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About the Position

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC), a comprehensive regional public university with a reputation for academic excellence and fostering undergraduate research, in Eau Claire, WI, invites nominations and applications for the position of President of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and Executive Director of University Advancement.

The President/Executive Director will lead a successful institutionally related foundation with total assets of more than $150 million, including more than $70 million in endowment funds.

Reporting to the Chancellor and collaboratively with the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Board Chair, the President/Executive Director will play an integral role in providing insights and resources to advance the University’s ambitious strategic objectives including leading efforts related to strategic partnerships and innovative resource development in support of the University.

The President/Executive Director will  demonstrate a history of major and principal gift fundraising success; show aptitude for leading complex and multi-partner initiatives; exhibit proven experience sustaining strong professional relationships internally and externally; provide evidence of ability to lead an engaged Foundation board; and possess leadership necessary to guide the Foundation into higher levels of fundraising success.

The President/Executive Director will guide the Foundation and university in fulfilling the goals of its current $150 million Sustaining Human Innovation Campaign.  Specifically, the President/Executive Director will demonstrate an ability to translate the work of the faculty and staff into philanthropic support. The President/Executive Director will lead fundraising efforts in the areas of annual fund raising, major gifts and gift planning programs, as well as oversee the financial operation/outsourced chief investment officer, alumni programming, constituent relations and advancement services. Integration of best practices is expected to improve both results and performance within all areas of development.

The President/Executive Director provides leadership for the Blugold Real Estate Foundation (BGREF), a supporting entity of the UWEC Foundation. The role of the BGREF is to acquire, develop and manage real estate projects in alignment with Foundation and University strategic plans and to meet the University’s off-campus facility needs. BGREF owns two off-campus student apartment buildings and a former convent that has been converted to a childcare center and student housing. BGREF also was instrumental in the development of a community arts facility in downtown Eau Claire and the County Material Complex off campus that consists of a 120-yard field house, 5,000 capacity event center and a 15,000 square-foot health and wellness center. BGREF has been responsible for more than $250 million in development benefiting the university.

For more information regarding the position, UW-Eau Claire and the Eau Claire community, please view this video message from Chancellor James C. Schmidt:

University and the Eau Claire Community

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is a leader for academic excellence, undergraduate research and high-impact practices in the University of Wisconsin System. Consistently ranked among the top 10 public Midwestern universities, UW-Eau Claire is home to about 10,000 students, who are drawn to Wisconsin’s most beautiful campus. Innovation, collaboration, leadership, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable stewardship are core values at UW-Eau Claire. About 90% of students participate in at least one high-impact practice such as student-faculty research. UWEC students undertake more than 100,000 hours of community service each academic year.

The university has a branch UW-Eau Claire – Barron County campus in Rice Lake where students may earn associate’s degrees or begin their college careers before transferring to our main campus. UW-Eau Claire’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a bachelor of science in nursing program at our Marshfield site to allow students to learn where they live while pursuing their BSN degree.

UW-Eau Claire has approximately 1,400 faculty and staff, with a faculty/student ratio of 1:19. Groundbreaking community partnerships in manufacturing, business, health care and the cultural arts produce myriad opportunities for faculty scholarship/creative activities and student internships. UW-Eau Claire is one of the only universities in the world to have a master collaborative research agreement with Mayo Clinic Health System.

Eau Claire is western Wisconsin’s largest city, home to nearly 70,000 residents who live, work and play in the area situated at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers. The Eau Claire metropolitan area of approximately 173,000 people is 90 miles east of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Eau Claire is known for its beautiful parks and trails, small-town neighborhoods, excellent schools, vibrant arts scene, diverse local food culture, and abundant recreational opportunities. UW-Eau Claire’s campus is within walking distance of two popular shopping districts that feature coffee shops, art galleries and live music venues.

Detailed Position Description

The President of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation and Executive Director of University Advancement serves as the university’s chief advancement officer responsible for the strategic direction, vision and management of the University’s institutional advancement. This position supports the strategic priorities of the University by leveraging relationships and resources to ensure student success.

