Hayes Hall, South Campus.

Hayes Hall, South Campus

About the Position

The university seeks a richly experienced, highly accomplished and dynamic individual to serve as its next Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement. The ideal candidate should be able to expertly lead UB’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts and help foster the culture of philanthropy that is critical to enhancing the university’s mission of excellence. The vice president will serve as the university’s senior officer for philanthropy and alumni engagement and will work closely with the president, provost, deans, executive director of the University at Buffalo Foundation and other university leaders and volunteers to guide the work of philanthropy and alumni engagement at UB.

Overarching Responsibilities

While UB raises more money than most other institutions in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, it aspires to levels of support comparable to those at its peer institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU). Therefore, the primary charge to the Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement is to increase the university’s overall fundraising outcomes, with an emphasis on developing and implementing strategies for securing more and larger major gifts, particularly from individuals, but also from corporations and foundations. The vice president will also work to successfully conclude the campaign currently underway to help advance UB, one of the nation’s leading public research universities, to the next level of excellence.

The vice president also is charged with increasing participation in all alumni engagement programs and to continue effecting an attitudinal shift among alumni to engage them as lifelong and involved partners contributing to the rich student life and experiences of the university. 

The vice president is responsible for leading and managing multiple units and priorities. As the top executive of this university division, this individual is responsible for a budget of $14.6 million and leading more than 125 staff members in the Offices of Alumni Engagement, Annual Giving, Application Support and Training, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor and Alumni Communications, Donor Relations and Stewardship, Network and User Support Planned Giving and Prospect Management and Research Services, as well as fundraising activities in each of the university’s 12 academic units, the Division of Athletics and other university programs. The vice president also will lead efforts to engage volunteers at the highest level in a variety of ways to reach fund-development and alumni engagement objectives.

Reporting to President Satish K. Tripathi, the vice president serves as a member of his senior management team. Dr. Tripathi is committed to giving top priority to philanthropy and alumni engagement as key to helping UB rise in the ranks of the nation’s leading public research universities.

Specific Objectives and Expectations

The vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement will:

  • Lead UB’s comprehensive campaign efforts.
  • Deploy UB’s philanthropic and alumni engagement resources to position the institution for greater success in achieving its mission of excellence.
  • Substantially increase UB’s endowment (currently totaling more than $600 million).
  • Guide and significantly strengthen the major and principal gifts program.
  • Continue to assess the viability of a more robust international fundraising program.
  • Actively engage campaign volunteers, UB Foundation board members, deans’ advisory councils and the alumni board in strategic efforts in support of philanthropy and alumni engagement.
  • Lead and launch programs that engage alumni locally, nationally and globally as active university partners.
  • Increase the total number of donors to the campaign through continued expansion of the UB Fund, diversification of prospect pools and focused efforts in key strategic regional markets. Grow the percentage of alumni who are actively engaged with the university.
  • Engage future and young alumni to inspire in them a spirit of engagement and philanthropy for their alma mater.

The University

Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences and far-reaching service to local, state, national and international communities define UB’s mission as one of the nation’s leading public research universities. UB was founded in 1846 as a private medical college located in downtown Buffalo and joined the SUNY system in 1962. SUNY is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, comprising 64 campuses with a total enrollment of approximately 463,000 students, and UB is the largest and most comprehensive public research university within the SUNY system. In 1989, UB was among the first public universities in the Northeast to be admitted into the AAU. Over the years, UB’s scope and mission have expanded exponentially as it has grown into a world-renowned research university that is the thriving heart of the regional community, a national leader in public higher education, and a global hub for excellence in research and education. Visit Here is How and The List, UB’s recent progress report, to explore examples of the university’s leading work.

UB enrolls more than 30,000 students (approximately two thirds undergraduate and one third graduate and professional students), and about 40 percent of UB’s undergraduates are the first in their families to earn a college degree. The university offers nearly 400 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units. UB is a global community of scholars, consistently ranking among the nation’s top 20 universities for the enrollment of international students. The university enjoys a strong international presence, maintaining affiliation agreements with more than 80 universities in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. UB’s more than 250,000 alumni live in more than 196 countries worldwide.

UB has a distinguished faculty of approximately 1,600 full-time members and almost 750 part‑time members. It includes more than 150 research centers and institutes; its current annual research expenditures, including those in affiliated institutions, exceed $382 million. The UB libraries hold four million volumes in eight libraries and provide access to 100,000 full-text e‑journals and 800,000 e-books.

UB’s academic programs and facilities are located on three distinct campuses in the Buffalo metropolitan area. UB’s North Campus, located in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, is the university’s main undergraduate campus and home to the university’s primary athletics and cultural facilities. Three miles to the south, on the northern edge of the City of Buffalo, is the university’s historic South Campus, home to many of the university’s professional schools. UB also has a rapidly developing third campus center in downtown Buffalo. The focal point of UB’s downtown presence is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, on which UB’s new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility is being constructed in proximity to the university’s health and life science partners (anticipated completion date of Fall 2017).

