constructive working relationships, monitoring workload, and providing strategic direction and decision support
  • Directs recruitment, training, and evaluation of advancement staff
  • Assists in the recruitment of staff in the Faculty of Engineering who have responsibilities related to communications
  • Supports the personal and professional growth of members of the advancement team
  • In consultation with the Dean, establishes and manages the budget for the advancement team
  • In consultation with the Dean of Engineering and the Chairs of the Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC), works closely with the Associate Director, Development in planning and administering the activities of DAC in support of the Faculty’s vision, mission and objectives
  • Assists with recruitment of members of the council and maintains regular contact with members and organizes periodic meetings
  • Engages council members in support of Faculty activities



Fundraising and Donor Relations

  • Assumes primary responsibility for a significant portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and donors: develops and implements tailored action plans, solicitation strategies and proposals for each prospect; makes face-to-face calls both with and without key volunteers and faculty; prepares briefing and follow-up notes for prospect tracking
  • Works collaboratively with the Faculty and central development team to transition engagement relationships through to leadership and major donors
  • Initiates relationships with potential generous donors, develops and cultivates commitment and works towards it translation into financial and volunteer support
  • Promotes the needs of the Faculty at fundraising and other special events through public speaking engagements and personal contact
  • Plans and hosts campus visits for major donors and potential major donors
  • Establishes and monitors donor recognition and acknowledgement programs
  • Working within university policies and guidelines, develops terms of reference for capital, endowment and trust donations, and co-ordinates gift agreements
  • Works with the Dean, department chairs, directors of the School of Architecture and CBET and other faculty and staff assigned to solicit, support and manage volunteer involvement with fundraising and alumni relations activities
  • Builds/reinforces base and pipeline for major and principal gifts prospects and donors – collaboratively with central office colleagues in multi-track and centrally-managed prospects (clearance, strategy, stewardship)
  • Initiates and directs research on individuals identified as having significant giving potential
  • Works with the Central Advancement staff to ensure that prospect clearance, gift acceptance, and other policies and guidelines are followed
  • Oversees the work of the Associate Director, Development and Alumni who liaises with the Associate Vice President, Development and his/her team to develop Faculty of Engineering strategies and programs aimed at achieving the highest possible rate of participation by alumni, parents, faculty, staff, retirees and friends, while paying special attention to those who have the potential to make larger annual and major gifts
  • Works closely with the Associate Director, Development and Alumni to provide timely, accurate forecasts and reports on funds raised



Alumni Relations

  • Working closely with the Senior Alumni Officer, oversees the development and implementation of a strategic alumni relations plan in the Faculty of Engineering
  • Promotes the Faculty at alumni events through public speaking engagements and personal contact
  • Participates with the central alumni affairs team in strategy development and promotion of university level alumni initiatives.




  • Works collaboratively with the Associate Vice President, Communications in the development of an integrated marketing/communications strategy for the university
  • Works closely with the Associate Director, Communications to develop and implement strategic integrated communications plans to move the Faculty’s reputation forward in line with its aspirations and priorities
  • Works with the Associate Director, Communications to ensure the highest quality in all communications materials, print and electronic, produced by the Faculty
  • Is ultimately responsible for the design and content of the Faculty of Engineering website and all electronic communications sent to the faculty, staff, and student e-mail lists
  • Oversees all electronic and print advertising at the Faculty level
  • Provides strategic advice and support to the Dean and senior administrators on all communications needs, plans and initiatives
  • Serves as a resource for communications on senior committees in the Faculty
  • Provides strategic advice to the Faculty of Engineering crisis management team
  • Oversees Faculty’s media relations activities



Marketing and Recruitment

  • Oversees the development and implementation of an ongoing undergraduate student marketing and recruitment strategy for the Faculty of Engineering
  • Oversees the development and implementation of a communications strategy to support departmental efforts in graduate student marketing and recruitment for the Faculty of Engineering
  • Oversees the development and implementation of ongoing strategies and programs to enhance the recruitment, orientation and support of new faculty members


Position Requirements


Bachelor degree.


Minimum of 10 years’ experience in in an advancement, marketing, communications or public affairs environment in the post-secondary or not-for-profit sectors, relevant public or private sectors. Exceptional written and verbal communication skills. Experience in leading and motivating high performing teams. Demonstrated track record in post-secondary fundraising and alumni relations.  Fundraising and marketing communications experience related to the professional engineering profession is highly desirable.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Basic Advanced Public Speaking

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates regularly and professionally advises and consults with all senior leaders including the Dean and President, and with all faculty and staff in the Faculty of Engineering to inform, influence, educate, collaborate and to promote the Faculty of Engineering.  Externally, this position has significant senior contacts building critical relationships and developing important relationships with industry leaders and alumni around the world.  

Level of Responsibility:

The position is responsible and accountable for the overall results of Engineering Advancement Office.

Decision-Making Authority:

Responsible and accountable for establishing the priorities for the unit and addressing the changes to strategic business plans by consulting directly with the Dean of Engineering as appropriate.

Physical and Sensory Demands:


Working Environment:

Significant travel associated with the position, including irregular working hours.