Roseman Outlines FY2016 Goals to Faculty

Lizzy Hardison ’16, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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At a special meeting for the faculty on Tuesday, Feb. 16, President Nancy Roseman announced that finalists for the position of vice president for college advancement are expected to be on campus for interviews in April.

Roseman also revealed that the college had not raised enough funds in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 to meet the “run rate” of its advancement office, which hovers around $10-11 million for each fiscal year, and outlined strategies for advancement in FY 2016. The “run rate” is a projection of future performance based on current results, according to Investopedia.

The meeting was called into session so that Roseman could respond to questions about advancement that faculty members raised at the Feb. 2 faculty meeting, which she was unable to attend.

At the Feb. 2 meeting, Asst. Prof. of English Claire Seiler asked for an update on the search for a vice president for Advancement. In addition, Political Science Prof. James Hoefler, gave a presentation in which he called the college’s fundraising performance a “crisis.” He argued that Dickinson’s  advancement office  had a lower return on investment than any of its peer institutions and questioned why the fundraising goals for FY 2015 were at lower levels than FY goals more than a decade ago.

Roseman opened the Feb. 16 meeting with an update on the search for the vice president for Advancement, which has been vacant since Marsha Ray resigned from the position in October 2015. Roseman confirmed that the search would be conducted by Lois L. Lindauer Searches (LLS), a Boston-based firm that specializes in placing development professionals in education,  and other nonprofit sectors.

Roseman said that recent talks with LLS indicated that they were “on track”  to present her with a short list of candidates by mid- to late-March. She said finalists are expected to be invited to campus for interviews in April, when they will be interviewed by a selection committee of professors and administrators. Roseman invited all faculty to nominate themselves to sit on the selection committee.

Roseman then shifted her presentation to the strategic vision of the advancement office for FY 2016. She did not directly address the remarks made by Hoefler at the meeting two weeks prior, but did say that the office had not met its “run rate” for fundraising in FY2015.

Roseman said that evaluating returns based off of a run rate adjusts for the exceptional donations that bolstered advancement revenues in 2005 and 2013, when the college received gifts to build Rector Science Complex and the Durden Center for Athletics.

Roseman said that the college’s advancement run rate “hovers at about 10-11 million” per year.

Roseman said that the advancement office had not met the run rate because the “seeds” for donations in FY 2014 and 2015 were “planted in 2011 or 2012.” She said that “no harvesting”  happened last year because “no seeds” were planted in the three previous years, due in part to a “loss of leadership” in the office in 2011 that affected alumni donations.

Roseman then outlined principles that will guide the advancement office in FY 2016. These strategies include engaging the community and creating a “culture of giving,” growing donor base through personalized donor outreach, ensuring that the development office is operating by “best industry practices,” and moving toward a “comprehensive campaign” leadership phase.

Roseman ended her presentation with an emphatic defense of the college, saying that Benjamin Rush’s vision of education as a requisite for democracy is “more relevant [today] than ever.