Houston, TX

Vice President for Advancement and University Relations, University of Houston-Downtown

The Organization

Position Overview

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) seeks a mission-driven, visionary fundraiser to serve as its next Vice President for Advancement and University Relations.

UHD is a comprehensive four-year university offering bachelor’s and master’s degree programs aimed at career preparation. Located in the heart of Downtown Houston, one of the nation’s most culturally diverse metropolitan areas, the University has created an environment that welcomes and embraces students from all backgrounds. With a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, UHD provides a unique hands-on learning experience for each student. They have the opportunity to select face-to-face instruction Downtown or at a satellite location, they can take classes offered completely online, or a combination of the two. Most importantly, the University charges one of the lowest tuition rates among state colleges and universities.

UHD’s Division of Advancement and University Relations oversees all aspects of fundraising, marketing, communications and public relations for the University. The division includes: campaigns, special initiatives, multi-year and annual fundraising; annual fund, leadership annual giving, major gifts and grants and planned/legacy giving; special events; advancement operations and services; individual, corporate and foundation relations; alumni relations; volunteer leadership management; marketing, communications and public relations.

Reporting to the President, the Vice President for Advancement and University Relations (VP) serves as the University’s chief development officer and its chief marketing and communications officer. As the University’s lead fundraiser, the VP is the leading strategist, prospect and donor relationship administrator or officer (including identification and qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship) for the University. The VP staffs and directly supports the President in fundraising activities and supports and coordinates the fundraising process with academic and executive leadership, deans, the President’s volunteer leadership and others. The VP manages an individual portfolio of high-value/ high-potential donors and prospects while overseeing the development, implementation and execution of strategic, annual and operating plan goals and objectives relating to the division.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated senior-level fundraising experience in university advancement and/or development with accomplishments in direct solicitation, prospect management, annual giving, major and planned giving management, alumni affairs, comprehensive campaigns and public relations, marketing and communication. The next VP will have a demonstrated commitment to diversity and multiculturalism, and the ability to translate the University’s mission as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority-Serving Institution into philanthropic partnerships. The VP will be a strong manager with the ability to lead a small but capable team, capitalizing upon their strengths and developing strategies to best utilize their time to advance UHD’s mission.

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 (found at www.wittkieffer.com).

WittKieffer is assisting University of Houston-Downtown in this search. For fullest consideration, application materials should be received by December 20, 2021.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Lauren Bruce-Stets and Randi Miller


UHD and the University of Houston System is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, UHD does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or status, or gender expression, except where such a distinction is required by law in its program or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs.

How To Apply

Vice President for Advancement and University Relations

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