Job Details
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving
Alumni and Development
BGSU Main Campus




The Search


Bowling Green State University (BGSU), a nationally ranked public research university, seeks an engaging, experienced, and collaborative assistant vice president for alumni engagement and annual giving (assistant vice president). The assistant vice president will also serve as executive director of the BGSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, a distinguished group of graduates who strive to further enhance alumni relationships by encouraging lifelong involvement with and support for the university and its mission. Reporting to the vice president for university advancement (vice president) and serving as a key member of her senior team, the assistant vice president will expertly lead and manage the alumni engagement and annual giving teams during a momentous time as BGSU nears the conclusion of its Changing Lives for the World campaign, which has already surpassed its goal nearly six months ahead of schedule. 


In recent years, BGSU has been reinvigorated by two significant leadership appointments. In February 2018, interim president Dr. Rodney Rogers was permanently appointed to serve as the university’s leader. An alumnus, President Rogers first joined BGSU in 2006 as dean of the College of Business and later as provost and senior vice president. One of the first additions President Rogers made to his senior cabinet was the hiring of Pam Conlin, who joined BGSU in October 2018 as vice president for university advancement and president and chief executive officer of the BGSU Foundation. After a highly successful career at Southern Methodist University, Ms. Conlin is in the midst of growing her senior leadership team and building a best-in-class advancement operation with significant potential for growth. 


The vice president seeks an equally motivated and strategic partner to further elevate annual giving and alumni engagement, as BGSU nears the completion of its largest and most ambitious comprehensive campaign to date. Concluding on December 31, 2020, Changing Lives for the World has already surpassed the $200 million goal in support of four key priorities: scholarships to support students in all majors; endowed faculty and staff positions to recruit and retain outstanding educators and coaches; the creation of state-of-the-art facilities; and named academic programs and units. Among many generous campaign contributions, BGSU recently received its largest gift in support of an academic unit, $15 million to endow and name the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business, the first named college in the University’s history.  Joining the university as the campaign successfully concludes, the assistant vice president will play a key role in leveraging this level of accomplishment and momentum to strengthen alumni base engagement and annual giving in support of future fundraising endeavors.


In addition to managing a team of six annual giving and alumni engagement staff, the assistant vice president will oversee the strategic development and implementation of programs, services, and other initiatives that effectively develop and promote relationships between BGSU and its alumni and interested constituents, leading to increased philanthropic support. To do so, this individual will collaborate closely with University Advancement colleagues, including the recently appointed assistant vice president for development, along with those in various colleges and units. Most prominently, the assistant vice president will play a significant role in the planning and execution of the events surrounding the Academy of Distinguished Alumni, Homecoming and Family Weekend programs, BGSU One Day, and other initiatives.


The incoming assistant vice president will possess a deep understanding of and appreciation for industry best practices and strategies; a passion for fundraising and demonstrated experience in designing innovative engagement strategies; a proven ability to lead, coach, and evaluate staff; and the ability to foster meaningful relationships with alumni, volunteers, faculty, administrators, staff, and other key constituents. The selected candidate will join a university that prides itself on a strong commitment to first-year programs that lead to student success and seeks to foster a welcoming, safe, and diverse environment where the creative ideas and achievements of all can benefit others throughout Ohio, the nation, and the world.


Bowling Green State University has retained Jack Gorman of Isaacson, Miller, an international executive search firm, to assist in conducting this important search. All inquiries, applications, and nominations for this opportunity should be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document.


Bowling Green State University


Established in 1910 as a teacher-training institution, Bowling Green State University held its first classes in 1914, but it was not until the following year that the first two buildings – now University Hall and Williams Hall – were ready for use. Student enrollment for that initial year totaled 304, with a faculty of 24. The first bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 1917, and in 1929, the functions of BGSU were expanded to provide four-year degree programs in the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts. The College of Business and graduate programs were added in 1935, the year in which BGSU attained full university status. In 1947, the Graduate School was formed, and BGSU awarded its first doctorate in English in 1963.


Beginning in 1946, extension programs of the university were offered in Sandusky, Ohio. Over the next two decades, course offerings were expanded and, in 1965, a regional campus of the university was established to serve Erie, Huron, and Ottawa counties. That campus is now Firelands College, located in Huron, Ohio. Firelands College, which opened for classes in 1967, offers career and technical education leading to associate degrees in 20 areas as well as 10 bachelor's degree programs.


