The Florida State University Alumni Association (“the Association”) invites nominations, expressions of interest, and applications for the position of President and CEO. The successful candidate will be an innovative and dynamic leader capable of inspiring and engaging Florida State University’s (“FSU”) alumni base in supporting the University’s strategic goals and mission.
The mission of the Association is “advancing our University’s greatness while enriching the lives of the Seminole family”. Governed by a 40-member National Board of Directors, the Association is a 501(c)(3) corporation that serves more than 350,000 alumni and supports more than 90 Seminole Clubs and Chapters in 32 states and 10 chartered Alumni Networks for alumni with specific interests or affiliations. The Association also administers eight distinct alumni recognition programs including Alumni Ambassador Awards, Notable Noles, Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award, Bernard F. Sliger Award, The Inspire Award for FSU Women of Distinction, Grads Made Good, Circle of Gold, and the Legacy Scholarship program. In addition, the Association produces VIRES magazine, a biannual publication, and monthly email newsletters. National and international travel programs and an annual calendar of events held on campus and around the country are also managed by the Association.
The FSU Alumni Association is supported by the following committees of the National Board of Directors:
Executive Committee - The Executive Committee has oversight of Association finances, policies pertaining to governance and organizational priorities, campus relations, overall operational directives, bylaws, procedures for establishing clubs, constituent organizations or other alumni groups, and the acquisition and development of appropriate fiscal resources, endowments and budgetary support.
Audit and Finance Committee - The primary function of the Audit & Finance Committee is to assist the National Board of Directors in fulfilling its financial oversight responsibilities. The Committee reviews the Alumni Association’s financial reports and other financial information including the Alumni Association’s system of internal controls and significant accounting policies that management and the Board have established and the Alumni Association’s auditing, accounting and financial reporting processes.
Awards Committee - The Alumni Awards Committee oversees the review and selection of recipients for the Sliger Award, the Homecoming Grand Marshal Award, the Circle of Gold, Askew Young Alumni Award, ODK–FSU Alumni Association Grad Made Good, Inspire Award for Women of Distinction, the Thagard Award, student awards as applicable and other distinctive forms of recognition that may be assigned to the committee from time to time.
Board Development Committee - The Board Development Committee recommends candidates to the Board and Association President for election and reappointment as regular members and evaluates the performance of Board Members.
Clubs and Networks Committee - The Clubs and Networks Committee evaluates and recommends programs that serve the broad alumni base and members such as clubs, special Association-sponsored events, reunions, constituent organizations, special interest activities, and institutional or community activities.
Membership Marketing Committee - Established as the Association’s primary review and recommending agency for marketing and membership initiatives, the committee recommends methodologies and opportunities for increasing membership, services and benefits.
Scholarship Committee - The Scholarship Committee is responsible for the administration of the Alumni Association FSU Legacy Scholarship Program, the Bernard Michels Alumni Scholarship, the Class of 1941 Scholarship and others as added, including associated fundraising efforts, fund oversight, and the awarding of scholarships to eligible recipients.
Strategic Communications Committee - The Communication and Advocacy Committee evaluates and recommends opportunities to obtain alumni support for institutional priorities, budgetary resources, and legislative initiatives impacting Florida State University. It also monitors efforts to increase state, community and alumni support through targeted communication and advocacy efforts.
As one of the nation's most elite research universities with the Carnegie Foundation’s highest designation (Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity), FSU offers a distinctive academic environment built on cherished values and unique heritage, a welcoming campus on the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida, championship athletics as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and a prime location in the heart of the state capital in Tallahassee, Florida. Combining traditional strength in the arts and humanities with a recognized leadership in the sciences, FSU provides unmatched opportunities for students and faculty through challenging academics, cultural discovery and community interaction. Underlying and supporting the educational experience at FSU is the development of new generations of citizen leaders.
With nearly 42,000 students, FSU’s 16 colleges offer more than 275 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional, and specialist degree programs, including medicine and law, covering a broad array of disciplines critical to society today. Each year the University awards over 2,000 graduate and professional degrees. With an impressive breadth of leading graduate, professional, and undergraduate programs, FSU provides a demanding, intellectually stimulating, yet warm and caring environment for students, faculty and staff.