Recognizing the key role that a vibrant 21st-century physical campus environment plays in enhancing education, research and learning, UB is realizing a long-range plan for enhancing its North, South and Downtown campus spaces and connecting them more effectively to their surrounding communities.  Moreover, UB is playing a central role in the creation of a strong, sustainable knowledge economy and thriving entrepreneurial culture that are helping drive Buffalo’s revitalization and resurgence. Buffalo is experiencing a period of tremendous progress and momentum—exemplified by the centrally located Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and UB’s new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility—as well as unprecedented regional investments in the industries of the future and in the assets that ensure a satisfying quality of life for all of its citizens.

With annual revenues of $1.5 billion from all sources, UB and its affiliated entities generate an estimated economic impact that exceeds $2.2 billion annually in New York State. The university’s total workforce of approximately 6,200 full-time equivalent employees makes it one of the region’s largest employers. UB is also a leader and an active partner with the more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

UB offers the widest range of academic programs of any public institution in New York or New England, and its academic stature continues to grow. As UB keeps it focus on academic excellence and impact, it has seen many of its programs steadily rise in the ranks, including nationally ranked programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Management, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The university has been noted both as “one of the world’s best universities” by Times Higher Education as well as one of the “best values” in public higher education by Kiplinger’s and The Princeton Review

UB Leadership

President Satish K. Tripathi

Internationally recognized as an accomplished researcher and transformative higher education leader, Dr. Satish K. Tripathi was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011.

Dr. Tripathi, who served as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2011, was one of the principal creators of the UB 2020 strategic plan to achieve academic excellence and has led the university to achieve significant growth in research and scholarly activity, enhanced student quality and diversity, and an expanded international presence. Building on this strong foundation, Dr. Tripathi has a vision for UB’s future that focuses on moving the university into the highest ranks of the nation’s leading research universities through expanding its reach and impact locally as well as globally.

The first international-born president in UB’s history, Dr. Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside prior to coming to UB. Previously, he was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, where his 19-year tenure as a faculty member included serving as chair from 1988-1995. A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he holds honorary degrees from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, and Brock University in Ontario, Canada. In 2009, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by Banaras Hindu University.

An active leader in the national higher education community, Dr. Tripathi is a member of the Mid‑American Conference Council of Presidents Executive Committee and serves on the boards of directors of the Association of American Universities, American Public Land-Grant Universities, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Digital Preservation Network and Internet2. In June 2017, Dr. Tripathi was named the Mid-American Conference’s representative to the NCAA Board of Directors.

Among his numerous community leadership roles, Dr. Tripathi serves on the boards of directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Great Lakes Health. Appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011 as an inaugural co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, he served in this position until 2017.

Provost Charles F. Zukoski

An internationally renowned scholar in chemical engineering who is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was named one of the Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Charles F. Zukoski was appointed provost and executive vice president for academic affairs on June 1, 2012. As the university’s second-ranking officer, the provost is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the university’s academic vision.

Since 2012, Dr. Zukoski has actively engaged the campus in a vigorous conversation about the future of higher education, how to make UB more competitive in a changing world, how to prepare graduates to be active and responsible global leaders, and how UB can enhance its local and global impact. Under his leadership, the university has launched a number of exciting initiatives that have transformed UB’s curriculum and research programs.

Dr. Zukoski joined UB from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as vice chancellor for research and Elio Eliakim Tarika Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College and a PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton University.

UB Alumni

As the largest of all of the university’s constituencies, UB’s alumni are a broad, powerful and highly valued base of partners, advocates and supporters. There are more than 250,000 living UB alumni in 196 countries. More than 35,000 UB alumni hold multiple degrees from the university. Alumni living in New York State number more than 135,000, representing a tremendous asset in the university’s state advocacy efforts. Outside of New York, alumni participate in chapter organizations in major US metropolitan areas, and in Asia, the Middle East, and Canada. Every graduate of UB is a member of the UB Alumni Association, the university’s alumni-powered global network, including School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership CORE graduates, former medical residents, fellows, postdoctoral associates and select program certificate holders. The association promotes connections among UB alumni and helps link alumni to the university and current students. 

Among UB’s celebrated graduates are CNN’s senior anchor and host; NASA’s lead astronaut for medical issues; a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer at the LA Times; the former minister of education in the People’s Republic of China; the co-founder of Miramax; the former CEO and current Chairman of J.Crew Group; the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist; and two NPR syndicated program hosts.

UB Foundation

The University at Buffalo Foundation, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit educational corporation that is independent of the state and SUNY in the exercise of its fiduciary responsibilities. Its mission is to support and promote the activities and programs of the university by managing the university’s endowment, providing advice and counsel regarding philanthropy gift stewardship, managing gifts and grants on behalf of the university, providing a wide range of financial services, developing and managing real property on behalf of the university and providing a strong base of private-sector support for the university through the foundation’s trustees and directors.

The executive director of the UB Foundation works collaboratively with the Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement in supporting the university’s fundraising enterprise.