In the 1970s, three new colleges were added to the university’s curricular offerings. In 1973, the College of Health and Human Services was established to provide degree programs in specialized areas in various health and community service fields. In 1975, the School of Music was expanded into the College of Musical Arts, and in the same year the Graduate School became the Graduate College. The School of Technology was granted college status in 1985 and, most recently, an Honors College was established in 2013 to support growth in the honors program.



Today, BGSU offers more than 200 undergraduate majors and programs across eight colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business, the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Health and Human Services, the Honors College, the College of Musical Arts, the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, and BGSU Firelands. The Graduate College enrolls approximately 3,000 students and offers 19 doctoral, 57 masters, and dozens of certificate programs. Approximately 20,000 students are enrolled for the 2020-21 academic year, including 2,000 at BGSU Firelands, hailing from all 50 states and 70 countries. More than 800 talented and passionate faculty teach across all majors, with nearly 80 percent holding terminal degrees in their fields.


With a commitment to experiential learning across disciplines and majors, BGSU was the first institution in Ohio to offer an “internship guarantee” to incoming students and is a charter member of the Accreditation Council for Co-op and Internship (ACCI). The university is consistently recognized for the quality of its programs, having recently been ranked by the Wall Street Journal as third for teaching quality among America’s public universities, and named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities nationwide with a strong commitment to first-year programs that lead to success.


The university’s 2021 education and general operating budget totaled $289.1 million for the Bowling Green and Firelands campuses combined. The revenues from all University budgets for fiscal year 2021 are expected to reach $429.3 million, with planned expenditures from all funds of $427.3 million.


For additional information about BGSU, please visit: https://www.bgsu.edu/


Campus and Student Life


The university’s primary campus is located in the historic city of Bowling Green, located in beautiful northwest Ohio, and is comprised of 119 buildings on 1,338 park-like acres. BGSU has been in the midst of the largest building and renovation effort in its history as increased emphasis has been placed in recent years on providing new classroom space for innovative academic programming. To that end, the campus has renovated or opened more than 10 new buildings in the last three years, resulting in over 80 percent of classrooms being converted to active learning spaces.  


At Bowling Green State University, learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom. From orientation to commencement, programs and services available across campus contribute to a vibrant learning community in which students develop leadership skills, identify and explore personal interests, refine scholarship and intellectual abilities, learn from service opportunities, and prepare for roles as future professionals and community leaders. First-year and second-year students may choose to live on campus or commute from home, and 6,000 students have access to 14 residence halls and 22 learning and theme communities. BGSU also offers a wide array of student activities, with more than 300 student organizations, 40 social fraternities and sororities, 25 club sports, and 25 intramural sports. The BGSU Falcons represent a total of 18 varsity teams which consist of over 400 student-athletes. Additionally, nearly 8,700 students participated in service-learning and/or community service projects last year, and intensive co-op, internship, and practicum placements for students remain extremely popular.


The Greater Bowling Green Community


Bowling Green is a city of approximately 31,800 residents located in northwest Ohio, about 15 miles south of Toledo. The county seat of Wood County, Bowling Green has a picturesque downtown with restaurants, shops, and cafes full of students, faculty, and members of the community. The city offers the benefits of a small college town, including a very good public school system and private and parochial options, and also provides easy access to the country and the world just a one-hour drive away via Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The area also offers abundant recreational opportunities and attractions, including The Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Zoo. Northwest Ohio is home to miles of shorelines, islands, and riverbanks that provide striking geographies and abundant nature.




Pamela J. Conlin


Pam Conlin joined Bowling Green State University in October 2018 as the vice president for university advancement and president and chief executive officer of the BGSU Foundation.  As vice president, she leads BGSU’s alumni engagement and fundraising efforts to ensure the successful completion of its Changing Lives for the World comprehensive campaign and to prepare the university for future fundraising endeavors.  Ms. Conlin previously held several fundraising and constituent engagement positions at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, where she served for 20 years.  These positions included annual and major giving, parent programs, school and unit fundraising, planned and endowment gifts, and corporate and foundation relations.  Ms. Conlin also played a key role in SMU’s $1.15 billion comprehensive campaign and, in her position as assistant vice president for principal and major gifts, worked to develop and implement an aggressive plan for growth. 


Ms. Conlin earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Miami University then worked as a lab chemist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She developed her interest in nonprofit fundraising as a community volunteer and advocate while she and her husband, and their two sons, lived in five different U.S. states.  Pam is an advocate for higher-education and the opportunities it provides to transform people’s lives.