FSU has been officially designated as a preeminent research university in Florida by the State’s Legislature as a result of having met a set of rigorous benchmarks. FSU has built a reputation as a strong research center in both the sciences and the humanities. The faculty generates approximately $220 million annually in external research funds. These external funds are in the form of contracts and grants from private foundations, industries and government agencies, and are used to support research, improve research facilities and provide stipends for graduate students. FSU consistently ranks in the top 10 universities nationally in physical sciences grants awarded by the National Science Foundation. FSU faculty include members of the National Academy of Sciences; the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; Pulitzer Prize winners; a Nobel Laureate; Oscar winners; and Guggenheim, Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities fellows.
FSU enjoys an unusually high level of alumni affinity for the institution. In 2015, more than 90% of FSU alumni surveyed reported that their opinion of FSU was good (30%) or excellent (60%). FSU’s alumni giving rate in 2017 was 19.5%, ranking it #9 among public universities in the nation. Gifts and pledges to the University have averaged $120 million annually in recent years, and the University just successfully completed a $1 billion fundraising campaign, in which the Alumni Association and its regional Seminole Clubs played an important role. The Princeton Review’s 2018 edition of The Best 382 Colleges ranked FSU’s alumni network 19th among all colleges and universities.
During 2017-18, FSU received a record of over 51,000 freshman applicants – more than any other university in Florida. Its 4-year undergraduate graduation rate of 68.4% places FSU #15 among public universities and #1 among Florida’s public universities.
Recognized for its commitment to diversity, FSU is a national leader in the number of doctorates awarded to African-American students and in the graduation rate of African-American undergraduates. The College of Medicine and College of Law are ranked in the nation’s Top 10 for Hispanic students. It is important to note that FSU's continuing efforts to move diversity and inclusion to the forefront of the university mission have received significant national attention. For the past four years, the University has earned INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s "Higher Education Excellence in Diversity" (HEED) Award. This award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The publication has also named FSU a “Diversity Champion” in higher education for a second consecutive year. FSU is one of only 10 colleges and universities nationwide receiving this award.
The President and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association reports to the Vice President for University Advancement and will be accountable to the FSU Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors for delivering on its strategic initiatives in serving as the senior alumni relations executive for Florida State University. In this role, he or she is responsible for all programs linking the membership of the Association with the University and works to increase membership, manages the Association’s finances, leads the Association’s dedicated staff and volunteers, and provides direction to the Association’s many programs and component parts. The President and CEO is the senior strategist responsible for planning, leading, and executing FSU’s approach to its more than 350,000 alumni. To serve the alumni effectively, the President and CEO oversees a staff of 23 and manages a current annual budget of approximately $4 million.
In addition, the President and CEO is responsible for the enfranchisement of the entirety of the FSU alumni body as well as its other key external constituencies. To this end, the President and CEO will work closely with colleagues from across the University – including the University President, his senior leadership team, deans and other senior administrators. The President/CEO serves as a member of the University Advancement senior management team along with the senior executive officers of Seminole Boosters, the FSU Foundation, and the FSU Real Estate Foundation. The President and CEO works with all of these University stakeholders to advance the Alumni Association’s and University’s priorities. Among these priorities are advocacy, programs to benefit current alumni and students, the development of lifelong relationships, ongoing connectivity with the University, and strong social networks with alumni nationally while helping to foster a spirit of philanthropy among alumni toward FSU.
The President and CEO of the Association will first and foremost be a leader in word and deed. A person of unquestionable integrity, he or she will possess the essential qualities needed both to lead and to embody the alumni program and what it represents – the symbiotic relationship between a great university and its key external constituencies. To this end, the President and CEO will be a person comfortable with and exceptionally skilled at engaging diverse audiences, from the first-year student to the President, from the most recent graduate to the captain of industry, from the junior staff person to the most distinguished member of the faculty. Through a combination of personal presence, outstanding communications skills (including especially the ability both to captivate a large audience and to listen carefully), and a passion for the institution and the profession, the President and CEO will motivate, inspire, educate, inform, and engage both internally and externally.
Seldom if ever in the history of the University has FSU been more ideally poised for creativity on the part of its alumni operations. With a visionary strategic plan in place, a National Board of Directors firmly in a progressive mode, and an exceptional President and university leadership team, FSU is ripe for new ideas and exciting initiatives. The President and CEO will find an environment in which the traditions of the past are honored but the programs and approaches of the present afford the opportunity for enhancement and innovation.
