Univeristy fills position to head fundraising efforts

Tim Magaw

President Lester Lefton announced yesterday who will fill the new vice president for institutional advancement position, which will head the university’s fundraising efforts.

Eugene J. Finn, currently associate vice president of advancement at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., will head Kent State’s development campaign as the new vice president.

University spokesman Ron Kirksey said Finn will start the position at the beginning of April with a salary of $200,000.

Finn could not be reached for comment.

Patricia Book, vice president for regional development and chair of the search committee, said Finn stood out from the beginning because of his strong background in fundraising and alumni relations. She said the university needs someone who is able to get alumni to contribute to the university.

“In order to have that happen, you have to cultivate that relationship and get them engaged in the institution,” Book said.

She said private fundraising and development have become increasingly important because of decreased state funding.

Kathy Stafford, vice president for university relations and development, will no longer have development attached to her title. She said she made the recommendation to the president to split the position. Stafford said she will focus on government relations, university communications and marketing.

“It was just getting to be a huge portfolio for one person, and it made a lot of sense to me so I could concentrate on marketing,” she said.

Stafford said the university has a lot of room for improvement in its development campaign.

“I’m supportive that we need to split it up because we need more emphasis in a lot of areas,” she said.

Book said Finn has had a very successful career in advancement and development. She said he was able to do a significant amount of fundraising for an individual college as well as an entire university.

“He has wonderful interpersonal skills and clearly has been successful in creating friendships and successful relationships,” Book said.

The announcement comes as the university is gearing up for its major fundraising effort, the Centennial Campaign. In the last campaign, the university raised $130 million, and she said she expects this one to be larger.

Contact administration reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].