Kettering University - Vice President for University Advancement

MI, Flint

Kettering University seeks a collaborative, energetic, innovative and dynamic leader as their Vice President for University Advancement. Having recently celebrated the success of raising $155 million in their Boldly Forward Campaign, exceeding the campaign goal of $150 million, the university is exceptionally well positioned to build upon this record of success.

Kettering University, known formerly as General Motors Institute (GMI), is a Flint, Michigan-based private, nonprofit university recognized as one of the nation’s premier engineering, technology, and business leaders in higher education. The curriculum uniquely integrates classroom learning with experiential co-operative opportunities.

Reporting to and partnering with President Robert K. McMahan, whose tenure began in 2011, now seeks a visionary, strategic, and proven leader willing to make a long-term commitment to the university advancement program. Kettering has been a successful fundraising institution across recent years, but its focus has been on a limited number of donors and prospects, thus necessitating an investment of people and time in building a pipeline of prospects and in developing a focused case for support across the alumni base and university community.

Kettering University’s vice president for university advancement will be an experienced development professional who demonstrates a successful personal record as a major and/or principal gift fund raiser. In particular, the successful candidate will possess superior strategic skills at the institutional, department and prospect level, including the talent and experience necessary to add value as a member of the University’s senior team. It should go without saying that this leader will have a deep, personal resonance with the university’s mission and values.

A successful track record as a builder of programs and developer of talent is required. Specifically, the ideal candidate will have led one or more advancement programs successfully for a period of not less than eight years, preferably in environments of equal or greater complexity. Successful experience as an agent of change is highly desired, particularly in terms of the building of high-performing teams, and excellent skills and abilities as a strategic and operational planner.

The successful candidate will demonstrate significant leadership experience in one or more comprehensive campaigns of significant size and aspiration. As a corollary to this requirement, the ideal candidate will possess a successful track record as a manager of volunteers, particularly at the board level. Previous, successful experience staffing a president or other senior academic or administrative leader is highly preferable.

As would be expected of advancement leadership, superior communication and relationship-building skills are required. The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator at every level, including both written and verbal communication and at an individual level and in front of groups of all sizes. Superior listening skills are also required.

Perhaps no aspect of the successful candidate’s professional attributes will be as important as will be the personal qualities of leadership, including especially integrity, creativity, energy, optimism, gravitas, openness, and decisiveness. The new vice president will be comfortable playing a highly visible leadership role within an intimate academic community. A bachelor’s degree is required and an advanced degree preferred.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile. WittKieffer is assisting Kettering University in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made. Application materials should be submitted to WittKieffer’s candidate portal using the buttons below. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Mercedes Chacon Vance and Jenna Brumleve at

Kettering University, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action.

Kettering University is deeply committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation including gender identity or expression, disability, religion, height, weight, genetic information, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions except where religion, sex, or age are bona fide job related employment requirements.

Discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, sex, including marital status, age, disability, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran, special disabled veteran, recently separated veteran or other protected veteran is prohibited by federal and state statutes as amended, including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1978, the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.