New Paltz Searches for Alumni Relations Director


The State University of New York at New Paltz recently posted an advertisement on for an open position on campus.

The campus is seeking a new Director of Alumni Relations to develop and coordinate programs with more than 65,000 New Paltz alumni. The director would be responsible for working with alumni and the campus to increase alumni participation and support for the college.

According to the external announcement of professional vacancy regarding the position, the new director is responsible for increasing participation through strong communication, personal interaction and volunteer recruitment, organization of reunions and other strategic special events.

Prior to this announcement, the position had been cut due to the economic crunch and has been vacant for three years, said David P. Ferguson, interim director of development and alumni relations.

“The president recognizes that there’s money to fund the position,” he said. “It’s a very important position.”

Ferguson is currently holding the position until March of next semester. During his time at New Paltz, Ferguson has supervised the development office. He said he is also serving as the executive director of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, helping to increase the college’s donor base.

As current interim director, he supervised the planning for the Alumni Reunion Weekend. The events were held from Sept. 21 to 23, bringing 400 to 500 alumni back to campus. The event held various lectures and opportunities for old friends to get together, he said.

Ferguson is one of two colleagues who traveled with the president to California to meet with alumni. He has also worked instrumentally in bringing alumni back to campus to speak in classes and events, he said.

The position requires the commitment in creating alumni programs, volunteer opportunities, alumni fundraising and communication, according to the announcement of vacancies.

However, the position will be vacant in the spring semester.

The most important aspect of the position is getting alumni to help in anyway possible in this financial situation, Ferguson said.

“The need to raise money is very important,” he said.

The position calls for “creating good will to interact with alumni and help communicate the need for private support.”

The college’s budget used to consist of 80 percent of the budget coming from the state, but now it is approximately 25 percent, Ferguson said. The need for private support from alumni is crucial at this point, he said.

According to the announcement of professional vacancies, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, five years of progressive experience in alumni relations or fundraising in a higher education setting and have demonstrated accomplishment in fostering productive relationships with volunteers.

Applicants must also have strong computer skills, and excellent written, oral and interpersonal skills and the ability to organize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and deadlines, according to the external announcement of professional vacancy regarding the position.