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USC is a leading private research university located in Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology and international business. As the city’s largest private employer, responsible for more than $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic schools and units. As a USC employee, you will enjoy excellent benefits and perks, and you will be a member of the Trojan Family - the faculty, staff, students and alumni who make USC a great place to work. Think you’ve got what it takes to join us? We invite you to search our open positions and apply!

Associate Dean for Advancement

Development Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC) is one of the most dynamic universities in the country. Its remarkable trajectory has been marked by transformational gifts that have enabled USC to recruit superb faculty and elevate programs across the university. USC’s vibrancy is matched by its home city of Los Angeles, a nexus of commerce, culture, and intellectual capital.

Under the inspirational leadership of President Carol L. Folt, USC has embarked on a new journey of transformation driven by a commitment to learn from the past and become the university of the future. The creative and entrepreneurial mindset that has helped vault USC to the top tier of U.S. research universities also permeates the Rossier School of Education, led by Dean Pedro Noguera, a nationally recognized authority on the social, economic and demographic trends that influence schools.

Founded in 1918, Rossier prides itself on innovation in all its programs, preparing teachers, administrators, and educational leaders to become change agents who drive for excellence and equity. It is a pacesetter in online graduate education, having pioneered in 2009 the first fully online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program offered by a major research university.

It supports forward-thinking scholars and researchers, whose work is having a direct impact on student outcomes in K-12 schools and higher education. USC Rossier is No. 11 in the US News & World Report rankings of graduate schools of education and has placed in the top 15 for the past four years.

To help Rossier continue on its path as one of the nation’s highest-performing education schools, it is seeking a highly skilled and talented Associate Dean for Advancement, who will report to and partner with its ambitious and nationally recognized Dean to lead advancement.

Associate Dean for Advancement


The Associate Dean will work with Dean Noguera to develop a robust culture of philanthropy and create an advancement program that will broaden the school’s base of support and enhance its long-term financial sustainability. This individual will oversee Rossier’s development, alumni relations, and event programs and should have demonstrated experience working with high-net-worth donors, foundations, corporate donors, and faculty partners.

Currently, two-thirds of Rossier’s philanthropic support is derived from foundations and corporate donors. Rossier has about 28,000 living alumni, most of whom earned master’s degrees from the school. Rossier seeks to expand individual giving beyond the alumni base, and the Associate Dean will strategically identify and engage supporters with a keen interest in supporting the work of the school, whether they be local or nationally based.

The Associate Dean will partner with advancement leadership to refine and implement a strategy to engage donors and prospects in order to achieve fundraising goals and build an enhanced, sustainable base of support for Rossier. The Dean’s fundraising priorities include scholarships for all programs, support for translational research and field-based partnerships, strategic initiatives, and recruitment and retention of faculty through endowed chairs (building on the school’s existing $70 million endowment) and other initiatives such as seed grants for innovative programs.

The Associate Dean will engage colleagues across the university, including those in central advancement and various administrative offices. Besides the Dean, this individual will work closely with members of the school’s Board of Councilors, which currently includes leaders from the educational, business, and nonprofit sectors, as well as with other leadership volunteers to engage the school’s top major and principal gift prospects. The Associate Dean will also manage and provide professional development opportunities for an advancement staff whose responsibilities include individual and institutional fundraising, alumni relations, special events, and administrative support.

The Associate Dean will have the opportunity to build a best-practices advancement program that enables Rossier to expand its leadership and impact, and fulfill its vision of “a world where every student, regardless of personal circumstance, is able to learn and succeed.”