The Buffalo-Niagara Region

UB’s intellectual capital and innovation are playing vital roles in Buffalo’s resurgence as a thriving city that is a magnet for talented professionals, artists, entrepreneurs and innovators who recognize the tremendous energy and momentum gathering there. Home to one of the nation’s fastest-growing populations of college graduates, the Buffalo-Niagara region, with 1.1 million residents, is the state’s second-largest major metropolitan area, exceeded only by New York City. The region includes a diverse blend of communities, each with its own distinct personality, yet commonly characterized by a distinctly neighborly way of life, an unpretentious nature and spirited loyalty among residents. Buffalo’s own strong sense of community, easy lifestyle and affordability regularly place it in top ten lists from a variety of national publications for its overall quality of life.

Buffalo offers an impressive array of cultural and recreational opportunities uncommon for a region of its size. Buffalo’s rich cultural resources reflect its distinguished history and commitment to sustaining the arts, including the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; the world-class collection of modern painting and sculpture at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; an extensive array of historic architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Eero and Eliel Saarinen; and an expansive park system (including Delaware Park), considered to be the very best work of designer Frederick Law Olmsted. The city is home to the state’s largest concentration of theaters outside of New York City. Buffalo is a family friendly, livable and affordable city, with Niagara Falls, one of the major tourist attractions of the world, a short drive away. Buffalo is close to two significant wine growing regions: the Niagara Escarpment and the Finger Lakes region. In addition, the Adirondack Mountains are half-day’s drive from Buffalo. 

Rich in natural resources and beauty, the Buffalo-Niagara area is a four-season region that offers the best for seasonal sports enthusiasts. University at Buffalo fans enjoy NCAA Division I sports with the UB Bulls, as well as professional sports including the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Triple-A Baseball’s Buffalo Bisons, and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits.

Less than a two-hour drive from Buffalo across the United States-Canada border is Toronto, the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada. Buffalo is also ideally located for easy access to many of America’s greatest cities. The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport offers direct flights to more than 20 cities, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, DC, all only an hour’s flight away.

UB is playing a central role in the creation of a strong, sustainable knowledge economy and thriving entrepreneurial culture that are driving Buffalo’s revitalization. Exemplified and driven by the centrally located Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and UB’s new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility, Buffalo is experiencing a period of tremendous progress and momentum as well as unprecedented regional investments in the industries of the future and in the assets that ensure a satisfying quality of life for all its citizens.

Within the local business community, UB has well-established ties with major partners such as Praxair, Lockheed Martin, Moog, Greatbatch, M&T Bank, Rich Products and Delaware North, and is also making a mark in the areas of health sciences, advanced manufacturing, materials informatics, life sciences and clean energy.

The Successful Candidate

The successful candidate for this position will have the following experience and qualifications:

  • Extensive experience as an executive in higher education fundraising, either as a vice president or positioned to become a vice president (e.g., associate vice president, assistant vice president or executive director of development) as a next career step.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership skills in a complex, demanding and fast-paced environment, ideally at a research-intensive university.
  • Experience, maturity and high engagement skills to effectively collaborate with university leadership, faculty and volunteers in successfully cultivating, soliciting and stewarding key prospects and donors.
  • Demonstrable success in creating alignment and integration within and among decanal and administrative units to create opportunities for philanthropy that support the needs and aspirations of their schools and units while advancing the desires of prospective donors to make an impact.
  • A proven record (either current or past) as a highly successful fundraiser, having played a critical role in generating six- to eight-figure gifts.
  • Experience in planning, implementing or leading a successful comprehensive campaign.
  • Proven ability to lead and manage a large and high-functioning advancement program, including the capacity to generate and implement clear goals, procedures, systems and priorities across different teams.
  • The ability to manage and lead a large team, with the skills for cultivating successorship.
  • Experience in harnessing and leveraging the synergies between philanthropy and alumni engagement in a unified advancement effort.
  • Proven record of effectively collaborating with institutional leadership to advance the work of the division.
  • Proven record of effectively working with volunteers and high-net-worth individuals.
  • Firsthand experience working with scholars engaged in intensive research.
  • Exceptional communication skills in conveying the strategic goals and objectives of programs related to philanthropy and alumni engagement and in rallying the support of key internal and external partners,
  • Experience with international fundraising (a plus).
  • An interest in and commitment to diversity and excellence through inclusion.
  • Personal qualities and traits that lend to the individual’s success in the areas of responsibility and competency listed above.
  • A bachelor’s degree (required) and, preferably, an advanced degree.

To Apply

UB invites nominations of and applications from exceptionally well-qualified individuals for this position. The firm of Isaacson, Miller is assisting the university with this search; Jack Gorman is leading the search with Kennedy Arroyo and Kaleigh Hoffman. For more information, to make a nomination or to apply for this role, please visit:


To ensure full consideration, application materials—including a resume or curriculum vitae and an optional cover letter—should be received as soon as possible. Review of nominations and applications for the position will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled. References will not be contacted without the prior knowledge and approval of the candidate. The search will be conducted in strict confidence until an appointment is made and announced.


The University at Buffalo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic university community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. Potential applicants who share this goal, including veterans and individuals with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.