The President of the Foundation is the Chief Operating Officer of the organization. The President reports to the University Chancellor and collaboratively with the Foundation Board Chair, and is responsible for general management of the affairs of the Foundation. The President is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Foundation Board.

Specific Responsibilities as Foundation President

  • Leads strategy development and execution for the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in collaboration with the University Chancellor and Foundation Board Chair.
  • Serves as a leader representing the Foundation and University on key community, industry and contractual collaborations.
  • Provides oversight of all areas of Foundation operations, including fundraising, financial affairs, outsourced chief investment officer, stewardship and alumni engagement.
  • Plans, implements and ensures completion of fundraising campaigns for the University.
  • Maintains a portfolio of leadership gift prospects for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of lead gifts to the Foundation.
  • Provides direction and management of all fundraising activities including planned, major and annual giving, as well as stewardship functions.
  • Accepts or refuses all gifts tendered to the Foundation according to the Foundation’s gift acceptance policy.
  • Approves all expenditures of Foundation funds.
  • Staffs the Foundation board and provides leadership in support of Foundation board initiatives, strategic planning, board recruitment and retention and general Foundation board business.
  • Works collaboratively with finance staff to oversee Foundation operating budget and strategically leverage Foundation resources toward priorities and with parameters that ensure long term fiscal health.
  • Collaborates with the Executive Director of the Blugold Real Estate Foundation to strategically plan and execute real estate projects that fulfill the Foundation’s strategic plan and support the needs of the University.
  • Serves as ex-officio, non-voting member of the Blugold Real Estate Foundation board.

Specific Responsibilities of Executive Director of University Advancement

  • Advises the Chancellor on matters related to institutional advancement, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, alumni engagement and general outreach and connection with alumni and donors.
  • Works collaboratively with Chancellor on engagement, solicitation and stewardship activities of lead donors to the Foundation.
  • Serves on university committees and executive staff as designated by the Chancellor.
  • Facilitates and monitors funding requests from the University to the Foundation
  • Establishes and maintains positive community relations that contribute to the University’s ability to fulfill its mission and foster innovative partnerships for the benefit of students.

Qualifications and Desired Characteristics

  • The successful candidate will be an experienced higher education leader, with the energy and interpersonal and leadership skills needed to lead a successful and complex institutionally related foundation. The successful candidate will have:
  • Evidence of solid performance in fundraising and overseeing major gift officers as well as providing direction and oversight resulting in year over year growth of the endowment.
  • Proven ability to create and maintain collaborative partnerships with academic leadership, business partners and community leaders to effectively leverage Foundation assets.
  • Experience in understanding the Foundation’s role in developing capital assets, creating cross-campus and community wide collaborations to fulfill the university’s mission.
  • Experience in overseeing professional staff and independent contractors.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with volunteer leaders on the Foundation board as well as other volunteers.
  • High degree of skill in relationship-building and partnering with individuals and students across the university and with donors and alumni.
  • Passion for results and data-driven action.
  • Commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity demonstrated by leadership, active planning, and accountability.
  • An appreciation of UW-Eau Claire’s mission of excellence and inclusion, and an ability to communicate what makes the institution distinctive.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of demonstrated success working in a leadership position in major gift fundraising, preferably at a college or university.
  • Demonstrated success in building relationships with donors, alumni, and other partners leading to successful fundraising results.
  • Experience working with diverse populations.


Additional Resources

Application Process

Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled with a priority date of February 2, 2024. All inquiries and nominations/referrals should be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Billy Felz, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management:

Applications must be submitted electronically through the campus website: Foundation President/Executive Director of University Advancement  Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this leadership profile. Also, the names and contact information of three professional references. 

The university reserves the right to contact additional references with notice given to the candidates at an appropriate time in the process.  Employment will require a background check. Employment will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding past conduct related to sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. §. 19.36(7).

The UW-Eau Claire Police Department is dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure environment for learning and working. Although crime at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is limited, the University Police want students, faculty and staff to be aware of crime on campus and the area surrounding the campus. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose annual information about campus crime. Visit our Campus Security and Fire Report and our Campus Security Authority policy.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer, is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender identity, genetic information, religion, or sexual orientation.

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