Candidates for vice president for institutional advancement named

Tim Magaw

Kent State has a new vice presidential position, and a search committee has narrowed down to two candidates out of a pool of about 30 applicants. A recommendation will be made to President Lester Lefton by the end of this week.

Eugene Finn and Robert Ashton are the two finalists for the position of vice president for institutional advancement and executive director for the University Foundation.

The new vice president will head university development, where he will be the chief fundraising officer for the university. He will also lead efforts to keep alumni connected to the university to help support funding for scholarships, new facilities and faculty.

“They want this person to provide senior leadership for our development campaign,” said Patricia Book, vice president for regional development.

Finn is currently the associate vice president for advancement at George Washington University, and Ashton last served as vice president for university advancement at San Jose State University. Book said both candidates have strong records in university development and alumni relations, and the university wants an executive with a track record of success.

Neither Finn nor Ashton could be reached for comment.

Both candidates are visiting and interviewing on campus this week, and meetingw with the search committee, President Lefton and others. Finn was on campus yesterday, and Ashton will be here today.

“We’re doing our best to make Kent State look most attractive to these candidates,” Book said.

Development was part of the job description for Kathy Stafford, the current vice president for university relations and development, but her title will soon change to vice president for university relations.

Stafford said several elements factored into the decision to hand the development job to the new vice president, including the need for more resources and to strengthen marketing for the university.

Book said she expects the decision will be soon after the recommendation has been made to the president. Lefton will consult the University Foundation’s board of directors in making the final decision.

“(Lefton’s) so anxious to have this position filled because it’s so important to the university’s future,” Book said.

Contact administration reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].