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Director of Development, The Graduate School - Michigan State University

Company: MSU
Date Posted: October 13, 2017

Director of Development, The Graduate School


The Graduate School at Michigan State University seeks an energetic, forward thinking and results-oriented development professional to serve as its first Director of Development.  Working closely with the Dean of the Graduate School as a member of the executive team, the Director of Development will develop, lead and provide strategic direction to an advancement program that includes major gift fundraising, leadership annual giving, and alumni engagement.  In addition to providing programmatic oversight, this individual will lead the College in significantly exceeding its $9 million fundraising goal as part of the Empower Extraordinary campaign and formulating a plan to continue to build on that momentum once the campaign ends in December 2018.  This is an ideal position for an individual who wants to be on the ground floor in helping the Graduate School to conceive and launch a comprehensive advancement program.

Established in 1994, the Graduate School is dedicated to advocating for and enhancing the quality of graduate education at the masters, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.   Working closely with MSU’s 17 colleges, the Graduate School is committed to producing the next generation of outstanding teachers, researchers and scholars whose transformative leadership and expertise will make a powerful impact on  many of the world’s most pressing problems in the areas of education, nutrition and health, agriculture, engineering and business processes, environmental science, medicine, and so much more.  Currently, more than 11,000 students are pursuing an advanced degree at MSU.   

The Director of Development will work with donors who are interested in making gifts directly to the Graduate School or designating their support to graduate education elsewhere at MSU; as such, the ideal candidate must be one who enjoys working as a member of the team and thrives in a collaborative environment.  The Director will build a fundraising plan whose focus will include fellowship support, bridge programs to better prepare students for graduate school, and programmatic support that will provide unique opportunities and enhance the educational experience for students as they pursue their advanced degrees.


Required:  Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in communications, public relations, business, the arts, the humanities or similar programs; three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in professional fundraising, higher education development, public relations, marketing, or a related field; knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. This position requires travel.

Desired:  Undergraduate degree, with a graduate professional degree preferred; three to five years in professional fundraising, preferably demonstrating progressive responsibility and experience in higher education fundraising; demonstration of an understanding of the key development disciplines of principal gifts, major gifts, planned gifts, corporate and/or foundation gifts and annual gifts; proven ability to cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership gifts; a track record of success leading a development operation; a management approach that is forward thinking and entrepreneurial; superior communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences; clear and effective written and oral presentations; demonstrated ability to plan and manage a program. 

How to apply

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Kristin Bradley, Senior Executive Director of Constituency Programs at

All candidates must submit an application and resume through the Careers @ MSU website.  The URL for this website is  Please indicate the position number 470540 when submitting your application. 

Screening of applicants will continue until the position is filled.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity.  The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.