Associate Dean of External Affairs, School of Professional Studies (SPS)

Job Type

Full Time




622 West 113th Street
New York
New York
United States


Reporting to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies with a dotted line to the Vice President of University Development, the Associate Dean [for External Affairs] is responsible for planning, developing, and administering a coordinated effort to establish and strengthen ties with a variety of school constituents; raising private funds and developing external sponsorships to support the strategic initiatives of the School; overseeing effective recognition and stewardship programs for all alumni, donors, and friends; and ensuring that SPS is engaged with the community. The Associate Dean oversees the budget of the External Affairs Team, including funds earmarked for business development,  fundraising, alumni affairs, board development, and community relations activities. 

Specifically, in partnership with the Dean, the Associate Dean

·        Leads and provides strategy for a staff comprising Business Development, Alumni Relations, Community Affairs, and Institutional Advancement professionals. Partners closely with colleagues in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and the Dean's Office for their externally facing roles. 

·        Serves as prominent representative for the School including speaking engagements, meetings, and written communications

·        Cultivates and manages the School's relationship with its Board of Overseers; 

·        Fosters relationships with corporate partners and other friends that result in financial support and other sponsorships that advance the School's objectives;

·        In coordination with their Director of Development develops and implements a plan for all fundraising and annual campaigns, as well as alumni, corporate, and foundation giving;

·        Helps to promote SPS’ commitment to advancing access to higher education by building strong relationships with and engaging community stakeholders in the communities of which Columbia’s campuses are a part.


1.      Business Development

a.      Oversee corporate fundraising and partnership activities for SPS.

b.      With the business development team, develop a strategy and plan to research, identify, and engage potential corporate partners.

c.      Design partnership options based on identified fundraising and sponsorship opportunities, as well as execute strategy; manage (on an ongoing basis) relationships with potential partners who demonstrate interest and fit with the School’s objectives. 

d.      Develop reporting to measure the outcomes and effectiveness of partnership development strategies and tactics.

2.      Board Development

a.      Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with the School’s Board of Overseers. Serve as primary, day-to-day SPS contact for members of the Board.

b.      Develop agendas for, and facilitate, successful Board meetings. Ensure proceedings are accurately recorded and conduct appropriate follow up.

c.      In partnership with the Dean, develop “personal portfolios” in consultation with individual Board members that enables them to lend their talents and expertise to SPS in a way that is most meaningful to them. Identify ways Board members can be engaged with SPS and regularly inform them of relevant school events and activities.

d.      Identify and recommend to the Dean new Board members when vacancies arise. Develop a leadership identification pipeline that enables alumni, donors, friends of the School to engage at various levels, culminating with nomination to the Board of Overseers.


4.      Fundraising

a.      In partnership with the Dean, the Vice President of University Development and the SPS Director of Development, develops and implements a strategic and tactical plan (including target objectives) for fundraising and major gifts for the School.

b.      Working closely with the University Office of Alumni and Development, develop standardized policies, procedures, and communications that result in achievement of objectives and create a high degree of visibility into development efforts. Ensure appropriate follow up is conducted in recording and acknowledging gifts.

5.      Alumni Relations

a.      Develop a strategic plan for and lead all alumni relations activities for SPS, resulting in highly satisfied alumni—from degree and non-degree programs—who are engaged in the activities of the School.

b.      Ensure communications, programming, activities, alumni boards, and other opportunities exist for alumni to continue to be a part of the SPS community—and, in partnership with OAD—the broader University community.

6.      Community Relations

a.      Lead the identification and development of strong relationships with individuals and organizations within the communities of which Columbia’s campuses are a part that could serve as potential partners on a variety of initiatives.

b.      Work collaboratively with entities in the community to enhance the School’s mission to provide access to higher education to traditionally underserved populations. 

7.      Communications and Related Duties

a.      As directed by the Dean, serve as a high-level representative of, and ambassador for, the School on schoolwide and university-wide committees, as well as at conferences/events and with external constituencies. Serve as an articulate spokesperson on the subject of professional education and the work of the School of Professional Studies.

b.      Utilize a variety of innovative techniques and tools, including social media and data analytics, to identify and engage alumni, donors, and strategic partners, as described above.

c.      Ensure all information for alumni, donors, friends, and previous students not officially considered alumni is consolidated, up-to-date, researched (as applicable), stored electronically in the appropriate databases, and easily accessible. 

d.      Perform other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree and/or its equivalent required, along with a minimum of 10 years of related experience.  Master of Business Administration degree preferred.


Demonstrated expertise is required in the following: business development, fundraising, alumni affairs, and/or community affairs; relationship management and in cultivating/pursuing institutional and corporate relationships; strategy, organizational management, and leadership. Qualified candidate must have experience in leading and managing teams, an executive presence and an ability to be a high-level representative of the School. Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills required, along with exceptional attention to detail, as well as, strong organization and time management skills. Individual must have the ability to perform non-routine work with changing priorities. Entrepreneurial spirit; proven consultative and client service approach to solving business problems and addressing new opportunities and Significant experience with the Office Suite of programs (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, Visio)



Advanced degree in business, fundraising, or nonprofit management. Corporate, foundation, and/or higher education experience. Expertise in grant writing and/or creating high-level and detailed proposals, pitch materials, and presentations. Familiarity with social media; ability to communicate and engage with various audiences through a variety of technology platforms.


Medical, Dental, Retirement, Paid Time Off, Life Insurance, Disability, etc.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply