New Division Merges Development, Alumni Relations, Communications
Susan Rogers Has Been Named Vice President for the Newly Created Office of Advancement

Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers was recently appointed vice president for University Advancement.

The University of Texas at Dallas has reorganized two university divisions to create the Office of Advancement, which will be headed by Susan Rogers. Formerly vice president for communications, Rogers has been named vice president for university advancement.

President David E. Daniel said he expects the reorganization will enhance productivity and build upon accomplishments of both divisions as UT Dallas continues to gain recognition as one of the nation’s up-and-coming public research universities.

“These are very exciting times for UT Dallas, with growth, new buildings, and dynamic new programs and changes,” Daniel said. “I look forward to even greater achievements in the new advancement structure.”

Rogers, who founded the University’s Office of Communications in 2006, described the merger as a natural step in the maturation of the University. “Many large universities employ the advancement model,” she said. “I’m excited about this opportunity and looking forward to bringing our team of talented, dedicated people toward new levels of accomplishment together.”

Daniel said, “The time is right for UT Dallas to consolidate its development and communications functions into a single advancement office. Susan Rogers is exceptionally well-qualified to lead this transition. She has extensive experience in supporting fundraising operations at Stanford University and the University of Arkansas, and she has worked closely with our development team while providing superb leadership within our communications office.”

The University’s student enrollment has grown from about 13,500 to more than 23,000 since 2005. This growth is due in part to investments in enrollment marketing led by the Office of Communications in response to the University’s strategic plan. The plan demands growth in enrollment to support scale-ups in both faculty numbers and research activity in service to UT Dallas’ Tier One aspirations. The strategic plan also calls for the University to “tell our story better,” and the reorganization supports that imperative, Rogers said.

The time is right for UT Dallas to consolidate its development and communications functions into a single advancement office. Susan Rogers is exceptionally well-qualified to lead this transition.

Dr. David E. Daniel,
UT Dallas president

“This new structure will enhance an already strong partnership among the offices of marketing, communications, alumni relations and development,” she said. “The demands of the recently completed Realize the Vision campaign brought the groups together to accomplish important goals. It became apparent that a formally organized, merged structure could benefit the University and its students, alumni and other constituents.” 

All staff in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and in the Office of Communications will report to the Office of Advancement. The new office’s functions will encompass marketing, media relations, communications, periodicals, Web services, alumni relations, corporate and foundation relations, donor stewardship and events management.

Rogers joined UT Dallas in October 2006 as vice president for communications, taking responsibility for enhancing the University’s visibility among key audiences.

Since that time, the University has sought to tell its story in more and different ways, through a variety of channels and to a growing number of audiences, including potential students, faculty members and donors, legislators and government officials, funding agencies, businesses, opinion makers and other possible collaborators. 

UT Dallas has established a robust social media presence, a University magazine, an annual report, responsive Web design for high-traffic URLs, a daily news service, an internal newsletter and presidential communications to parents. The University adopted the University Brand Standards, created moderated institutional email and established protocols for emergency communications that have effectively served the community in situations involving weather-related closures and public safety issues. 

Office of Advancement

The Office of Advancement encompasses the following functions and services for the University:

Development and Alumni Relations: The department connects graduates with one another and the University through benefits, services and communication, and encourages philanthropic investment in education and research at UT Dallas.

Marketing: The department supports UT Dallas’ brand identity through the production and management of a united and consistent image across all segments of the University’s media channels. Services include strategic/media planning and multimedia designs for such projects as brochures, publications, invitations, billboards and electronic messaging.

News and Media Relations: The communications team works with members of the news media to facilitate interviews and connect reporters with experts and stories. The team is also responsible for internal and external dissemination of campus news and information.

Periodicals: The office edits and distributes news about UT Dallas through print publications, newsletters, the University’s News Center and social media.

Web Services: Web Services provides support for delivering accurate, current and relevant information on the website, email and other digital media.

Positive coverage of the University in news media has grown year over year, from 3,500 stories in 2010 to about 19,000 last year, an increase of approximately 447 percent. UT Dallas appeared for the first time in the top tier rankings of U.S. News and World Report. Daniel was named a finalist for “Texan of the Year” by The Dallas Morning News, one result of a successful media campaign to educate opinion makers, legislators and the general public about the Tier One Bill of 2009

The bill grew out of an approach Daniel suggested for creating more top-tier research universities in Texas, which led to two legislative initiatives that pumped more than $600 million of state funds into this effort. The Tier One legislation created matching funds that the Office of Development and Alumni Relations leveraged to build the success of the Realize the Vision campaign, which raised more than $273 million. Since 2005, UT Dallas has raised more than $371 million, while building staffing and expertise within its development division, which was also positioned to enter a growth mode at the beginning of the Daniel presidency. 

“Thanks to the persistent efforts in recent years of a talented group of professionals in development, communications and public affairs at the University, people in this state and beyond are beginning to take notice that we are one of the true success stories in higher education in America,” Daniel said.

“As UT Dallas continues to progress toward the goal of becoming one of the top public research universities in the United States, we must take our efforts to the next level and to a much broader stage,” he said. “Susan will define and lead this strategically important initiative.”

Rogers said, “When I came to the University of Texas at Dallas, it was a hidden gem, with many unsung virtues: amazing quality within its student body, an array of world-class researchers and faculty, and most importantly, a clear and specific vision of its future and its growing value to the Dallas region culturally, intellectually and economically. It has been a privilege to serve this vibrant, vital organization and to bring the success of UT Dallas students, faculty and alumni to broader awareness. I look forward to carrying that message even more widely, and, in particular, to engaging our alumni and our community in greater support of our Tier One goals.” 

Rogers came to UT Dallas from the University of Arkansas, where she served as associate vice chancellor for university relations in the office of advancement. She also has served as director of marketing and communications in the Office of Development at Stanford University and as associate vice president for marketing and communications at the University of North Texas.

In addition to her work for educational institutions, Rogers has consulted for a broad array of clients, including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Central Park Conservancy, Long Island University, Lynchburg College, DePauw University and the University of Delaware. She has extensive experience as a writer, reporter and editor at media outlets including The Dallas Morning NewsThe Miami HeraldThe Chicago Sun-Times and D Magazine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].