Senior Director of Development Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University

Senior Director of Development Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University

Job Type
Posting Date
December 11, 2019
Location of Position

Columbus, OH

Company Summary

For 144 years, The Ohio State University's campus in Columbus has been the stage for academic achievement and a laboratory for innovation. It's where friendships are forged. It's where rivalries and revelry are born.

The university's main campus is one of America's largest and most comprehensive. As Ohio's best and one of the nation's top-20 public universities, Ohio State is further recognized by a top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center. As a land-grant university, Ohio State has a physical presence throughout the state, with campuses and research centers located around Ohio.

The Ohio State University is proud to be a premier employer that provides an exceptional total rewards package including medical, dental, vision and many other “hidden” benefits. Our competitive benefits package is offered to all eligible faculty and staff in order to attract, develop and retain top performers eager to share their talent, time and success. Our benefits support your health and financial goals and include not only health insurance, but also generous state retirement, tuition assistance for our employees and their dependents, wellness initiatives, and much more. Please visit for detailed information. Be your best at The Ohio State University!

Duties and Responsibilities

The Ohio State University’s Office of Student Life is seeking an experienced fundraising professional with a passion for higher education to serve as Senior Director of Development.  This position is a part of the Student Life Vice President Leadership team and reports to the Vice President for Student Life and the Executive Director of Scholarship and Student Support in the Office of Advancement.

The Senior Director of Development will understand the mission, needs and value proposition of the university and the Office of Student Life and build relationships with prospective donors to increase philanthropic support. Donors such as alumni, friends, and/or corporations will be identified by listening for opportunities to align their interests and passions with opportunities to donate to the university. As we are looking to expand our pool of potential prospects, discovery work will be required.  The ability to travel overnight, and work occasional nights and weekends, is essential.

Highlights of the Office of Student Life include:

  1. Our People – The Office of Student Life employs more than 6,500 individuals, including:
    • More than 5,500 part-time student employees
    • More than 700 administrative and professional staff
    • More than 300 bargaining unit staff (housekeeping, food service, maintenance)
    • More than 100 Civil Service staff
    • 75 Graduate Assistants
  1. Our Facilities – The Student Life footprint across Ohio State's campuses covers 6.2 million square feet and includes:
    • 36 residence halls and 5 houses on the Columbus Campus
    • Nine off-campus housing units in Columbus
    • Three graduate residence halls
    • Three housing complexes on the Wooster, Newark and Mansfield campuses
    • More than 30 food service locations on Columbus, Newark, Mansfield, and Wooster campuses.
    • Eight health, wellness, and student success facilities on the Columbus campus
    • Adventure Recreation Center
    • Jesse Owens Recreation Centers North, South, and West
    • North Recreation Center
    • Recreation and Physical Activity Center
    • Wilce Student Health Center
    • Younkin Success Center
    • More than 90 acres of outdoor recreation space on and around the Columbus campus
    • One of the area's most comprehensive event centers, the Ohio Union
  1. Leadership – Our highly engaged and experienced leadership team provides stability, vision and purpose to ensure all of our efforts are aligned in a thoughtful and intentional manner while providing strong support of Advancement initiatives.
  2. Culture – Our culture embraces our motto – “Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience.” In everything we do, our team is focused on the student experience as we work collaboratively to that end. Creativity and innovation is encouraged to accomplish our goals.
  3. Resources – Coupled with all of the above, the central resources made available to you, such as a robust donor database and reporting and analytics tools, will allow you to optimize your efficiency and effectiveness by allowing you to focus on your individual priorities while also being armed with the best possible information, strategies and tactics.

Position Environment

The success of the But for Ohio State Campaign transformed the Office of Student Life. Because of generous donor support, we opened state of the art event venues and living spaces, launched new programs to support student growth, development, and learning and enhanced our existing programs and services. As we have now begun the Time and Change Campaign, Student Life continues to seek the creation of extraordinary experiences available to all students.

