UA makes staff changes at Division of Advancement

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 295 views 

Major staff changes were announced Thursday (July 10) at the troubled Division of University Advancement at the University of Arkansas. The advancement division manages the university’s critical capital campaigns.

The advancement division has been under review for a $3.3 million deficit. The previous advancement chief was removed from the post, and on Feb. 7, University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart asked auditors for the Arkansas General Assembly and the University of Arkansas System to perform independent audits of spending within the university’s advancement division. An audit report could come as early as late July.

In December 2012, Brad Choate resigned as vice chancellor of the division and Joy Sharp resigned as budget director.

Following the Feb. 7 announcement, Gearhart named Chris Wyrick the new vice chancellor for university advancement. At the time, Wyrick was serving as executive director of the Razorback Foundation.

In the UA statement issued Thursday, Wyrick said his goal was to make changes to the university’s fundraising division without reducing staff.

“Change is never easy, but sometimes it is necessary,” said Wyrick. “I think everyone, inside and outside this division, expected changes. At the same time, my prime goal was to ensure that no jobs were cut, and we did achieve that goal. The reorganization decisions were made after a thorough review of the entire division by the university’s office of human resources. It wasn’t an easy process, but it was valuable and needed to be done.

As part of the restructuring, the office of university development, the chief fundraising arm of the Advancement Division, will move forward under new leadership, with Mark Power named the new associate vice chancellor for university development. Power replaces Bruce Pontious, who recently announced his retirement as associate vice chancellor for development.

“This presented us with a tremendous challenge,” Wyrick said of Pontious’ retirement. “Bruce is one of the most respected advancement professionals in higher education – he is not someone you simply replace. But we are very fortunate here at the U of A to have a deep pool of talented and experienced people who are willing to accept a challenge. Mark Power was an instrumental leader in the Campaign for the Twenty-first Century, and he has worked closely with Bruce since that time. I am confident that Mark will be the kind of vital leader that can move development forward.”

University officials say the re-organization increases the number of people working on university initiatives.

“This alone will be a great asset to our fundraising efforts,” Wyrick said.

Following are the other staff changes announced Thursday.
• Katy Nelson-Ginder was promoted to assistant vice chancellor of development for external relations. The promotion was effective July 1.

• Brenda Brugger has been named assistant vice chancellor of development for internal operations; Ashlie Hilbun is now the interim director of development for the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. The promotion was effective July 1.

• Greg Lewis, will assume the duties of director of corporate and foundation relations in development, effective Aug. 1.

• Denise Reynolds, a 19-year veteran in the finance and administration division, has been promoted to the position of assistant vice chancellor for finance and human resources. The promotion was effective July 1.

• Eunice Alberson now has the position of human resources manager in the vice chancellor’s office, and Stephanie McGuire is now assistant to the finance officer. The promotions wre effective July 1.

• Melissa Banks has been promoted to executive director of donor relations and special events, effective July 1.

• Ede Hogue will be the new associate director of donor relations and special events, and Robin Adams has been promoted to the new position of manager of donor relations and special events. Those two promotions are effective Aug. 1.