Advancement Division Announces Restructuring, Promotions

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Division of University Advancement at the University of Arkansas has undergone a significant restructuring, with several staff members moving into new positions, Chris Wyrick, the vice chancellor for university advancement, announced Thursday.

“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.

“We have a great team of people in advancement, and these changes will enable them to do their jobs better than ever. I am confident we now have the right people in the right places on the bus, and we are ready to roll,” Wyrick said.

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.

“This spring Bruce Pontious announced that he would retire as associate vice chancellor for development. This presented us with a tremendous challenge,” Wyrick said. “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.”

The development leadership team under Power also has been re-organized: Katy Nelson-Ginder was promoted to assistant vice chancellor of development for external relations; 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.

These promotions were all effective July 1.

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

The re-organization goes beyond the leadership positions, however.

“The restructuring has enabled us to increase the number of people working on university initiatives in the development office,” Wyrick pointed out. “This alone will be a great asset to our fundraising efforts.”

The restructuring also affects the vice chancellor’s office, where there is an expanded emphasis on finance and human resources.

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. 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. All promotions were effective July 1.

“One of the goals of our restructuring was to eliminate unnecessary duplication, and in the human resources review we found that several people in different offices were doing essentially the same thing as one part of their jobs,” said Wyrick. “It is much more efficient and effective to have the financial and human resources duties centrally organized in this office.”

The other major restructuring in the Advancement Division involves two offices – the office of special events and the office of constituent relations.

“Kris Macechko basically created our office of constituent relations,” said Wyrick. “It has grown under her leadership into an important link between our donors and this division. When she told me this spring that she had decided to retire it presented another major challenge. Our human resources review indicated that there was an opportunity to reorganize this operation by combining constituent relations and our special events offices. And, fortunately, we had excellent, experienced people who could take charge during this transformation.

 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.

“Melissa Banks and Ede Hogue have worked closely with Kris Macechko for years, and they have a very experienced professional staff in place going forward,” Wyrick explained. “This change made sense, and we’re confident our donors and other constituents will be happy with the results.”

Wyrick said that everyone in the Advancement Division appreciates the support that university administrators, deans and faculty have given to the division in the past year.

“We are grateful for that support, and we intend to show it: the University of Arkansas is embarking on new and ambitious fundraising goals in the coming year, and we are now in a position to do that with the most efficient and productive advancement division possible. We will work harder and better than ever to raise the funds needed to support our students, our faculty and our university, and to keep the U of A moving towards greatness.”


Chris Wyrick, vice chancellor
University Advancement

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations

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