Specific responsibilities are to:

  • Develop, implement, and lead advancement strategies that result in alumni engagement and philanthropic support for USC Rossier
  • Develop and manage all efforts to secure philanthropic support for USC Rossier
  • Conceive, implement, evaluate, and manage integrated fundraising programs and strategies to meet school goals and objectives
  • Lead the ongoing design and staffing of the fundraising infrastructure to create a sustainable, high-performing advancement function
  • Oversee goal-setting and operational planning for individual fundraisers as well as programs
  • Guide, direct, and evaluate professional and support staff and hold each team member accountable for his/her individual contribution
  • Utilize appropriate metrics for and ensure best practices in fundraising
  • Assign prospect portfolios to team members that correspond to their skill sets direct strategy for prospecting, researching, cultivating, and soliciting donations ensure timely qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors and prospects
  • Manage and grow a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and donors, and maintain positive and enduring relationships that produce reciprocal benefits
  • Identify new opportunities for philanthropic support and partnership from a wide variety of sources
  • Keep the Dean apprised of the status of advancement initiatives, collaborate with the Dean in determining cultivation and solicitation strategies for Rossier’s top prospects, and provide briefs in advance of events and meetings with donors and prospects
  • As a member of the Rossier senior leadership team, advise on advancement, participate in strategic planning across the school, and ensure that advancement goals address its most pressing and future needs
  • Lead Board of Councilors development activities for Rossier, including identification and recruitment of members, training and orientation, development of meeting agendas and materials, and regular communication and engagement activities; actively cultivate and support Councilors’ involvement in development, networking, and outreach
  • Leverage high-profile alumni, volunteers, and other individuals of significance to the school and the campus
  • Collaborate with advancement colleagues across the university and represent Rossier’s needs and interests
  • Oversee budget for advancement activities, measure fundraising performance against benchmarks, and monitor and report return on investment
  • Oversee special events
  • Strengthen and expand school partnerships
  • Cultivate relationships with leaders in philanthropy for education, and
  • Other duties as assigned

Candidate Qualifications

The successful candidate will be an experienced professional who has led advancement teams in higher education and/or nonprofit organizations, understands both the higher education and K-12 educational landscapes, and has a desire to promote the Rossier School of Education and its mission. This person will have a minimum of eight years of advancement experience, with demonstrated success in major gift fundraising. Previous campaign experience involving the creation and execution of effective advancement programs is strongly desired.

The successful candidate must have the leadership ability and management experience needed to select, train, mentor and supervise staff at all levels and build a high-performing team. This person will have the vision and skills necessary to develop a robust, sustainable advancement program. The successful candidate also will have an excellent understanding of how to navigate and function within a large, complex, fast-paced and entrepreneurial environment. An ability to engage diverse internal and external stakeholders, strengthening their commitment to the organization and achieving their philanthropic support is essential. Critical to the role will be excellent communication, organizational, and leadership skills. An entrepreneurial spirit, a drive for innovation, and the ability to bring creative strategies to the table are all essential qualities. The successful candidate will have the ability to travel locally and nationally. A bachelor’s degree is required for the position. An advanced degree related to education or management will be appreciated.

The University of Southern California, Leadership and Strategic Growth

The University of Southern California, founded in 1880, is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles and global center for arts, technology and international business, USC's diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. USC is home to more than 48,000 students, including more than 12,000 international students, and 4,600 full-time faculty members. The university has more than 365,000 living alumni, about half of whom are living in California, and more than 100 alumni organizations in major cities around the world.

USC is led by Carol L. Folt, who became the university’s 12th president in July 2019. Formerly chancellor at the University of North Carolina, she has launched USC on a mission to transform its culture, reinforce high ethical standards and restructure university governance, with the overarching goal of preparing students for a multidisciplinary and collaborative future.

President Folt has laid out four strategic goals for the university:

  • Open USC’s doors wider for students from all backgrounds and ensure they have the resources – including expanded financial aid -- to truly flourish. USC already has one of the most diverse student populations and the largest financial aid program – almost $650 million last year alone – among major American research universities.
  • Advance sustainability through measures including responsible purchasing, phasing out single-use, non-essential plastics, subsidizing public transit, and pursuing a timeline for carbon neutrality.
  • Deepen USC’s public partnerships to position the university as a leader in revisioning the urban future and narrowing disparities in the communities it serves.
  • Leverage the talent of USC’s faculty and schools by pursuing bold ideas in areas where USC has a distinct advantage, including accelerating efforts to reimagine online learning and students’ educational experiences.

This last point goes to the heart of one of USC Rossier’s strengths.

