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Director of Development, Institutional Research - University of Saskatchewan

Application Deadline: 2022-02-01
Job Title: Director of Development, Institutional Research
Institution: University of Saskatchewan

The Director of Development, Institutional Research leads, develops and communicates major gift fundraising plans specifically for University-wide research priorities, including non-college specific priorities, centres, institutes and units. The Director provides high-level tactile expertise, direction and facilitation in the development, implementation and oversight of fundraising strategies designed to maximize long-term financial support for diverse university wide priorities. The Director will work with leaders across diverse disciplines, and plays a leadership role in building an integrated approach to the University’s development function that advances the university’s vision, presence and impact. This role will play a significant part in reaching the strategic goal of leading the University through a highly successful comprehensive campaign.

 Primary Purpose:

Under the strategic direction of the AVP, Advancement and the Vice President Research working in collaboration with multiple team members, the Director drives the development of cultivation/solicitation fundraising plans and projects to support and lead priority Institutional Research Initiatives that support major gifts, designed to lift the profile of USask as a major destination for alumni and philanthropic engagement and a priority for national and international investment.

 The Director manages a diverse and sophisticated portfolio of major gift level donors, corporations and foundations. As a member of the Advancement leadership team, reporting to the Associate Vice President Advancement/Chief Development Officer and the Vice President Research , the position is responsible for providing development advice, strategic direction and issues management advice to the AVP Advancement, the Vice President Research, the UR senior leadership team and executive leadership across the university in relation to the university’s interactions and activities with donors, alumni and other stakeholders.

 The Director is a recognized leader in the field of fundraising and serve as a key advisor to the AVP Advancement/Chief Development Officer, VP Research, senior administrators, the Advancement Leadership Team, volunteers and the university more broadly. 

 The Director must possess a strong desire to define the leading edge of fundraising practice in Canada, to directly support strong fundraising results through developing and delivering on outstanding fundraising priorities and opportunities, and to enhance the University’s reputation for advancement excellence.

 Nature of Work:

The Director understands and evaluates the development activities taking place across the university in order to strategically advance it’s relationships with donors and other stakeholders. The position plays a leadership role in formulating donor strategies that seek to advance the university’s reputation, interests and the securing of resources.

 The Director will lead, develop and build working relationships with academic leaders that support research centres and institutes, and other academic portfolios. Versatile and adaptable, the position will navigate seamlessly between different working styles, and will be as comfortable giving as receiving constructive feedback. As the subject matter expert, the position will be a credible resource to engage the senior leaders, community leaders and other high-level volunteers.

 Known as a strategic thinker and aspirational goal setter, the Director will model behavior and coach team members to proactively engage with university leaders and faculty to understand their needs and opportunities, and bring focus and organization to moving plans forward. Well-versed and effective in both strategy and execution, the position will bring a strong customer-service mindset and attention to detail.

 The University of Saskatchewan values diversity and Indigenous engagement is a strategic priority.  In support of this priority, the position will lead a team environment which recognizes and supports the importance and value of diversity in achieving the mission of the University, and actively seek out those with diverse cultural backgrounds, perspective and experiences to support the mission.

 In University Relations, the nature of our work centers on our guiding principles of being:

  • Inspiring: We are confident in ourselves and our goals. We instill confidence and excitement in others to bring them along with us.
  • Committed to each other’s success: We look for opportunities to make all our teams and the University successful.
  • Collaborative and integrated: We work together toward shared goals.
  • Solutions- and action-oriented: We continuously seek a path forward and we get things done.
  • Brave and courageous: We expect to encounter obstacles.
    We face these challenges head-on.
  • Respectful: We demonstrate our regard for others through listening, understanding, and acknowledging the contributions of all.



  • Leads and inspires a team of development staff in providing regular feedback, aligning goals and expectations, and driving accountability for success;
  • Manages direct-reporting staff through activities such as recruitment, onboarding, retention, performance management and separations and has full decision making and discretion over employment matters related to direct reports;
  • Leads a comprehensive major gift development program for assigned portfolios to obtain long-term financial support for the university from a wide range of potential donors to deliver on the goal of leading the University through a successful comprehensive campaign.
  • Collaborate with, encourage, support, coach, develop and mentor others that may or may not have formal reporting responsibilities to the portfolio to help the university build on an existing culture of welcoming donor and alumni engagement.
  • Works effectively as a member of informal and formal teams with people from diverse communities, cultures and perspectives.
  • Develops and oversees regular monitoring, evaluation and reporting of development metrics, including annual measurement and tracking progress against established targets and benchmarks aligned with strategic plans.

