Skip to Main Content

Director of Alumni Relations

Position Details

Position Information

Working Title Director of Alumni Relations
Position Number 1169
Posting Number F1023
Position Type Administrative and Professional Faculty
Position Status Full Time
College/Division Constituent Engagement and Sustained Giving
Department 100247 - Alumni Relations
Pay Rate Commensurate with Experience
Specify Range or Amount
Is this a JMU only position? No
Is this a grant-funded position? No

Position Summary Information

About James Madison University

We are a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.

To be the national model for the engaged university: engages with ideas and the world.

Who We Are
Established in 1908, James Madison University is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs to more than 20,000 students. JMU is regarded as one of the finest regional universities in the nation and has been continuously cited in U.S. News and World Report, Changing Times and Money Magazine as an outstanding public university. Located in the heart of Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, the city of Harrisonburg is approximately 120 miles from Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA. Known for its livability, diversity, local food, arts and natural surroundings, this Virginia Main Street community is a great place to live and work.

General Information

James Madison University (JMU) is accepting applications for a Director of Alumni Relations to lead the 130,000 amazing alumni that are a vital part of the JMU Nation. JMU’s alumni hail from a culture that produces a freshman retention rate of 91%, an 82% graduation rate and is ranked the #2 public regional university in the South by US News & World Report. This position, which also serves as the Executive Director of the Alumni Association, requires a proven record of successful leadership, an ability to manage budgets and the implementation of leading edge, innovative programs. Candidates must be able to take JMU alumni and staff through strategic planning, continually move programs to the next level and direct the Alumni Association with creativity, energy and strong leadership.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Director of Alumni Relations leads the staff in planning and coordinating alumni involvement by producing events, such as homecoming, reunions and other programmatic activities worldwide to enhance connections with alumni and friends of the university. The director is expected to provide communicative leadership to expand the online alumni community, work closely with University Advancement staff to identify and cultivate potential donors and encourage alumni contributions. This position provides support to the JMU Alumni Association, its Board of Directors and its committees and projects. The director will evaluate and enhance alumni engagement activities via appropriate benchmarks and measurements. This position reports to the Assistant Vice President of Constituent Relations.

Specific duties and responsibilities include:
1. Provides vision, leadership and oversight to the Office of Alumni Relations, the JMU Alumni Association Board of Directors and its committees, and other partners and committees to plan and execute the vision and strategy of the university related to alumni engagement.
2. Engages alumni in the life of the university through consistent and positive communication using electronic, print and social media, exceptional customer service and meaningful opportunities for volunteerism, service, personal and professional development and events and programs.
3. Supervises five Assistant Directors, one part-time staff member and one graduate assistant. Areas of supervisory focus include communications and marketing, career networking, student alumni and legacy programming, reunions and homecoming and nationwide alumni chapters.
4. Develops and maintains collaborative relationships and programs with university units, including Admissions, Career & Academic Planning, Development, the Office of Annual Giving, Parent Relations, Athletics, Student Affairs, Communications and Marketing and academic colleges and departments.
5. Partner with University Advancement to identify and launch programs providing a benefit or service to alumni to cultivate volunteers and donors and generates funds for university priorities.
6. Serves as the lead administrator for Alumni Relations.
7. Facilitates a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.
8. Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses and attending training and/or courses as directed by the supervisor.
9. Contributes to the overall success of the Office of Alumni Relations by working on special projects and performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Assistant Vice President for Constituent Engagement and/or Vice President for University Advancement.


Minimum Acceptable Qualifications include:
Candidates with multiple years of senior level experience in Alumni Relations and those who have been regionally recognized as leaders in alumni relations are highly desirable. However, experience in public relations, advancement or a related field in which the candidate can demonstrate a successful track record of pertinent leadership and management and programmatic skills may be substituted. It is preferred that candidates have experience working with volunteer boards, as well as the ability to engage with volunteers and other constituents, including senior administrators. A proficiency with data management systems is vital as well as an ability to effectively lead and motivate a team. JMU alumni are encouraged to apply and a master’s degree is required.

Specific Skills Include: Strong verbal and written communication skills are required, with public speaking skills preferred. Excellent and dynamic interpersonal skills are required. Demonstrated ability in motivating volunteers is required. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required. Technological knowledge, particularly in platforms designed around alumni engagement and constituent data collection is preferred. Experience in fundraising is also preferred.

The scope of the job frequently requires travel and attendance at evening and/or weekend activities, meetings, events, seminars and workshops.

Criminal Background Check and E-Verify Notice

Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check.

Posting Detail Information

Posting Date 08/24/2017
Beginning Review Date 09/29/2017
Closing Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Proposed Starting Date 11/01/2017
EEO Statement

James Madison University is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.

We promote access, inclusion and diversity for all students, faculty, staff, constituents and programs, believing that these qualities are foundational components of an outstanding education in keeping with our mission. The university is interested in candidates whose experience and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality.

Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.

Reasonable Accommodation Request

If you are an individual with a disability and need assistance searching or applying for jobs please contact us at (540) 568-3597 or You may also visit the JMU Human Resource Office, located at 752 Ott Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 and we will be happy to assist you.

Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report

Minimum Reference(s) Required 3
Quick Link for Direct Access to Posting
Additional Posting Information

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you learn about this position?
    • Charlottesville Daily Progress
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Employee Referral
    • Harrisonburg Daily News Record
    • Hispanic Outlook
    • INSIGHT Into Diversity
    • JMU JobLink
    • Job Fair
    • NCAA
    • Northern Virginia Daily
    • Nuevas Raices
    • Other Referral
    • Phone Inquiry
    • Richmond Times Dispatch
    • Roanoke Times
    • Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
    • US Military Pipeline
    • VA Jobs Website
    • VEC (Virginia Employment Commission)
    • Walk-in
    • Washington Post
    • Winchester Star
    • Other
  2. * If you selected a source above please type "N/A" in the following box. If you selected "Other" please indicate where you heard about the position.

    (Open Ended Question)