Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America's leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.
The Director of Alumni Relations is charged with designing, managing, implementing and evaluating a progressive alumni relations program at the Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE) that engages our alumni throughout their lives in ways that contribute to their development and also benefit the School and its students. As a result of this engagement, our goal is that Nicholas alumni will: (1) continue to grow as leaders, professionals, scholars, and people; (2) contribute to future generations of alumni by serving as mentors, providing internships, hiring graduates, and making philanthropic gifts to the school; and (3) support the school's core environmental teaching and research missions through guest lectures, workshops and courses, and by assisting faculty in strategic scholarship.
The Director must be an accomplished project manager and embraces working in a team environment. They must have prior volunteer management and leadership experience and be a creative problem solver who is comfortable with ambiguity. They must have an aptitude for working in a complex environment and understand organizational dynamics and vision. The Director must resolve diverse problems independently, build and maintain collaborative relationships with Office Development & Alumni Relations (ODAR), team members, alumni council members, alumni, faculty and administrators. The Director will manage integrated program logistics for a variety of constituents - alumni, graduate, professional, and undergraduate students for ODAR, the alumni council and other volunteers, and donors. The Director helps to keep team performance and morale high even during periods of intense pressure or heavy workload; works to maintain collegiality among team members by showing respect for others' opinions and working toward mutually agreeable solutions; coaches less experienced team members; and motivates others to achieve common goals. The Director must have the ability to understand the big picture, establish personal and program priorities and possess communication skills to inspire a desired strategy or objective that fits into the overall vision and mission of NSOE, and must also be a hands-on project manager that ensures tasks are completed within established deadlines. The Director will also encourage the philanthropic support of NSOE through ongoing encouragement and must be comfortable with gift cultivation and solicitation where needed. This position reports to the Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations.
A detailed description of principle responsibilities and tasks follows:
Leadership & Program Development
- Develop and execute a comprehensive strategic plan for Alumni Relations at NSOE - including goals, annual calendar, metrics, budget, and timetables - that will serve the school's mission of research, teaching, and engagement and bring cohesion to NSOE's current alumni engagement activities
- Manage day-to-day operations, data and metrics for the Go, Grow, Give alumni engagement program and align these operations for continuous improvement
- Work in collaboration with Duke Alumni Association (DAA) and the NSOE Alumni Council to strategically manage and grow opportunities for lifelong engagement with NSOE and Duke alumni, both on campus and in communities where our alumni live and work, and that continue their development as leaders, professionals, scholars, and people.
- Develop a strong alumni network through affinity groups, volunteer development, alumni services, educational programming, and events with the goal of continuous involvement and engagement of alumni.
- Provide leadership and formal operating plans for prioritizing alumni council volunteer board activities.
- Work with Nominating Committee and Associate Dean to identify future council members to build a pipeline for future leadership and potential membership to the NSOE Board of Visitors
- Provide direction for the creation of an annual budget for NSOE alumni engagement program.. Oversee and monitor alumni relations expenditures, and seek operating efficiencies throughout the year as well as interpretation of program data and metrics.
- Serve on University committees and participate in event development for Duke Alumni Association pertaining to NSOE alumni relations.
Collaboration & Coordination
- Serve as NSOE liaison with DAA to continuously enhance alumni programming and services
- Coordinate across and collaborate with key internal units and stakeholders who engage with Nicholas alumni - including ODAR, Career and Professional Development Center, Communications, Master of Environmental Management/Master of Forestry (MEM/MF) Program, Ph.D. Program, Undergraduate Program, and faculty members - to organize NSOE alumni efforts in a way that amplifies these efforts and makes them less labor intensive
- Connect alumni interested in hiring and providing internships to Nicholas students with the NSOE Career and Professional Development Office.
- Support ongoing information collection to understand the interests and needs of alumni, including alumni surveys, focus groups, and 1:1 discussions. Relay information about alumni to communications and professional development and career staff who may want to feature alumni stories in print and online publications, and work closely with staff to provide broad-based, timely communication about issues and events of importance to alumni.
- Work closely with existing programs to engage alumni in NSOE's teaching and research missions, and to connect alumni to faculty both formally and informally.
- Collaborate with communications staff within ODAR, NSOE and DAA on alumni communications needs. This includes leading development of copy ideas, writing articles and web-stories for alumni newsletters
- Work with the communications team and academic programs on developing strategies for engaging alumni in increasing the size and quality of our applicant pool for graduate programming, and strengthening our mentoring programs.
- Work with those responsible for current successful alumni outreach efforts at NSOE and Duke to advance their sustainability.
- In collaboration with appropriate ODAR staff, develop and implement protocols to transition all NSOE offices to use of the Duke Alumni Network and Duke Alumni Development Database (DADD).
- Create and manage program metrics. Measure and report on progress towards the alumni engagement goals listed above in the Occupation Summary.
- Manage data pertaining to our alumni, and improve the quality and usefulness of this data.
- Benchmark our performance against peer institutions to best practices.
- Ability to complete alumni relations projects accurately and independently and meet agreed upon deadlines.
- Develop and implement annual plan and manage NSOE's annual alumni events plans including reunion events, regional and national events management; budget oversight; program planning; contract negotiation; vendor management; staff assignments and training; on-site event management; and measuring outcomes.
- Work in collaboration the Dean's Office, ODAR, Center for Career and Professional Development, DAA on initiatives and events that advance the goals of the NSOE alumni engagement program.
- Promote a culture of philanthropy among current Nicholas School alumni by encouraging ongoing support of the Annual Fund at NSOE events and in
materials positioned for alumni relations engagement. Work collaboratively with ODAR and Central Development staff and assist with the planning and implementation of events to cultivate awareness and philanthropic support among alumni.
- Coordinate solicitation of Alumni Council members to encourage 100% participation in the Annual Fund.
- Partner with ODAR development staff to build a philanthropic pipeline for future campaigns and to identify alumni prospects for solicitation of Annual Fund gifts to increase participation.
Travel may comprise up to 20% of this position's time. Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program.
Work requires five years experience in alumni affairs, public OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE relations, fund raising, sales and promotions, marketing, student activities or a related field in order to acquire skills necessary to administer, coordinate and/or participate in general fund raising activities and proposal development.
Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.
Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.
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