Vice President for Development, SUNY Cobleskill

April 25, 2018

About SUNY Cobleskill:

The State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill is an accredited polytechnic college that is primarily baccalaureate and residential. SUNY Cobleskill is one of few institutions in the United States where an undergraduate student may also choose to earn an associate degree. The College has an enrollment of approximately 2,500 students in 52 programs divided into two schools, Agriculture and Natural Resources; Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences. An economic engine for rural New York, SUNY Cobleskill is home to a wide array of extended learning and professional development opportunities. SUNY Cobleskill is located in a rural community one hour west of Albany, the state capital, and three hours north of New York City.

Modeling experiential education, SUNY Cobleskill is committed to providing small classes, excellent facilities, and a hands-on learning environment. Whether students plan to further their education or begin their professional careers, they graduate with the foundation to pursue their goals and to succeed.

Our new strategic plan goal, launched in late 2017, is “to sustain a thriving and effective college.”  The plan envisions a vibrant future, remaining attentive to our current distinctiveness and honoring our past. The position of Vice President for Development is an exceptional opportunity for a seasoned leader to play a critical role in SUNY Cobleskill’s success.

Job Description:

Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the President’s cabinet, the Vice President for Development works closely with administrative and academic staff, the College Foundation, an advisory team and the Alumni Association to fulfill the College’s mission, ensure financial growth and promote an environment of continuous improvement.

The Vice President for Development has a major role in positioning the institution for growth through highly effective fundraising.  This senior administrator is responsible for developing, implementing and managing comprehensive programs in donor cultivation, college advancement and alumni affairs. The Vice President will work with all of the College’s constituencies and serves the Foundation Board and its Alumni Association. She/he will be supported by a team of experienced advisors to include the President, Vice President for Business and Finance/College Foundation Executive Director, the Provost and Academic Deans, the Chief of Staff/Government Relations Specialist, Vice President for Operations, Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs, the Director of Institutional Research/Strategic Planning and the Director of Communication and Marketing.

The incumbent serves as the College liaison to the private sector in strengthening business partnerships and building endowments via major gift campaigns, the annual fund initiative and similar fundraising activities.  She/he will engage stakeholders and cultivate new partners to support the College as it addresses key issues including farm and food entrepreneurship, food security, regional development, and global stewardship of resources. Committed to shared governance, the VP leads and inspires colleagues, embodies the highest ideals of ethics and integrity, and grasps the implications of the College’s educational approach that “calls all learners,” as it promotes responsible growth, sustainable co-existence with nature, and carefully managed renewal.

Essential duties and responsibilities include:

  • Sets fundraising goals, identifies and implements strategies to achieve goals, directs resources, monitors and reports on progress;
  • Solicits contributions directly, and develops proposals and solicitation materials together with staff and advisory team;
  • Contributes to short- and long-term strategic and operational planning, including through identification and analysis of major trends;
  • Stays abreast of campus culture: student events, faculty research and teaching, as well as broader developments in Schoharie County, New York State, and American public universities, in order to identify new resources and to represent the institution to SUNY and other external audiences;
  • Develops calendars, agendas, and other fundraising tools with the President, Foundation Board, and Vice President for Business and Finance (Executive Director of the Foundation);
  • Maintains accountability, complies with SUNY and New York State rules, regulations and policies and complies with ethical principles and standards of professional conduct for fundraising executives.
  • Recruits, trains, supervises, and evaluation of all those who support fundraising operations, including volunteers;
  • Conducts donor and prospect research and recognition;
  • Maintains effective relationships with board members and develops effective Foundation Board governance, including making recommendations for board candidates;
  • Designs educational programs for staff and volunteers and pursues formal and informal education and professional development for self and others as needed;
  • Plans a wide range of distinctive events at the College in partnership with faculty, staff and students;
  • Promotes efficient fiscal operation and cost-effective practices.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, master’s degree strongly preferred;
  • Seven or more years’ progressive responsibility in fund raising or development positions;
  • Significant experience analyzing and making recommendations to build a development operation;
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication;
  • Excellent negotiation and team building skills;
  • Adherence to strong ethical principles;
  • Demonstrated commitment and ability to work with a diverse group of students, faculty, staff constituents in support of the campus’ mission, vision and values within a shared governance model;
  • Proven track record of consistently meeting and exceeding fundraising objectives;
  • Demonstrated success as an inspirational team builder and leader;
  • Ability to build strong and productive internal and external relationships;
  • Familiarity with computer systems and data analytics;
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality at the highest levels.

Preferred Qualifications

In addition to the aforementioned minimum qualifications, it is preferred the candidate also have:

  • Master’s degree in a related field.
  • Experience in fundraising with an alumni population as well as a proven track record of improving their participation rate;
  • Experience in the SUNY System and/or public higher education;
  • Experience with higher education budgetary processes, operational and accountability measures;
  • Certification in fundraising with the CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) credential preferred.


Additional Information:

  • This is a Management/Confidential, MC1, 12 month, full time position.
  • This position offers full New York State benefits which are among the most comprehensive in the country.
  • Salary range for this position is $100-110,000 annually.
  • SUNY Cobleskill is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community for our students and employees. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Any offer of employment is contingent on the successful completion of the background check.

SUNY Cobleskill is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students, and ensuring equal educational and employment opportunity and access to services, programs and activities without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction, or any other legally protected status.  Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation during the hiring process should contact the Human Resources Office at (518) 255-5514.

Pursuant to Executive Order 161, no State entity, as defined by the Executive Order, is permitted to ask, or mandate, in any form, that an applicant for employment provide his or her current compensation, or any prior compensation history, until such time as the applicant is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation.  If such information has been requested from you before such time, please contact the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations at (518) 474-6988 or via email at

Application Instructions:

Review of candidates will begin 5/21/18, therefore, for full consideration, candidates are asked to submit materials by that date.  The position will remain open until filled.

Completed application consists of the following:

1. Letter of interest addressing the position priorities as reflected in the announcement
2. Current CV or Resume
3. List of at least 3 but not more than 5 references, with current contact information (including phone and e-mail) and a description of how each reference is known and for how long

Additional materials may be requested of candidates at a later date.