In pursuit of the responsibilities and objectives noted above, the President and CEO will undertake the following:
- Generate support for FSU among graduates and friends and inspire pride, commitment, and investment in FSU;
- Provide a robust portal for maintaining lifelong connectivity between FSU and its graduates and friends;
- Proactively engage University leadership and campus stakeholders to plan, coordinate, and execute effective outreach and engagement strategies for FSU’s more than 350,000 alumni;
- Promote open communication between FSU and its alumni;
- Establish clear performance metrics for each unit within the Association, consistent with the Association’s 5 year strategic plan, and hold senior staff accountable for achieving goals;
- Encourage senior staff to take calculated risks and pursue innovative approaches to increasing membership and alumni engagement;
- Assume a lead role in identifying the needs of an increasingly younger and technologically savvy alumni and creating the programming necessary to help them achieve their career and life goals—ultimately reinforcing the value of Alumni Association membership;
- Identify entrepreneurial ventures and strategies for diversifying and increasing revenue streams;
- Inform and educate campus leadership on the range of issues impacting and impacted by alumni, and identify ways to involve them appropriately to deepen and to enrich the life of the campus;
- Plan and implement effective strategies for recruitment, talent management, leadership development, succession, and retention of highly effective staff and volunteers;
- Collaborate with the Association’s National Board of Directors and senior staff to create a culture and environment that promotes transparency, integrity, and collegiality;
- Use a variety of strategies to support the Association’s organizational goals and build a sense of partnership amongst staff and volunteers;
- Be a visible and dynamic representative of the University to alumni and other constituents, encouraging their involvement as members and volunteers on behalf of FSU and facilitating their active engagement with and support of the campus;
- Represent the Association’s interests within the context of broader FSU strategic and organizational goals; and
- Navigate complex relationships, both formal and informal, with a wide range of constituencies, including corporate sponsors, clubs and chapters, academic units and departments, and colleagues within and outside of the university setting.
The new President and CEO will provide strong leadership in addressing the following priorities:
Enhancing Campus Partnerships
The Association is one of several university groups that engage, interact, and support FSU’s 350,000 alumni. In leading the Association, the President and CEO will serve as an ambassador and collaborator to enhance existing relationships and create new ways to better leverage the Association’s resources, efforts, and networks.
Engaging a Multi-Generational Alumni Body
The Association is deeply committed to supporting the large and diverse stakeholder groups that comprise FSU’s 350,000 alumni. With this in mind, the next President and CEO will have the opportunity to lead the discussion surrounding how to best engage and support alumni of varying ages and backgrounds. In guiding these efforts, the President and CEO will develop and implement a communication plan that will leverage the strength and ubiquitous nature of technology, while also not abandoning more traditional methods of delivery that can provide a tactile feel and connection to the University.
Enhancing Programming and Connecting Alumni
The next President and CEO will work with alumni stakeholders to revisit current programming offerings and identify ways to build upon existing strengths and create new offerings to excite prospective, new, and long-time members. This will include coordinating the efforts of 90 Seminole Clubs and Chapters and 10 chartered Alumni Networks across the country to standardize and maintain a high level of quality in the FSU Association experience for its dispersed alumni body. The President and CEO must have an appreciation for the breadth and scope of FSU’s alumni body and lead the conversation on how new programming and the use of various communication methods can not only build upon the value of an FSU degree, but the experience and strengths of the FSU Alumni family at large.
Increasing Alumni Association Membership
While the FSU Alumni Association has a robust membership of approximately 25,000 members, the next President and CEO will guide the Association’s efforts in increasing membership. By enhancing strategies for engaging current students and alumni, improving and expanding program offerings, developing services that cater to recent graduates and young alumni, and strengthening networking opportunities amongst the alumni as a whole—the Association will further enhance the value and relevance of membership.
Long-Term Financial Sustainability
The next President and CEO will play a key role in the development and implementation of a new model for the Association’s long-term financial sustainability. In doing so, this individual will be expected to identify and assess new revenue generating opportunities to ensure the Alumni Association’s continued and future operational success.
