FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
University Development Adjusts to Times, Builds for Future
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Six staff members in the office of university development within the Division of University Advancement have taken on new roles in an effort to position the office effectively for the future at the University of Arkansas.
“As the needs of a university change and grow, we must adapt as well,” said Bruce Pontious, associate vice chancellor for university development. “We have a very talented, hard-working group of fundraising professionals who understand the importance of realigning our efforts from time to time. There was also an immediate need to fill vacancies, which provided a great opportunity to recognize individuals for their excellent work and commitment to our mission.”
Leanna Foshe, who previously worked as the manager of gift services, is now managing and expanding the matching gift program. Will Whiting, assistant director of corporate and foundation relations, will devote 50 percent of his time to working with foundations, in an effort to focus more energy toward those very important existing and potential relationships. Additionally, Harley Lewis, who currently works part-time as a director of development, will spend 50 percent of his time with the Sam M. Walton College of Business development team, primarily making first-time visits with alumni prospects and donors.
Mark Power, previously the executive director of development, has assumed additional responsibilities with a greater emphasis on some of the university’s most significant benefactors. He now works closely with the chancellor and vice chancellor of university advancement in an effort to enhance the institution’s engagement with current and future key alumni and friends. Power’s previous roles include a very successful tenure as director of development for the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. In his new position as executive director of development and principal gifts, Power will be able to spend more time with this vital constituency of the university.
Jim Harris, who has served as the director of planned giving since 2002, has assumed duties as the executive director of gift and estate planning. Under this new position, Harris will be able to expand the use of his legal and tax background with more individuals seeking to support the university through their estate and other life income gifts. In addition, Harris now serves as adviser on matters related to real estate gifts, gifts-in-kind and other complex technical gifts. He is also the liaison between university development and general counsel of the university. A search for a new director of planned giving will begin immediately. This position will be funded through the restructuring of an existing vacant position in the department and will ultimately enhance the technical skills and outreach of the department.
Brenda Brugger is the executive director of administration and development services. She was previously the director of research and prospect management. In her new role, Brugger will work to enhance the development budgeting processes and serve as a liaison to the University of Arkansas Foundation, the official custodian for most university gifts. She will also work with the office of constituent relations to enhance our stewardship of donor gifts. She continues to oversee the research, records and data, gift services and the matching gifts program.
Previously aligned under the office of annual programs, the university’s Women’s Giving Circle will now be directed by Jamie Banks, director of development in the College of Education and Health Professions. She is spending a portion of her time in this new capacity, while maintaining her current role within the college. The circle, created in 2002, has plans to grow membership and break new ground as a volunteer fundraising and grant-making group.
After a national search spanning several months, Rachel Neeley has been promoted to director of annual programs. Previously, she was the associate director for the department. As director, she is responsible for raising private gift support for campuswide initiatives through the Annual Fund program, which includes direct mail, the National Phone Campaign and e-communications. She also oversees the university’s Chancellor’s Society, the faculty and staff giving program and student philanthropy efforts. The program will now report directly to Pontious, the associate vice chancellor.
The final announcement from the office of university development is the appointment of Patti Cox as the director of development and external relations in the School of Law, effective June 1. She has worked in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences since 2004, first as assistant director of development and then, in 2007, as the university’s first associate director of development.
“With no new budget resources on the horizon, these adjustments capitalize on talents of existing staff and position us well for the future,” said Brad Choate, vice chancellor of university advancement.
Danielle Strickland, manager of advancement communications
Office of university relations