VP for Development and Alumni Relations Named

‘Student of Philanthropy’ Dr. Aaron Conley Hired After Nationwide Search

Oct. 7, 2008

The University of Texas at Dallas has selected Dr. Aaron T. Conley as its vice president for development and alumni relations. His appointment is effective Oct. 13.

Conley departs his current post as the executive director for development and alumni relations at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.

“Aaron Conley knows how to be part of a team that works together collaboratively and productively to market programs, develop friends and raise the funds that are needed to advance an institution,” said UT Dallas President David E. Daniel. “He will bring a wealth of talent and experience to the University.”

Conley was among several finalists who met with the University search committee, which was headed by Dr. Calvin Jamison, vice president for business affairs. Conley was distinguished by his experience in having personally handled many key major gift solicitations, creating innovative programs for donor cultivation and stewardship, and for his academic specialty in philanthropic studies.

“Aaron Conley is a personable, dedicated, proven development professional,” said Jamison. “He is a student of philanthropy and will do well working with all members of this University. His experience in closing major gifts will be extremely valuable to UT Dallas.”

At Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, Conley managed a comprehensive development program that raised more than $92 million toward a $175 million capital campaign goal, part of the University of Pittsburgh’s overall $2 billion campaign. Conley secured the largest individual gift in that university’s history, a $32.5 million commitment, which resulted in the naming of the engineering school. The Swanson School’s endowment rose, growing from a total of 114 funds valued at $54 million in fiscal year 2003 to more than 190 funds totaling nearly $97 million this year.

Before joining the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, Conley held increasingly senior positions at Indiana University, Purdue University and Florida State University. At Indiana, he earned an Ed. D. in higher education, minoring in philanthropic studies. He is a frequent speaker and published author of several academic works on philanthropy, including a chapter examining the increasing role of private support at America’s public universities in the book Privatization and Public Universities, Indiana University Press.

“I am honored to be chosen for this opportunity,” Conley said. “UT Dallas clearly has an ambitious agenda to become a more prominent resource to the Dallas/Fort Worth region while also becoming one of the nation’s leading public research universities. This is a very exciting time to join this dynamic and growing institution.”

UT Dallas’ strategic plan calls for increasing its endowment, now $264 million, by $300 million over the next decade. Private funds are needed to support research, build more classrooms and laboratories, endow professorships and grant more scholarships. In recent months, under the leadership of Interim Vice President for Development Laura Beall, UT Dallas hired six new development officers to work with the various schools and programs.

“We owe Laura Beall a tremendous expression of gratitude for her work over the past nine months as interim VP,” President Daniel said. “Her marching orders were to move the office forward, and that she did, hiring a number of very experienced, talented major gift officers and making very significant progress.”


Media Contacts: Meredith Dickenson, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2293, meredith.dickenson@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Aaron Conley

“This is a very exciting time to join this dynamic and growing institution,” said Aaron Conley, the new vice president for development and alumni relations for UT Dallas.

 

Career

•Increased the University of Pittsburgh engineering school’s capital campaign total from $58 million to more than $150 million in five years.

•Closed the largest gift in University of Pittsburgh history, a single commitment of $32.5 million.

•Previously served Florida State University, Purdue University, and Indiana University in development and other administrative positions.

•Wrote his doctoral thesis (Indiana University) on “Student Organization Membership and Alumni Giving at a Public, Research I University.”

 

Search Committee

Calvin Jamison Vice President for Business Affairs, Chair
Kyle Edgington Chief Development Officer for the School of Management
Michael DeFrank Director of Corporate Relations for the Office of Development
Patricia Barnett Chief Development officer for Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
Dena Jackson Director of Foundation Relations and Interim Assistant Vice President for Development
Dennis Kratz Dean, School of Arts & Humanities
Susan Rogers Vice President for Communications
Judy Patterson Administrative Assistant, Computer Science
Sandy Chapman Director of the Center for BrainHealth

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