 Strategy Development and Strategic Counsel

  • Develops and implements advancement strategy and priorities for centers and institutes across the University and integrates advancement needs from centres and institutes into the strategy;
  • Contributes to protecting and enhancing the university’s reputation through effective relationship building with external stakeholders and provides strategic development counsel for senior administration, deans, executive directors and campus leaders.
  • Serves as a trusted advisor and university-wide resource and liaison to donors, the AVP Advancement, senior and executive leadership and other internal University stakeholders on a wide range of Development matters.
  • Establishes strong relationships with senior leadership across campus and the university’s senior leadership team and work with those leaders to set priorities for non-college specific units and centres.
  • Works with the AVP and Vice President University Relations to develop donor and alumni engagement strategies.
  • Consults with colleges, centres, schools and research institutes to provide recommendations on the development and implementation of advancement and donor strategies to help ensure a consistent and coordinated university-wide approach.


  • Actively manage a portfolio of donors and potential donors to the university.
  • Working with the AVP, Advancement foster collaboration across portfolios, units and centres to ensure proper engagement donors and key stakeholders.
  • Oversees the production of tailored major gift proposals and case statements relevant to the portfolio.
  • Work with Advancement colleagues on internal and external communications, briefing notes, research profiles, funding proposals, gift agreements and stewardship reports.
  • Work with academic leaders and the AVP/CDO to institute strategies related to donor-centered activity and building a culture of philanthropy within the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Develops strategies, identifies, evaluates, cultivates, solicits and stewards prospects and donors. Personally manages a portfolio of prospective and major gift donors.

 HR, Operations and Budget Management

Responsible for decisions with respect to hiring, onboarding, assigning work and developing work plans, job profiles, funding arrangements, key position goals, performance feedback or discipline, merit, workload and time away for direct and indirect reports, involving deans/executive directors as necessary.


The Director is a senior fundraising expert working routinely with matters that are time-sensitive, complex, sensitive in nature, confidential and with a significant impact on the University in terms of its relationships, resources and reputation.

 Key university partners include academic leaders such as deans and executive directors of research institutes, centres or schools. Key external partners include donors, alumni and other stakeholders of influence.

 The position also coaches and mentors senior administrators across campus in order to articulate institutional fundraising priorities with donors and alumni, to identify and qualify opportunities and to lead donor and prospect strategies.  Given the nature of the position and stakeholders to the Development portfolio, work outside of the University’s regular operating hours is anticipated.


  • Undergraduate degree required, advanced degree strongly preferred;


  • 10+ years of progressive experience in fundraising or related work with senior officials in a complex decentralized post-secondary environment.
  • Experience with delivering on advancement goals for research centres and institutes is preferred;
  • Proven leadership; ability to combine people and resources in a manner that will achieve objectives within established limits; ability to coach and mentor a fundraising support team;
  • Understanding and commitment to the academic environment; innovation, ability to motivate others, and a passion for what you do;
  • Demonstrated ability to think and perform strategically, and to effectively communicate strategic advice and counsel;
  • Knowledge of the University of Saskatchewan’s culture, issues, goals and stakeholders is an asset.


  • Enthusiasm for the mission of public universities and resonance with the University of Saskatchewan’s mission, vision and values;
  • An open and collaborative leadership style that motivates, engages, energizes and focuses on results;
  • Proven success in building productive, long-term relationships with senior university and campus administrators, faculty, staff, donors, alumni and other external stakeholders;
  • Strong commitment to team building and professional development;
  • Creativity and the ability to foster creativity in others.



The University believes equity, diversity, and inclusion strengthen the community and enhance excellence, innovation and creativity. We are dedicated to recruiting individuals who will enrich our work and learning environments. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. We are committed to providing accommodations to those with a disability or medical necessity. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment process, please notify us and we will work together on the accommodation request. The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. Together, we are uplifting Indigenization to a place of prominence at the University of Saskatchewan.