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Thank you for your interest in Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. You must complete an application for each position for which you are applying.

Saint Mary’s adheres to the principle that all persons have equal opportunity and access to admissions, employment, facilities, and all programs and activities of the university regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.

Director of Strategic Partnerships
Date Posted 07/28/2021
Hiring Status Accepting Applications
Location Twin Cities Campus
Position Responsibilities

The Director of Strategic Partnerships will lead and coordinate outreach initiatives and collaborate with units across the university to develop mutually beneficial, strategic partnerships with corporate, community, and philanthropic leaders. This position will focus on strategic initiatives that grow revenue, improve student outcomes, steward resources, and advance the mission of the university.

This role will coordinate current partnership work being done including work by career services, admissions, inclusion and human dignity, online strategy and programs, and alumni relations to drive a university-wide vision and strategy and seek revenue opportunities by cultivating a deep understanding of partner needs. The director will build strong relationships within the academic schools and colleges and with other internal partner areas focused on student outcomes. The director will seek to deepen university engagement of Saint Mary’s network of alumni, as well as industry, employer, corporate, and community partners on all three campuses. In this position, the director will seek to forge new partnerships related to advocacy and volunteerism as well as providing experiential learning, internship and employment opportunities for students.  Revenue and partnership opportunities will align with our pathways strategy.

  • Coordinate and benchmark current partnership activities as part of an integrated corporate engagement strategy.
  • Monitor and report on results including revenue and effect on strategic goals.
  • Create and oversee new partnership efforts including strategy, goals, activities and metrics, ensuring a coordinated, intentional and strategic approach related to philanthropy, advocacy and volunteerism as well as providing experiential learning, internship and employment opportunities for students. Maintain and enhance existing relationships and partnerships.
  • Further develop and deepen existing partnerships with corporations, alumni, employers and other external partners, ensuring a holistic approach and aligning network interests with strategic objectives of the university and its students. This includes building on current relationships (advisory councils, campus partners) through coordination with internal people currently managing partnerships. 
  • Keep current on trends related to alumni relations, corporate relations, career education, and employer connections; provide thought leadership to campus partners and staff and evolve strategies based on established and emerging best practices.
  • Lead the development of innovative solutions to deepen network connections and make a greater impact for the success of students. Foster collaboration between all staff in an effort to achieve strategic, coordinated communication with all stakeholders in the relationship-building process.
  • Build reputation and ensure the story of Saint Mary’s is widely shared and celebrated locally, regionally, and nationally to drive Saint Mary’s as a partner of choice and a leading resource in the community for workforce development.
  • Create clear and substantiated metrics to reflect the long-term goals for the position, as well as the benefit to Saint Mary’s and the impact on the communities it serves. 
Essential Skills and Abilities

The selected candidate will have the following skills and abilities:

  • Proven track-record of successful work across matrixed organizations and teams
  • Experience as an influencer regardless of authority level
  • Ability to develop, maintain and deepen relationships - connector and persuasive communicator
  • Demonstrated connections in our market(s) (Twin Cities, Winona, Rochester) 
  • Public relations, sales and marketing skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills 
  • Results-oriented and metrics/data driven
  • Ability to conduct basic research (secondary and preferred primary), analyze data and create tracking and summary documents
  The successful candidate must support, respect, and advance the mission of Saint Mary's University as a Lasallian Catholic institution.
Education and Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least seven to ten years of experience leading or engaging with the functions of advancement, marketing, outreach, corporate, careers or related functions. Will consider transferable skills such as building new programs, new business development, sales experience
  • Business development/program development experience 
  • Strong project management experience
  • Sales/marketing experience preferred
  • Higher education experience preferred

All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check.

Additional Required Materials Cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references
Application Review Date
Starting Date
Contact Kelly Shannon, Vice President for Marketing and Communication
Contact Email
Position Full-time
Contract Length 12 Month
Other Details / Information
Benefits Full
Work Sponsorship This position is not eligible for work sponsorship
  We encourage members of the protected classes as defined by the federal, state, and municipal law and those persons attracted to a university with a Lasallian Catholic identity to apply.