Associate Dean of Development, School of Arts

December 2022 | Boston, MA
Download PDF

About Emerson College

Founded by Charles Wesley Emerson as a school of oratory in 1880, Emerson College prides itself for being the only higher learning institute in the United States to exclusively focus on the studies of communication and the arts. Over the years, the institution has evolved from a small New England school to a multifaceted college with campuses in Boston, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands as well as joint global degree programs in Boston; Paris; and Lugano, Switzerland.

As an institution of academic excellence, Emerson’s prestigious faculty and staff prepare their students to be innovative and thoughtful leaders in their respective fields and positive contributors in all aspects of society. Emerson is ranked number 8 in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Regional Universities in the North as well as ranked number 3 in Most Innovative Schools in the North. Recently, the Hollywood Reporter ranked the College number 6 among U.S. film schools. Emerson also appears on a number of Princeton Review lists in the 2022 edition of The Best 387 Colleges. Emerson was named one of 223 Best Northeastern Colleges; included in the Top 50 Green Colleges; and appeared on several of the Review’s “great” lists, including Great College Radio Station, Great College Theatre, and LGBTQ-Friendly.

While Emerson remains committed to its historic mission as a specialized academic institution, its curriculum reflects the emergence of interdisciplinary study and affirms new direction and innovation in the fields of the arts, communication, and the liberal arts. Located in the heart of Boston, Emerson is internationally recognized in its fields of specialization, which include communication studies; marketing communication; journalism; communication sciences and disorders; visual and media arts; the performing arts; and writing, literature, and publishing.

Emerson is home to 3,800 undergraduate students and over 700 graduate students representing 50 states and more than 55 countries. Emerson’s 503 full-time and part-time faculty members teach 26 undergraduate majors and 41 minors in the communication and arts discipline and 18 graduate programs offered in flexible formats.

About the School of the Arts

The School of the Arts at Emerson College is a community of artists, professionals, and scholars committed to educating students to bring vision, commitment, sophistication, and courage to their crafts. By training students in theory, practice, and the intellectual and artistic traditions that inform both, the School’s departments help their students become thinkers, makers, and citizens of a complex world. The School’s internationally recognized faculty members give their students a sense of ownership of their education.

Rob Sabal is the dean of the School of the Arts. He has been a filmmaker and media educator for more than 30 years. Sabal received an MFA in film and video from Northwestern University and has taught film and video production at St. Edward’s University; Trinity University (San Antonio); the University of Arizona; the University of Texas at Austin; and at Emerson College, where he served as director of the film program and as chair of the Department of Visual and Media Arts prior to his appointment as dean of the School of the Arts. In 2012–2013, he was an ACE Fellow in the President’s Office at Suffolk University. He is a former president of the University Film and Video Association.

About Philanthropy at Emerson

Coming off its best fundraising years in College history in 2021 and 2022, it is a new era of exciting, impactful fundraising at Emerson. Under College leadership and in collaboration with the Emerson Board, Emerson is beginning to prepare for its first ever campaign. With illustrious alumni that include talk show host Jay Leno ’73; entrepreneur and makeup artist Bobbi Brown ’79; actors Henry Winkler ’67 and Denis Leary ’79; author Taylor Jenkins Reid ’05; television producers Norman Lear ’44 (All in the Family), Vin Di Bona ’66 (America’s Funniest Home Videos), Kevin Bright ’76 (Friends), Tara Sandler ’84 (House Hunters); and screenwriter and emerging director Adele Lim ’96 (Crazy Rich Asians), among many others, this unprecedented campaign will tap into a powerful donor base and allow Emerson to further its investment in the College community.

About the Associate Dean for Development, School of the Arts

The associate dean will be an experienced and strategic fundraising professional tasked with overseeing all aspects of the fundraising and engagement efforts for Emerson’s School of the Arts. This person will build a robust donor pipeline, developing donor and prospect strategies while managing a portfolio of high-level prospects. The associate dean will be comfortable soliciting major gifts at the five-, six-, and seven-figure levels from high-capacity donors. Through fostering new interdepartmental relationships and strengthening existing partnerships with academic and administrative colleagues across the School, the associate dean will understand funding priorities and engagement opportunities that will inform the strategy and conversations they employ with their prospects.

Reporting directly to John Malcolm in Institutional Advancement, this person will be embedded within the School of the Arts with a dotted line to the dean. As an individual contributor, the new associate dean will have a central role in helping Emerson achieve its fundraising priorities. This person will work hand in hand with the dean and faculty, engaging prospects and assisting the dean with drafting reports and briefings when necessary. They will travel with senior administrators when needed, to meet donors, alumni, and prospects of the School of the Arts.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the VP for Institutional Advancement, the dean of the School of the Arts, Institutional Advancement colleagues, faculty, and other key staff to develop a robust comprehensive fundraising program for the School
  • Collaborate closely with faculty and chairs to develop strategies to create high-level and meaningful engagement opportunities for alumni and potential donors
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of high-level prospects
  • Develop and implement individualized donor strategies for cultivation and solicitation
  • Use sophisticated prospect research techniques to help grow the market
  • Ensure that all major individual donors are well-informed, acknowledged in meaningful ways, and appreciated in an appropriate manner throughout the year
  • Along with leadership, participate in the strategic planning and prospecting of Emerson’s first ever campaign
  • Draft and edit proposals, reports, and briefings as appropriate
  • Travel as needed with the VP for Institutional Advancement, Institutional Advancement colleagues, deans, chairs, and faculty to meet with donors and prospects

Key Qualifications

  • 7–10 years of professional development experience with increasing responsibility in a complex institution
  • Direct experience and proven results in major gift fundraising and donor communication
  • Success in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of five- and six-figure major gift donors
  • Success managing and prioritizing all tasks associated with donor development work, including writing successful and compelling proposals and making in-person gift solicitations
  • Track record of identifying and engaging new donor constituencies
  • Experience working in close partnership with faculty and senior leaders to collaboratively achieve fundraising goals
  • Proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives
  • Knowledge of development best practices and the ability to apply them in innovative ways
  • Demonstrated track record of success in a fast-paced, complex organizational structure
  • Enterprising professional with a keen sense of diplomacy
  • Strong negotiation skills and maturity to navigate complex relationships
  • Passion for the Emerson mission and ability to effectively serve as an ambassador for the College

Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of continued efforts to maintain a safe campus for students, faculty and staff, Emerson requires all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Requests for exemptions for religious or medical reasons will be considered on an individual basis in accordance with applicable legal requirements.

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Jesse Bryan

Senior Consultant

Development Guild DDI

Additional Searches for Emerson College

Related Posts

Interested in this position or other new career opportunities?