GW searches for VP for Advancement

University officials are conducting a nationwide search for a new vice president for Advancement, whose primary job will be to raise money for GW’s endowment.

A committee headed by Board of Trustee member Nelson Carbonell and comprised of other board members and faculty is conducting interviews with assistance from search firm Issacson Miller. The selection group expects to choose three candidates for a final interview with GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg by October and have the position filled by the end of the semester.

“The search committee is looking for a top-notch professional who will work successfully with our outstanding faculty as well as our superb deans and vice presidents to raise the funds needed for GW’s continued march toward excellence,” said Tracy Schario, GW’s director of Media Relations.

After former Vice President for Advancement Beverly Bond left the University last spring, Joe Hall took over as the interim vice president in March but left GW two weeks ago to pursue a job in the private sector. Eugene Finn is temporarily filling the position.

Finn said the new permanent vice president for Advancement will look to raise money for GW’s endowment through fundraising, University gifts and alumni programs.

Schario added that the permanent replacement’s main goal would to be to “continue improving GW’s fundraising programs so that they are as successful as our academic programs.” She said that there has been a tremendous interest in the position, which has been sought by a foreign candidate.

Scott Mory, director of Alumni Programs, said the new vice president will head an office that has raised substantial amounts of money in recent years. GW recently concluded its Centuries Campaign, which raised $550 million from 1993 to 2003. Last year, the advancement office raised more than $57 million from individual donors, corporations and foundations, exceeding the division’s goal by $1 million.

GW’s total endowment is $733 million, a figure $100 million greater than last year’s. The endowment fell by 22 percent in 2000 due to a sluggish economy.

“The University does need to grow its endowment to support academic excellence and other initiatives,” Schario said. “This is important for any university. Not even Harvard, with $20 billion, is satisfied.”

While officials said the University’s financial forecast is stable, Chronicle of Higher Education reporter John Pulley said a new vice president for Advancement would still face difficulties, particularly dealing with endowment.

“It is true that in the last few years that many ends have had negative returns on their endowment,” said Pulley, pointing to national trends at American universities. “Most typically have money invested in stocks and in the last few years the market hasn’t been very good. Five years ago everybody was making money, but things have slowed down.”

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