President Rodney K. Rogers ‘81


Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D. '81, accepted the role as the 12th president of Bowling Green State University on February 23, 2018, after serving in the interim post since January 1, 2018. Prior to being named president, Dr. Rogers served as provost and senior vice president since 2012 and, before that, dean of the BGSU College of Business since 2006. As BGSU’s chief academic officer, Dr. Rogers was a key architect of efforts and initiatives that have contributed to BGSU’s significant increases in student success, including its best four-year graduation rate as well as the highest first-year student academic profile in the university’s history.


President Rogers has overseen the addition of academic programs aimed at meeting today’s workforce needs; increased opportunities for education abroad, co-ops, and internships that prepare students for employment; the alignment of the university’s academic budget with its strategic plan; and has engaged in philanthropic activities that resulted in major gifts to support student scholarships, professorships, and facility naming.


Before joining BGSU, Dr. Rogers served as associate dean and director of academic programs within the School of Business at Portland State University. He has taught financial reporting, performance measurement, and international financial reporting at various universities including Portland State, Case Western Reserve University, Thunderbird: The American Graduate School of Management, and the École de Management at EuroMed-Marseille, in France. In addition to his academic work, President Rogers has consulted with a variety of businesses and organizations including Nike, Inc., Wendy’s International, Starwood Resorts, The Standard, Vestas-America, Schnitzer Steel, Waggner-Edstrom, and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Additionally, he designed and delivered over 150 executive education programs integrating the development of financial acumen with leadership competencies which have been delivered in the United States, The Netherlands, China, Thailand, and Canada.


Experienced in both academia and business, President Rogers has a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA from BGSU, and a bachelor’s degree in music from Ohio Northern University. Before completing his doctorate at Case, he practiced as a CPA for 10 years.


University Advancement


The division of University Advancement represents a total of 30 advancement positions and serves the entire Bowling Green State University community, supporting students, alumni, faculty, staff, and others. The division’s framework is designed to foster alumni success, champion a culture of philanthropy, and help to achieve BGSU’s vision of becoming a premier learning community. In fiscal year 2020, the university raised $28,536,421, of which $10.1 million came from alumni, $3.3 million from friends, $14.1 million from corporations and foundations, and $1 million from other private funding sources. Also in fiscal year 2020, five percent of BGSU’s more than 187,000 alumni donated to the university. More than 112,000 alumni live in Ohio, and states with the largest number of alumni include Michigan, Florida, California and Texas.


Changing Lives for the World Campaign


Bowling Green State University launched its Changing Lives for the World campaign in July 2014 with a goal of raising $200 million in private funds by the end of 2020. The university’s most ambitious fundraising initiative to date, Changing Lives for the World will conclude on December 31, 2020.  The campaign surpassed the $200 million commitment goal in June, six months ahead of schedule, and BGSU announced the single largest academic gift in the University’s history. The transformational $15 million gift establishes the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business and provides endowed and current-use resources to educate and directly empower current and future students to become the next generation of business and community leaders. The timing of the Schmidthorsts’ gift is particularly opportune as students and universities face a future with new and evolving challenges, from navigating a global pandemic to economic uncertainty and social change. 


For additional information about Changing Lives for the World, please visit: http://fortheworld.bgsu.edu/.


Alumni Association & Board of Directors


The Bowling Green State University Alumni Association is a dynamic and inclusive organization that is recognized as a valuable resource by the BGSU community. Building upon the university’s traditions of diversity and innovation, the BGSU Alumni Association strives to create valuable opportunities for alumni and students to continue lifelong engagement with the university and connects one another through collaboration within their local, national, and international communities.


The BGSU Alumni Board of Directors consists of 22 graduates who demonstrate involvement, support, and commitment to BGSU and the Alumni Association. Over the course of their four-year appointments, board members attend three annual board meetings on campus; serve actively on Alumni Board committees; contribute financially to the university and open doors to other funding sources; and represent BGSU on campus and in their local communities.


To learn more about the BGSU Alumni Board of Directors and its members, please visit: https://www.bgsu.edu/alumni/about-us/board-of-directors.html


Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving


The assistant vice president for alumni engagement and annual giving will advance the mission of Bowling Green State University through the strategic leadership of all alumni engagement and annual giving activities. As executive director of the BGSU Alumni Association Board, the assistant vice president will also coordinate and lead the engagement efforts of these volunteers with the university, ensuring that their time and talents are optimally utilized while also promoting a culture of philanthropy across campus and beyond. Reporting to the vice president for university advancement, the selected candidate will lead, coach, and motivate a team of six.


The assistant vice president is expected to work collaboratively with colleagues across University Advancement and the broader institution, especially in the planning and implementation of university activities and events. These events include BGSU One Day, which raised $867,664 from 2,428 gifts in 2019; the award ceremony for the Academy of Distinguished Alumni, which represents the highest alumni honor bestowed by the university; Homecoming and Family Weekend, which attracts thousands of event-goers each year; and other key initiatives.


