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Boston University ASSISTANT DEAN FOR DEVELOPMENT, Development and Alumni Relations, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development in BOSTON, Massachusetts

Our Mission

We in Boston University Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) harness the power of philanthropy to make an excellent education accessible and welcoming to all, and to advance BU’s global leadership in research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice. To support our work, we have built—and are continuing to build—an outstanding team of dynamic, mission-driven advancement professionals who constantly strive to create an environment where everyone belongs. Where it’s not just about a job, but a career and a community.

Now, our Alumni & Development Office at the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development is looking for an Assistant Dean for Development who will play an integral role in shaping the development and alumni relations team, and developing and implementing a development strategy for the college.

Development & Alumni Relations, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University

The Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) Office at the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development is responsible for engaging and connecting with the over 31,000 alumni around the world and raising money to benefit the College. The Wheelock College DAR team aims to engage all our alumni in an effort to commit their time, talent, and treasure to the College. The Assistant Dean for Development is key to leading the Dean’s strategic vision for the College through the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of our alumni and donor community. Additionally, the Assistant Dean will manage the BU Wheelock major gift officer and coordinate Development and Alumni Relations activities with the BU Wheelock External Relations staff including a Development Coordinator. At BU Wheelock, the faculty, alumni, and students are changing society through actions such as teaching and learning, researching and mentoring, and building community. These actions combined with driving policy changes are amongst the foci of the College and its premier centers of excellence including the Wheelock Education Policy Center, the Institute for Early Childhood Well-Being, the Earl Center for Learning and Innovation, the Center for Future Readiness, and the Center on the Ecology of Early Development, amongst others.

Wheelock has a Dean’s Advisory Board comprised of 15 members which is led by Dean David Chard, an expert and national leader in the field of education. Wheelock counts more than 1,700 donors each year, and in the last campaign raised over $27 million.

Assistant Dean for Development

Working with the Assistant Vice President for School Development (AVP), the Assistant Dean will identify, cultivate and solicit prospects to secure leadership and principal gifts for the College. Working with the Dean of WCEHD, the Vice President for Development, the AVP, the Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) staff, and volunteers, the Assistant Dean will create, plan, and implement a wide range of fund raising and alumni relations activities, strategies, programs, and priorities that engage and unify the alumni of Boston University and Wheelock College in concert with the Campaign for Boston University. The Assistant Dean will build and manage a high performing team of development and alumni relations professionals to support the efforts of WCHED.

Essential Functions:

  • Actively build and maintain a portfolio of leadership and principal gift prospects and cultivate, solicit and steward them on behalf of WCEHD. Craft and present proposals for leadership/principal gift solicitations and prepare other fundraising materials to be used to maximize philanthropy for the College’s key strategic priorities. In partnership with the Dean, manage the College’s Dean’s Advisory Board. Work closely with board members to maximize their philanthropy to the College’s key strategic funding priorities.

  • Serving as the leader of development and alumni relations for the College, utilize the school-based and central DAR colleagues and resources in an effort to maximize the fundraising potential and alumni engagement. Work collaboratively with the Regional Leadership Gift Officers, Planned Giving Officers and the Foundation Relations Officers in their development activities on behalf of the WCEHD. Work collaboratively with the Annual Giving and Alumni Relations team to build an engaged alumni network. Play a primary role in managing and tracking specific fundraising initiatives as agreed by the Dean and Assistant Vice President in accordance with the University’s and the College’s strategic plan.

  • Serve as member of WCEHD’s senior leadership team representing DAR in certain College faculty meetings and via other assignments as deemed critical to the fundraising and alumni relations agenda as set by the Dean and the AVP. Interface with Dean and their leadership team on fundraising goals and the College’s strategic initiatives. Work with administrators and alumni to create broader visibility and image for the College. Work with both the College and DAR communications teams to build the College’s library of materials and to publicize alumni gifts and activity on an ongoing basis focusing on multifaceted communication with alumni, parents and friends of the College.

  • This position will supervise the WCEHD office and WCEHD Major Gift Officer working closely with the Development Coordinator on daily tasks and support related to WCEHD DAR initiatives; including building great working relationships with the Wheelock External Relations team to support development and alumni relations efforts. The Assistant Dean will also fulfill administrative duties as required by DAR, WCEHD, and BU-wide operating procedures. This includes creating vision and priorities for the office, leading by example, setting a standard of best practice for others to follow, and managing the budget.

Required Skills

A cover letter is required for consideration.

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • 10+ years of relevant experience including demonstrated leadership.

  • Strong development credentials including proven track record of building and developing a high-level portfolio

  • Outstanding and successful experience as a fundraiser, including comprehensive management of major and principal gifts prospects

  • Effective experience in enlisting and interacting with senior level leadership volunteers and committees

  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills

  • Superb judgment and the sensibility to adjudicate wisely among competing priorities

  • A disposition to listen and circulate widely

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills

  • Exceptional reasoning, problem-solving and analytical skills, including an ability to translate ideas and concepts into clear, actionable steps

  • Superb organizational skills and the ability to multi-task

  • Ability to work independently as well collaboratively with team members

  • Energy and stamina, self-confidence and humility, a strong sense of purpose, a tolerance for ambiguity and a sense of humor

  • Extensive travel, nights and weekends required.

    But that’s not all we’re looking for; we want someone who embodies our values:

  • Teamwork, transparency, and mutual respect, because we value every member’s contributions and know that leadership can come from anywhere.

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and a commitment to ensuring that each of us knows we belong here.

  • Integrity in how we work and how we treat one another.

  • Strategic thinking and curiosity in the relentless pursuit of fresh approaches and measurable results.

  • Continuous growth and improvement, both as individuals and as a team.

  • Joy and shared appreciation for working hard toward goals that matter.

    If this resonates with you and you want to help us in our ambitious next campaign—and maybe do some of your best work as an advancement professional— we encourage you to apply. If you are hesitant to apply because you have not previously performed every responsibility listed in the description, but you do possess transferable skills and the defined qualifications, we still want to hear from you and welcome your application as well.

    To learn more about Development & Alumni Relations at Boston University, and other job opportunities, please stop by the DAR Talent website:

    Please note all newly hired staff and faculty will need to be in compliance with Boston University’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Requirement ( within 30 days of date of hire. You must upload your vaccine documentation or request a medical or religious exemption (instructions ( ). For further information on the University’s response to COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Resources ( site.

    We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

    If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the employment application process, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 617-358-1796.

Required Experience