Months after the previous vice president was terminated, the University of Toledo announced a new vice president for advancement to lead fundraising, marketing, communications, special events and alumni relations.
Michael Harders, the current vice president of university advancement and development at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, has been hired to fill this new position on March 20.
He will be taking over the position previously held by Sam McCrimmon, who was terminated in the fall of 2016 after receiving numerous complaints about his work ethic.
“There was a time when he wasn’t showing up, wasn’t working and wasn’t responsive to requests,” explained Sharon Gaber, president of UT. “If the president is saying, ‘Why aren’t you responding to certain requests?’ then that’s an issue.”
Mike will receive a $245,000 yearly salary, $10,000 less than his predecessor, who earned a $255,000 yearly salary.
Looking to the future, Gaber said that she wants to work toward building up the endowment and bringing in resources to help the students, faculty and university with the help of the new vice president for advancement.
Harders brings a lot of experience to the University; during his tenure at Kennesaw State University, Harders said his team increased alumni engagement and annual support for the University.
“We were able to increase private investment for student support, faculty support, programs and facilities by 240 percent in four years,” Harders wrote in an email. “I was also very happy to work with the director of athletics to raise over $7 million in sponsorship dollars, which allowed Kennesaw State to start its football program.”
Increased donations also rose at Kennesaw State, and with this money they increased need-based scholarships for students and scholarships for students with good academic merit, Harders wrote.
As executive director of development at Missouri State University, Harders coordinated staff and volunteers and encouraged alumni and friends of the university to donate to the “Our Promise” fundraising campaign.
“The ‘Our Promise’ campaign was a comprehensive campaign for Missouri State to raise $125 million,” Harders wrote. “We were raising funds to support students and faculty, programs and facilities. We passed the $125 million goal about 18 months earlier than planned, and the campaign concluded having raised more than $157 million.”
Both Harders and Gaber said they hope to bring this success to UT in the form of a new campaign, more alumni engagement and involvement and increased donations that would provide support for students and faculty in the form of more scholarships and professorships.
“I’ve been really pleased about the progress that we have made along the way,” said Gaber. “We’re continuing to tweak and understand what we need to do better. I think a new leader comes in and provides a fresh set of eyes.”
One of the goals Gaber has set for Harders is to bring the department for advancement together to work more as a team.
“I think that Mike has the opportunity to take the group and help the group work very cohesively,” Gaber said, “because that was something they weren’t doing a year and a half ago.”
Harders explained that he wants to work with the advancement team to reach out to the entire UT community and use that support to help the university achieve its goals and add value to the institution.
“We have a great university,” Harders wrote. “We need to tell our story and share the wonderful things that are happening on campus with our alumni, friends and other community members across the nation and world.”