Learning occurs in every corner and space throughout the university, all day and every day. The Office of Student Life is central to this process, offering students comprehensive, co-curricular programs and services to support them as they transition into and through the university to their chosen profession. During this campaign, Student Life has ambitious goals to remove barriers so that students:

  1. Can fully participate in high-impact practices such as internships, study abroad, student organizations and           leadership opportunities, and immersive experiences.
  2. Feel and be well across the nine dimensions of wellness.
  3. Become local and global citizens who understand civility, leadership, service, diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and change.
  4. Are best prepared for their future beyond Ohio State.

Philanthropic support will allow Student Life to deploy program and services aimed at retaining and graduating students.

These initiatives cannot be achieved without institutional partners. For example, supporting students in recovery requires research partners in Social Work and Pharmacy to inform best practices and preparing students for specialized careers necessarily requires partnerships with all academic units.

We firmly believe powerful partnerships with institutional partners and private supporters will help students persist, graduate, and become engaged alumni and global citizens.

Performance Objectives

First month

  • Become familiar with the overall structure, resources, and capabilities of the team.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of campaign funding priorities for the Office of Student Life.
  • Build relationships and plans with central Advancement and College partners including gift planning, corporate relations, donor relations, foundation relations, development communications, and annual giving.

First 2-3 months

  • Begin to actively fundraise by meeting with existing donors and beginning to qualify prospects
  • Implement lead generation and cultivation strategies, engaging appropriate partners as necessary.
  • Establish solicitation strategies for individual portfolio.
  • Work with development team for best practice solicitation strategies and portfolio assignments.
  • Begin implementation and set dates for solicitation strategies.

First 12 months

  • Continue building a portfolio of qualified prospects.
  • Move the prospects through the donor engagement process.
  • Continue working towards meeting team and individual performance goals/metrics by soliciting and closing major gifts of $100,000 and above.

Why Join Ohio State Advancement Now?

Coinciding with the celebration of the university’s 150th birthday, The Ohio State University just launched the public phase of Time and Change: The Ohio State Campaign, the most ambitious, inclusive community-building and fundraising endeavor in the university’s 150 years of making history. The campaign strives to engage 1 million supporters, an unprecedented level in higher education. Time and Change has a financial goal of $4.5 billion – also the largest in Ohio State’s history – with three core areas of focus: student success; discovery; and healthy, vibrant communities.

“As we celebrate Ohio State’s sesquicentennial, it is fitting to launch a campaign focused on the essence of what it means to be a Buckeye: our unwavering focus on people, their potential, our community and our collective impact around the world. Together, we will continue to invest in the future and ignite hope — inspiring new generations and delivering innovations that serve the greater good.” – President Michael V. Drake

All members of Advancement are part of creating an inclusive culture that inspires an exceptionally diverse and talented team and are measured on their adherence to the following core competencies:  leadership, continuous improvement, teamwork and collaboration, and communication/interpersonal effectiveness.

Position Requirements
Required Experience

Experience Requirements

The selected candidate for this position must have demonstrated success in several areas, including:

At least six years of professional fundraising experience or professional transferable experience (i.e. managing relationships with required measurable output, making calls, conducting face-to-face appointments, creating and presenting proposals, and other fundamental elements of client relationship or sales-related activities)

Desired requirements include:

At least six years of professional fundraising experience raising the highest level of philanthropic gifts at an organization (preferably five or six figures and above); At least six years of professional fundraising experience in higher education or a hospital/health care environment; Experience working in other advancement departments such as donor relations and stewardship, donor communications and/or alumni relations

Apply Here

You Need To Know

Aside from the unparalleled benefits of working for The Ohio State University and working in the diverse, smart, safe, fun and growing city of Columbus, Ohio, this opportunity will provide exceptional rewards that arise from working for a land grant institution where you will truly feel the impact of your work. Learn more here:

Please visit to find out more about University Advancement.
Questions may be directed to Greg Bright, Recruiter, at

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.