The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts, seeks applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Advancement.
Founded in 1997 with a major gift from the F.W. Olin Foundation, the Olin College of Engineering seeks to redefine engineering as a profession of innovation encompassing the consideration of human and societal needs; the creative design of engineering systems; and the creation of value through entrepreneurial effort and philanthropy. The College is dedicated to the discovery and development of the most effective educational approaches and aspires to serve as a model for others.
In sixteen short years of operation Olin has had considerable success in creating a “lab school” environment for educational experimentation and influencing other institutions to pursue innovation. Olin has established a firm foothold as both a catalyst for change and a model for preparing the broadly educated, multifaceted and collaborative engineering leaders the world needs today.
Among its many assets are a beautiful 75-acre residential suburban campus adjacent to Babson College and close to Wellesley College; state-of-the-art facilities; a current endowment of $389 million – one of the highest per-student endowments in the country – and 40 entrepreneurial full-time faculty and 80 student-centered staff. Olin enrolls about 350 gifted undergraduate engineering students, all of whom receive tuition merit scholarships equal to 50% of tuition. In addition, Olin is one of a small number of institutions that admit students on a need-blind basis and meet full financial need, primarily with grants.
Olin was identified in a recent MIT benchmark study as #1 or #2 (two different categories) in the world in undergraduate engineering education. In February 2016, the College received a $6 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to accelerate entrepreneurial thinking in undergraduate engineering programs throughout the United States. Additionally, in June 2017 Olin received a $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their initiative in Integrating the arts and humanities within a STEM education. The College is regarded as an important global contributor, and now the challenge for the College is to utilize and accelerate that momentum.
Olin has deep roots in philanthropy from its founding, but the formal advancement program is relatively young. To achieve objectives set forth by College leadership for Olin’s lasting impact in engineering education, Olin requires significant resources. The alumni base and current pool of major and principal gift prospects is emerging but is still not robust enough to support priority investments in the Olin mission. Therefore, Olin reaches outside its natural constituencies to develop close relationships with like-minded people and organizations passionate about solving the grand challenges of the 21st century and achieving education reform.
This moment for the College offers a variety of philanthropic opportunities, one of which is Olin’s thirteen classes of alumni who, though early in their careers, are demonstrating leadership and innovation abilities in top technology companies, graduate schools and entrepreneurial ventures. Another area of significant untapped potential is in corporate relations. There is tremendous opportunity to build relationships with corporations and other businesses whose bottom line will be enhanced by Olin’s mission to change engineering education nationwide. The SCOPE program is one example of a curricular initiative that has resulted in very strong introductions within a select group of companies that have experienced the Olin difference first hand. Read more about the program at http://www.olin.edu/collaborate/scope/.
This is a critical time for the college, as it seeks resources to advance its two primary strategic priorities: educational innovation within its campus walls, and collaboration with partners around the world to transform engineering education in particular, and undergraduate education as a whole.
In this vein, Olin College of Engineering is in the process of transitioning to a new Institutional Advancement model. Under the new model, Development, Family and Alumni Relations (DFAR), Marketing and Communications and coordination of Corporate Relations activities will be brought together in one umbrella organization under the leadership of a new position: Vice President for Advancement.
This VP for Advancement will have the opportunity to build an innovative fundraising program within a creative, collaborative, interdisciplinary and student-centered culture. Serving on the senior leadership team (President’s Cabinet), this position will fulfill a key partnership role with the President including working with the Board of Trustees Governance Committee to identify and cultivate prospective Trustees. The VP for Advancement will serve as a top philanthropic advisor to the President, in addition to playing a significant role in enhancing the Olin brand by providing strategic direction in the areas of marketing and communications, as well as supporting the pedagogy of the Olin educational method.
This position will provide leadership for the 11 staff in the departments of Development, Family and Alumni Relations and Marketing and Communications, and those throughout Olin who have corporate relations responsibilities. This position will also be responsible for building strong support from, and lasting relationships with, a wide variety of constituencies including alumni, parents, donors and friends, private foundations, corporate partners, community members and others.
In the first few months of joining Olin, the VP for Advancement will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive assessment of the advancement function and presenting recommendations for new goal setting and achievement.
Leadership and Management
Marketing and Communications
Qualifications of added value
In accordance with its own values and with federal and state regulations, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, disabled veteran status, veteran of the Vietnam Era status, marital or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law).
Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:
Development Guild DDI
Senior Vice President and Principal
Development Guild DDI