The Director of Corporate Engagement & Strategic Initiatives is a new role created to distinguish the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) as a leading institution for corporate engagement and collaborations resulting in increased opportunities for liberal arts students and graduates. This position will be uniquely situated in the College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Education to elevate the needs of undergraduate students in the college and to provide a presence in University-wide corporate conversations.
Reporting to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, the Director will be a self-starter in establishing corporate relationships and partnerships for CLA. They will work closely with the Director of Career Readiness, Associate Director of Employer & Alumni Partnerships, a CLA external engagement workgroup, and partner with University offices/depts to elevate CLA internally and externally. Liberal arts graduates contribute to a large array of industries and sectors which provide a broad range of opportunities for collaboration beyond corporate gifts. The regional workforce ecosystem is poised for creative partnerships between employers, higher education, and community organizations to help meet goals for economic equity and workforce development. This role positions CLA to capitalize on these new opportunities in alignment with the University's broader corporate engagement strategy in the Talent Development quadrant of the University Corporate Engagement Model. As the largest college in Minnesota, CLA contributes more graduates to the workforce than any other institution. A liberal arts education uniquely positions CLA alumni to help organizations navigate the challenges in today’s world.
Success in this role will be quantified more broadly than traditional corporate relations roles. While generating revenue and investment will be a priority, it will not be the only metric used to determine successful outcomes. The primary function of this role is to expand relationships with corporations resulting primarily in strategic engagement to increase opportunities for students. Over time, the individual will partner with CLA Advancement in generating revenue opportunities based on successful engagement. Portfolio goals will include organizations engaged, relationships under management, executives and leaders engaged through volunteerism in career experience events and programming, philanthropy dollars closed in collaboration with CLA’s Office of Institutional Advancement, submitted proposals and grants, external engagement, and collaborations established through referrals from internal partners (UMF, DO’s etc.).
Strategy for External & Internal Partnerships Related to Corporate Engagement (55%)
Drive the strategic direction of corporate engagement work in CLA related to undergraduates and work to develop relationships that result in engagement with the college.
Work with University partners, including University of Minnesota Foundations and CLA’s Office of Institutional Advancement to align external strategies for a cohesive external experience.
Understand the complexity of CLA, goals of the Career Readiness Initiative and synthesize opportunities for various audiences to achieve mutually beneficial results.
Build external partnerships and elevate the career needs of undergraduate students in CLA, and the value of a liberal arts degree as a highly regarded preparation for post graduation success both internally and externally.
Lead the CLA External Engagement workgroup to establish data driven priorities, opportunities and strategic initiatives related to corporate partnerships and engagement.
Represent and elevate CLA undergraduate students in regional workforce conversations and drive career opportunities for students with a lens for creating equitable access.
Work with the CLA’s Office of Institutional Advancement and the Associate Director of Alumni & Employer Partnerships to activate alumni in corporations strategically, including meeting directly with contacts in corporations to execute the strategy.
Sponsorship Strategy for CLA’s Office of Undergraduate Education (15%)
Develops a sponsorship solicitation strategy for opportunities within undergraduate education.
Partners with Career Services to identify a menu of sponsorship opportunities that will increase engagement with and visibility for our industry partners.
Ensures sponsorships are executed and stewarded well, in alignment with expectations.
Communications & Operations (30%)
Attend business development meetings with the Employer Engagement team to understand the talent needs of corporations.
Work with college stakeholders and external partners to author and submit compelling proposals, grants and reports to corporate partners and foundations.
Create and execute an external corporate communication plan including web presence and collateral to ensure consistency of messaging to align CLA goals with corporate goals.
Responsible for administering the day to day operations of the effort.
Utilize University data software (Salesforce, PGS, M & G Network, Handshake) to set priorities and strategic direction.
Expected starting salary: $113,000+ depending on qualifications
Minimum of 10 years of experience in a higher education, corporate, or private foundation setting with demonstrated ability to manage a prospect portfolio, solicit gifts, sponsorships, and/or engagement; or 10 or more years of experience in marketing, consultative sales, public relations, financial advisement, real estate or related field where cultivation/solicitation and maintenance of client relationships was a primary responsibility.
Effective interpersonal and communication skills; ability to work creatively, collaboratively with others to problem solve.
Strong personal commitment to advocating for a liberal arts education.
Minimum of 15 years of experience in a higher education, corporate, or private foundation setting with demonstrated ability to manage a prospect portfolio, solicit gifts, sponsorships, and/or engagement; or 15 or more years of experience in marketing, consultative sales, public relations, financial advisement, real estate or related field where cultivation/solicitation and maintenance of client relationships was a primary responsibility.
Experience working in a higher education setting such as career services, alumni relations or a foundation or advancement office.
Proven ability to provide visionary leadership in a complex environment.
Proven ability to work effectively with a diverse group of internal and external constituents including faculty, staff, and industry partners and a variety of organizational levels.
Demonstrated ability to successfully solicit gifts and manage a prospect portfolio.
Demonstrated ability to represent the needs of underrepresented students.
Demonstrated ability to be flexible and adaptable to change.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.