UI Foundation president already on the move

UI Foundation president already on the move

The president of the University of Illinois Foundation is leaving after less than two years to take a similar job at his alma mater in New York.

Thomas Farrell will be a senior vice president and chief advancement officer at the University of Rochester, which is in the midst of a $1.2 billion fund drive, the school announced today.

Farrell, who took over the UI job in January 2013, is an alumnus of Rochester and worked in the advancement office there for five years at the start of his career. He will begin his new job Nov. 1.

“It is wonderful to return to my alma mater, one of the nation’s great teaching, research, academic health care, and public service universities,” Farrell said in a release. 

UI Foundation officials learned of Farrell’s appointment today and the board is working “as expeditiously as possible” to name an interim president and CEO, said Jessica Hampson, interim director of communications for the UI Foundation.

Farrell had replaced Sidney Micek, who continues in a part-time role as senior adviser to the UI foundation president.

Before joining the UI Farrell was vice president for alumni relations and development at the University of Chicago for two years.

He holds two degrees from the University of Rochester — a bachelor’s in history and a master’s in political science and education — as well as a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

He started working in Rochester’s advancement office in 1990, eventually becoming director of the reunion major gifts program. He later held leadership positions at the University of Buffalo School of Law, Dartmouth College and University of Pennsylvania, where he was part of the planning team for its current $3.5 billion campaign.

As chief development officer at the UI, Farrell oversees development programs for the three campuses and the foundation, with a budget of $53 million and a combined staff of more than 400. As foundation CEO, he also is responsible for its investment office and the university’s endowment of $1.6 billion. 

In his first appearance before UI trustees, Farrell in March 2013 outlined an ambitious goal to double cash donations and double the endowment within 10 years. In 2013, the UI received more than $430 million in new commitments and $238 million in cash gifts.

At Rochester he will replace James Osterholt, who since September 2013 has served in an interim chief advancement officer role.

In the Rochester release, university President Joel Seligman praised Farrell’s strong connections as an alumnus and former advancement officer, as well as “an exceptional track record of fund-raising leadership at the highest level.”

Michael Kiser contributed to this report.


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kevhead71 wrote on August 06, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Development (fundraising) at U of I = revolving door.