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Executive Director of Career & Professional Development

Denver, CO - Posted on: Wednesday 06/29/16


Job Description

Advancement efforts at the University of Denver have a tremendous impact for our students and our community through enhanced resources secured from donors for scholarships, faculty positions, pioneering programs, and innovative facilities. Building lifelong relationships with our alumni, families, and friends is also a high institutional priority, understanding that consistent engagement and outreach efforts year after year will be required to build the culture of engagement and philanthropy that the University seeks. Advancement professionals at the University of Denver are relationship-focused, alumni and donor-centric, collaborative, ethical, and results-oriented. We are committed to unwavering standards of excellence and consistently challenge ourselves and each other to strive toward higher levels of achievement.

Position Summary

The University of Denver is seeking an experienced, driven, and passionate leader to join our Advancement team as the Executive Director of Career and Professional Development. This is a unique opportunity for a seasoned professional to join a dynamic, growing and purposeful enterprise united around a compelling mission charted by Chancellor Rebecca Chopp and Vice Chancellor Armin Afsahi. The Executive Director will work with a community of talented professionals united to advance this mission, inspiring professional development, engendering a spirit of gratitude among students and alumni, and building engagement among all facets of the University of Denver community. The intersection of alumni relations and career services has been at the forefront of both fields for the past few years. Reporting directly to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Networks, the Executive Director for Career and Professional Development will build and implement a career development paradigm which draws together students, faculty, staff, employers, and alumni in order to ensure our students leave the campus prepared to be successful professionals. The Executive Director will collaborate extensively with other leaders in Global Networks, Advancement, and across campus to create and execute a forward thinking strategic direction for career and professional development. S/he will also represent DUs career model externally at national conferences and to faculty and alumni to enhance DUs national brand in career programming.

Essential Functions

Career Center Leadership

  • Lead the vision and strategy development of the central career center and the alumni professional development office toward serving 90% of the University of Denver’s student population and thousands of alumni with vital career resources and programs.
  • Develop the strategy and vision in how career and professional development services effectively prepare DU students, at scale, for their professional endeavors.
  • Ensure services are relevant, meaningful, and accessible to the student and alumni population by being an innovative and forward-thinking leader, continually evaluating and adjusting the scale and scope of career programs.
  • Engage students, faculty, staff, employers, and alumni in meaningful programming and significant partnerships to advance the impact of the career center.

Campus Partnerships

  • Convene and collaborate extensively with campus career centers in the Daniels College of Business, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and Sturm College of Law to envision and communicate a campus-wide strategy related to career and professional development.
  • Partner with academic and administrative leaders across campus to enhance, communicate, and deliver dynamic career services.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director of Alumni and Employer Networks to ensure that alumni and employers are closely connected to the mission and strategies of the career center.
  • Work to realize a One DU vision for career and professional development, a united vision spanning across the entire student experience.

Student Life

  • Maintain relationship and partnership with the division of Student Life at DU.
  • Coordinate central Career Center with other student life initiatives or activities included but not limited to: orientation, freshman seminars, and other IMPACT 2025 initiatives.

Department Leadership

  • Provide comprehensive leadership of a team that proactively serves DU students and alumni for successful careers and career transitions.
  • Support the day-to-day functionality of the team (8-10 FTEs), as well as facilitate their recruitment, hiring, training, mentoring, evaluation, and professional development.
  • Effectively manage the career and professional development operating budget, including monitoring transactions, promoting policy compliance, and assisting in budget modeling and forecasting processes.

University Citizenship

  • Serve as an active and collaborative partner to all central and unit-based career and advancement functions and campus colleagues to foster strategic, effective, and collaborative fundraising practices.
  • Contribute to team success and model One DU leadership.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Innovative, curious, and able to challenge long-standing paradigms of career services.
  • Demonstrated ability to form and fully leverage cross-functional teams of colleagues, volunteers, and academic/administrative leaders.
  • Strong understanding of program assessment, specifically in the areas of data collection, the role of metrics to drive accountability, data management, and reporting practices.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to represent the University of Denver, and its major initiatives and units, in a variety of capacities.
  • Proven ability to work with a high level of independence, maintain confidentiality, prioritize assignments, and manage time effectively.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills to foster and maintain effective relationships with colleagues, donors, volunteers, and University Officials.
  • Ability to interact effectively with diverse groups having competing interests and priorities within the University and community.


  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 10+ years of experience in career counseling, including at least 5 years of experience directly leading a complex career services function.
  • 5+ years of experience managing personnel, with a demonstrated commitment to coaching, mentoring, and developing team members.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Graduate degree.
  • Experience leading career and professional development services in a complex and dynamic higher education setting.
  • Experience leading best in calls programs, engaging alumni, faculty, families, and friends in career programming.

To Apply:

Special Instructions

Candidates must apply online through https://dujobs.silkroad.com/ to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. Once within the job description online, please click New Resume/CV at the bottom of the page to begin application.

Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. 

DepartmentCareer ServicesPosition TypeFull-Time/Regular