Vice President for Development

Req Number: KK224
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Posted: 5/19/2020
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Education
Job Type: Permanent

The University of South Carolina is seeking a driven, entrepreneurial and innovative executive with a passion for the University and its impact on the communities it serves, to join the leadership team as the next Vice President for Development. Reporting into the University President, the Vice President for Development (VP for Development) is the chief development officer for the University of South Carolina flagship research campus in Columbia, as well as Palmetto College.


With eight institutions across 20 locations, offering more than 450-degree programs on campus and online, the University of South Carolina system is uniquely positioned to meet the state's educational, cultural, health, and research needs. 

The primary mission of the University of South Carolina Columbia is the education of the state’s citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement. Among America’s oldest and most comprehensive public universities, the University of South Carolina Columbia is the major research institution of the university system and its largest campus. At the heart of its mission lies the university’s responsibility to state and society to promote the dissemination of knowledge, cultural enrichment, and an enhanced quality of life.

The University of South Carolina Columbia serves a diverse population of students with widely varying backgrounds, career goals, and levels of aspiration. The university offers over 320 degrees at the bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional program levels, affording students the most comprehensive array of educational programs in the state. Opportunities for personal and career development are provided to the citizens of South Carolina through outreach and continuing education activities. The university provides additional opportunities for associate degrees through Fort Jackson and through the oversight of regional Palmetto College campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union).

Through classroom and laboratory instruction delivered in a variety of face-to-face and distance learning formats and modalities, degree programs are offered in the following areas: arts and sciences; business; education; engineering and computing; hospitality, retail, and sport management; information and communications; law; medicine; music; nursing; pharmacy; public health; and social work. The depth and breadth of its graduate programs distinguishes the University of South Carolina Columbia from all other institutions of higher learning in South Carolina.

Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and community-engaged institution, nationally ranked in start-up businesses, and conferring over 30% of all bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded at public institutions in South Carolina, the university has a profound relevance, reach, and impact on the people of the state. As the flagship institution of the university system, the University of South Carolina Columbia leads the way in providing all students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world through engagement in nationally and internationally ranked research, scholarship, community outreach, and artistic creation.

Palmetto College is also a part of the University of South Carolina system. The goal of Palmetto College is to make a UofSC college education convenient and accessible to everyone. This is accomplished through online learning programs and two-year campuses throughout the state that let students start their education wherever they are, without having to relocate or commute. Palmetto College has four institutions throughout South Carolina that offer associate degrees only: USC Lancaster, USC Salkehatchie, USC Sumter, and USC Union. Palmetto College also has a campus at Fort Jackson that awards associate degrees to military personnel and their family members. Palmetto College offers degree programs that can be completed online. Degrees earned online through Palmetto College are the same as those earned on campus at UofSC.



Reporting to the University President, the Vice President for Development (VP for Development) is the chief development officer for the University of South Carolina flagship research campus in Columbia, as well as Palmetto College, comprising four two-year regional institutions (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union) and Palmetto College Online, the online degree completion program. The Vice President for Development also has a coordinating role with the chancellors, deans and development offices at the three University of South Carolina four-year comprehensive institutions in Aiken, Beaufort, and Spartanburg.

The Vice President for Development has strategic oversight and management of a comprehensive development effort in support of the UofSC system and President’s ongoing priorities to include the next capital campaign, which is currently in the quiet phase.

Overseeing a staff of approximately 80 and budget of approximately $8M, the VP for Development provides campaign guidance and leadership of development activities to secure private philanthropic support for all constituent units on the Columbia campus which includes both campuses of the School of Medicine, as well as all constituent units of Palmetto College. This person serves as a member of the President’s Executive Council and as an ex officio member of the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation.



Fund Development

  • Collaborate with the University President, the President’s Cabinet and Executive Council, the Council of Academic Deans and the President/CEO of University Foundations to establish appropriate fundraising goals, priorities, and policies and implement strategic initiatives to support the University’s mission and vision.
  • Partner with the Alumni Association to build and maintain strong relationships with students, donors, alumni, and friends of the University.
  • Gather fundraising data on performance metrics and other measures of success; prepare statistical analyses and reports related to fundraising efforts and donor engagement.
  • Provide development strategies with special campaigns that fall under the umbrella of any University-wide capital campaign.
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit major gift prospects, engaging the University President and Board members in cultivating and closing gifts, as appropriate.
  • Oversee the management and marketing of the gift planning, principal gifts, and annual giving programs and coordinate fundraising from alumni, other individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Establish and maintain productive relationships with the private and corporate business community.
  • Ensure ongoing fundraising excellence in line with the University’s values, mission, vision, and plans.
  • Lead the preparation and implementation of the next University-wide capital campaign.=


Executive Management

  • Provide management oversight and direction to all Senior Associate, Associate and Assistant Vice President positions and Directors of development located in the colleges and schools across the Columbia and Palmetto College campuses.
  • Develop and manage the budget for development and fundraising efforts in collaboration with other senior officials of the University of South Carolina System (UofSC), the leadership of the UofSC Foundations and the Foundation Board members.
  • Recruit, motivate, develop, and seek to retain a strong staff, which maintains collaborative and cooperative relationships with development and alumni staff on all campuses.
  • Closely partner with University deans to ensure their priorities are development-based strategies and provide guidance as needed. Partner with system campuses regarding fundraising results and value-added through constituent database system services.
  • Develop and foster a staff culture that emphasizes collaboration and teamwork and recognizes shared success.
  • Serve as a mentor, developing staff for increased responsibility and leadership.
  • Establish a performance-oriented, accountable culture with appropriate performance management systems. Work with senior leaders and the management team to establish and monitor transparent performance and development goals for staff, assign accountabilities, set objectives, and establish priorities.
  • Complete performance evaluations, employee relations, and disciplinary activities, as needed.


External Relations, Communications & Partnerships

  • Work collaboratively with University Development Division colleagues to ensure a consistent message is delivered to alumni, current and prospective donors, friends, and other university partners. Through collaboration develop a communication plan that supports the University’s development activities and coordinates fundraising efforts for the Columbia campus.
  • Actively participate in University Development Division and External Affairs events, boards, clubs and constituent program meetings to develop professional relationships.
  • Collaborate with university advocacy teams as appropriate to mobilize alumni and donors in support of the university’s development related priorities.
  • Work with key volunteers to plan and direct fundraising efforts to benefit the related schools/colleges and the University.



The Vice President for Development will be a driven, entrepreneurial, and innovative executive with passion for the University of South Carolina and its impact on the communities it serves and the students who come from all over the world to study there. Qualified candidates will bring significant experience and an impressive track record in fundraising, particularly in major gifts. They will demonstrate best practices around stewardship and relationship building. Previous experience working with a major research institution is highly desirable.

Basic qualifications include:

  • A minimum of 10 years of fundraising experience with progressive management responsibility, including senior level management, within a complex nonprofit organization/system, preferably within institutions of higher education. 
  • Direct experience or an acumen to suggest the ability to work effectively with boards, senior management teams, community leaders and community constituents to achieve results. 
  • Demonstrated success, or an acumen to suggest future success, in identifying high net-worth donors, conducting face-to-face solicitations, and closing six-figure plus philanthropic commitments. 
  • Results-oriented leadership in the achievement of significant fundraising goals, preferably in the higher education space.
  • Proven ability to effectively navigate large, complex, matrixed organizations.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices and experience in recruiting, developing and retaining a highly functioning, cohesive team.
  • An excellent listener and strong communicator to internal and external audiences and stakeholders within a community, who can inspire and motivate in one-on-one situations and as a public speaker.
  • Experience or an aptitude for building relationships and partnerships with a broad range of constituencies.
  • An unwavering commitment to quality and excellence.
  • Demonstrated experience with change management.
  • Experience working with a CRM and related technologies within a fundraising environment.
  • Displays sound judgment, emotional intelligence and detail orientation.
  • A sense of accountability for oneself and for others as it relates to meeting commitments; inclusive management style that actively solicits input from team members.
  • Possesses integrity, confidence and a positive attitude. 
  • Is mission-driven and self-directed.



An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required, an advanced degree is preferred.

CFRE certification preferred. 



A competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package will be provided.

The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, sex, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, protected veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.


Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.