USC Rossier School of Education

The mission of the USC Rossier School of Education (pronounced ross-EAR) is to prepare leaders to achieve educational equity through practice, research and policy. Rossier’s focus on urban education reflects USC’s commitment to its community and guides Rossier faculty and students in generating and acquiring knowledge that will contribute to a more equitable future. USC Rossier offers students a rich urban environment in which to learn, as well as many international opportunities for research and study.

Classes in education began at USC in the 1890s. USC’s Department of Education was founded in 1909, and the School of Education was established in 1918. In 1998, alumni Barbara J. and Roger W. Rossier gave $20 million to the school, which was at the time the largest gift to any school of education in the world. In recognition of their generosity and the importance of their vision for the future of education, the school was renamed in their honor.

USC Rossier offers a range of graduate and professional programs marked by their innovative approaches to preparing teachers and educational leaders.

In 2005 USC Rossier gained national recognition with the redesign of its doctoral programs. It now offers two distinct doctoral degrees: a PhD in urban education policy, aimed at students who want to be research scholars, and the EdD aimed at practitioners who aspire to lead high-performing organizations. The education doctorate is awarded in Educational Leadership, Global Executive Education, and Organizational Change and Leadership.

In 2009, USC Rossier launched its revolutionary online Master of Arts in Teaching program, the first in a major research university. The online program provides the same rigor as the traditional on-campus program but is offered in an interactive learning environment with intensive, school-based fieldwork experiences. Today, the online MAT has more than 4,000 graduates who come from nearly every state and more than three dozen countries. Its success led USC Rossier to take its EdD programs online. Rossier’s range of master’s degree programs also serve students who want to start or advance careers as ESL and world language teachers, counselors and managers in enrollment and admissions services. In addition, the school offers certificate and non-certificate programs as well as customized professional development for teachers, leaders and administrators in K-12 settings and offices of education, and for other education professionals.

Undergraduates can select from several minors to explore socio-cultural issues in education. In 2012, USC Rossier’s commitment to innovation, excellence and equity drove its creation of the Ednovate network of public charter high schools, which serve historically marginalized communities in Los Angeles and Orange counties. More than 80% of Ednovate students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of children living in poverty. Despite the challenges these students face, the Ednovate model has resulted in nearly 100 percent graduation and college acceptance rates for four straight years.

Dean Pedro Noguera

Pedro Noguera became the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education in July 2020. The first person of color to lead the school in its 102-year history, he is a champion of public education and the transformations needed to ensure that all students are given the resources, care and respect they need to be successful learners.

A New York native and first-generation college student, Dean Noguera earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Brown University before receiving a doctorate in sociology from UC Berkeley. He has extensive experience in both practice and policy, first as a teacher in public schools in Rhode Island and Northern California and later as a member of the Berkeley school board. He brought insights from the classroom and boardroom to his scholarly work and teaching at Harvard, New York University and UCLA and has advised large urban districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has led research centers, including the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at NYU and the Institute for the Study of Social Change at UC Berkeley. He founded and directed the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA. A prolific scholar, Dean Noguera is the author, co-author, or editor of 13 books, including The Crisis of Connection: Roots, Consequences, and Solutions and Race, Equity and Education: Sixty Years from Brown. Frequently cited in national media, he is a board member of The Nation magazine, the Economic Policy Institute and the National Equity Project.

Dean Noguera is committed to building on USC Rossier’s legacy of preparing school leaders, who include more than 75 current superintendents in California. He also seeks to strengthen Rossier’s position as a thought leader in educational innovation and change. Among his highest priorities is heightening awareness of Rossier’s cutting-edge research and faculty and turning Rossier into a beacon of guidance and support for schools and policymakers grappling with complex issues of school improvement across California and the nation. Another critical goal is identifying opportunities for growth as Rossier and the university confront the challenges of higher education in the Covid-19 era.

To be considered for this position, a cover letter, resume, and writing samples are all required.  

Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 7 years, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience Minimum Field of Expertise: Major campaign, fundraising, and/or senior volunteer group management experience.

REQ20093958 Posted Date: 10/16/2020

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