The next President and CEO must be a leader of considerable skill and presence with the energy, intellect, and entrepreneurial spirit necessary to guide FSU toward greater engagement with its external audiences. This individual must take a broad view of alumni relations to understand that alumni engagement begins on the day a student is accepted and includes external communities of support. These relationships must be strategically linked to the University’s broader strategic, advocacy, civic engagement and development efforts geared to advance FSU's mission and enrich the lives of its alumni. Furthermore, the President and CEO must ensure that the Association provides services and value to attract, inspire, and retain members and strengthen the lifetime relationship between alumni and their alma mater.
The successful candidate must also exhibit the following qualities and characteristics:
- A high level of comfort in developing relationships and networking across great distances on behalf of the Association and FSU;
- The ability to inspire trust;
- Exceptional public speaking skills with charisma and the ability to inspire stakeholders toward a common vision and goal;
- The ability to manage interdepartmental relationships across the University with aplomb and to effectively manage the Association’s staff, with an understanding and commitment toward achieving the Association’s strategic goals;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the use of persuasive communication techniques and approaches;
- The ability to engage and partner with FSU and Association stakeholders to increase awareness of needs and issues to be addressed by the Association; and
- The visionary ability to align FSU and Association strategic goals and the operational skill to successfully implement these goals.
FSU is a large and diverse institution with multiple constituencies and a complex institutional infrastructure. Its leaders must combine true professional expertise with exceptional diplomatic skills, political savvy, and an unrelenting optimism about the institution and its future. Perhaps above all, the President and CEO of the Association must command credibility with audiences internally and externally. Doing so requires a deep commitment to the intellectual mission of the University, a passion for its traditions, a demonstrated track record of trustworthiness, and a complete command of all aspects of alumni relations. The ability to lead through influence and persuasion – and especially the ability to engage productively with volunteers and others whose involvement with the program is voluntary is essential.
The President and CEO will demonstrate unimpeachable integrity and outstanding organizational and managerial experience and skills. He or she need not be a graduate of FSU, but must be able to embrace the institution’s history, traditions, and especially its aspirations. In addition, the successful candidate will possess:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and eight years of leadership experience;
- Senior executive experience managing a complex, multi-faceted organization with broad geographic reach;
- Demonstrated expertise in identification, cultivation, and engagement of volunteer leadership, board development, and management in public and/or non-profit entities;
- Demonstrated success in design and implementation of short- and long-term plans to achieve organizational goals;
- Strength in conceiving, assessing/evaluating, and integrating innovative and effective programs with other existing activities and ensuring that they support the mission, vision, goals, and objectives of the organization;
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with a variety of constituencies and multiple interests to define and achieve organizational objectives;
- Superior analytical skills and ability to frame complex issues and problems to seek optimal solutions that serve the best interests of the organization and institution;
- Experience supervising executive, professional, and technical personnel; staff management background to include hiring, evaluation, motivation, discipline, and appropriate delegation;
- Understanding of, experience in, and success thriving in large, complex, hierarchical and shared governance environments, preferably in a higher education setting;
- Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities and delegate; and
- Experience constructing and administering budgets and programs.
- Experience in alumni relations, alumni engagement, and alumni associations and related fields;
- Experience working with a highly engaged and influential volunteer Board of Directors;
- Demonstrated experience building strong and enduring relationships between and among alumni and their alma mater, including work with clubs, chapters, and volunteer boards and committees; and
- Experience collaborating with development leadership to improve fundraising results among alumni and various constituencies.
The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a current resume and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submission of materials via email is preferred. Nominations should include the contact information of the nominee.
In accordance with the State of Florida’s open records laws, all applications and letters of interest will be made public.
Application materials should be submitted to:
Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Will Gates, Partner
Salvador Venegas, Senior Associate
Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates
6512 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, refer to code “FSUAA-President” in subject line.
FSU is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. FSU’s Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed at: http://www.hr.fsu.edu/PDF/Publications/diversity/EEO_Statement.pdf
Steve Pattison – Committee Chair
Past Chair, FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors
Tom Jennings – Committee Vice Chair
Vice President for University Advancement, Florida State University
General Counsel, Florida State University
President, Black Alumni Association Board of Directors
FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors
Florida State University Board of Trustees
Director, The Career Center, Florida State University
Executive VP, FSU Foundation
Immediate Past Chair, FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors
FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors
Chair, FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors
Professor of Business Administration, Florida State University