In addition to these formal duties, the assistant vice president must take an active interest in the vitality of the university and its surrounding neighborhoods. This position requires a strong and proactive leader who possesses exceptional judgment, superb communication and organizational skills, and the ability to work collaboratively and effectively with internal and external constituencies.





Essential Duties, Tasks and Responsibilities:


  • Leadership of Alumni Engagement Strategy and Activity: Lead and oversee the alumni engagement team in designing creative strategies to increase engagement and participation among all constituents, including affinity groups and regional networks. Ensure successful coordination of engagement efforts within University Advancement and across all colleges and units. Develop performance metrics for alumni engagement staff and ensure accountability.


  • Leadership of Annual Giving Strategy and Activity: Lead and oversee the annual giving team in developing effective strategies to increase participation and giving through a variety of communication methods. Ensure successful coordination of annual and leadership giving solicitation efforts within University Advancement and across all colleges and units, working collaboratively with directors of development, deans, department chairs, and program directors to support fundraising priorities. Develop performance metrics for the annual giving team and ensure accountability.


  • Volunteer Liaison and Support: Staff and provide guidance to the BGSU Alumni Association Board, a key volunteer group that provides advice on alumni relations, annual giving plans, and initiatives, and whose members participate directly in various alumni programs and events.


  • Strategic Collaboration: Participate in internal and external events and key meetings, promoting the University’s alumni and annual giving programs and alumni accomplishments, and encouraging philanthropic support for BGSU’s fundraising priorities. Serve as a valued and collaborative member of the vice president’s growing senior leadership team.


Knowledge and Abilities:


  • A minimum of eight years of direct experience in higher education advancement, including development, major and annual giving fundraising, and alumni engagement. At least two years of supervisory and programmatic/departmental management experience.


  • Proven expertise in and understanding of the donor cycle. Experience in designing creative and innovative approaches to fundraising with demonstrated skill in conceiving, initiating, and implementing successful strategies to engage alumni.


  • A track record of formulating effective and creative short-term and long-term strategic plans that increase alumni participation rate, and developing efficient and effective programs designed to maximize current-use annual giving from alumni, parents, and friends in support of the goals and priorities of the university.


  • Experience in a results-oriented service environment, along with a history of working with advancement leaders to drive strategy for alumni giving and engagement programs. A track record of building productive, long-term relationships with senior university administrators, faculty, staff, and volunteers.


  • Demonstrated and successful supervisory experience at a management level, preferably within a complex academic environment. A proven ability to build, manage, mentor, motivate, empower, and retain an effective, integrated team by providing strong support and opportunities for growth and development; a transparent, collaborative, and accessible leadership style; and a history of developing exceptional talent.


  • Knowledge of current trends and best practices in alumni giving and engagement, including benchmarking and metrics.


  • Experience with alumni/donor CRM systems, preferably Ellucian and/or Blackbaud.


  • A sound understanding of the BGSU institutional mission and strategy, along with academic and administrative planning and decision-making processes, policies, and procedures.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.



  • Superb written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills; demonstrated presentation skills; strong attention to detail and follow-through.


  • Excellent leadership, decision-making, management, and team-building skills. The ability to coach and motivate others and effectively manage cross-functional teams. A collaborative consensus builder.


  • Empathetic listening skills and an ability to thoughtfully consider and understand the perspective of constituents and colleagues.


  • The ability to think creatively and strategically to successfully work with donors, volunteers, staff, and campus constituents.


  • The credibility, maturity, and sound judgement required to effectively engage and leverage university leadership, deans, faculty, volunteers, and alumni board members in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of key prospects and donors, and the desire and ability to work collaboratively with administration and faculty partners.


  • Strong organizational skills partnered with the ability to multi-task, prioritize multiple deadlines, and manage tight time constraints.


  • A consistent track record of and appreciation for utilizing data and metrics to inform and elevate advancement programs; excellent analytical skills.


  • The ability to understand and handle confidential and sensitive information.


  • A desire to deeply engage in the local and university communities. Commitment to diversity, intercultural understanding, and inclusive institutional excellence.


  • Willingness and ability to travel on behalf of BGSU and to participate regularly in campus and community events, including occasional weekend and evening engagements.



To Apply


This search is being led by Jack Gorman with Nicole Poe and Jocelyn Wickersham. For more information, to make a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit:




Bowling Green State University is committed to equal opportunity for all and does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, or veteran status.

Full Time