Search begins for vice president for Development and Alumni Relations

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is launching a national search for the position of vice president for development and alumni relations.

Ann C. Crouter, dean of the College of Health and Human Development, is chairing the committee.

Rodney P. Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, will leave his position on Aug. 31 after 20 years of service to the University. Kirsch led Penn State from start to finish through two, seven-year, billion-dollar-plus capital campaigns and oversaw private fundraising totaling $4.4 billion during his tenure.

“Rod’s unprecedented accomplishments have built a solid foundation for a new leader to step in and move the University’s development and alumni relations efforts forward with fresh ideas and new innovations,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “I always tell people that the philanthropy of our alumni and friends is what allows Penn State to do so many wonderful things and sets us apart from other institutions. As we embark on our upcoming campaign, there is tremendous opportunity to take Penn State’s fundraising to new heights and redefine the standard for engagement and support for a major public research university.”

The vice president for development and alumni relations leads a team of more than 400 professionals whose work secured $2.2 billion in support during the University’s most recent campaign that ended in 2014 — and who engage the more than 177,000 members of the Penn State Alumni Association, the largest dues-paying organization of its kind in the world.

Penn State routinely sets and breaks fundraising records, as evidenced by the more than 176,000 alumni donors — a record for higher education — who made gifts to the University during the last capital campaign.

As a member of the University’s senior leadership team, the vice president for development and alumni relations reports directly to the president. The position is charged with providing strategic vision and leadership for every aspect of the University’s advancement operation, including frontline fundraising, alumni relations, event planning, major gift cultivation, corporate and foundation relations and more, in support of Penn State’s strategic goals and institutional missions.

Applications (including a resume, letter of application and the names and contact information of five professional references), as well as nominations and inquiries, should be emailed to To learn more about Penn State’s alumni relations and development programs, visit and

Members of the search committee are:

  • Mohamad A. Ansari, immediate past chair, University Faculty Senate, and associate professor of mathematics, Penn State Berks
  • John M. Arnold, CEO, PPC Lubricants
  • Sandy Barbour, director of athletics
  • Paul J. Clifford, chief executive officer, Penn State Alumni Association, and associate vice president for alumni relations
  • Ann C. Crouter, search committee chair and dean of the College of Health and Human Development
  • Ralph Ford, chancellor, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
  • Paul Herzig, student in the master’s degree program in accounting
  • Peter J. Hudson, director, The Huck Institute of the Life Sciences, Eberly College of Science
  • Glen W. Jack, assistant vice president, Office of Principal Gifts, University Development
  • Martha B. Jordan, partner (retired), Latham & Watkins LLP, and member of the Penn State Smeal College of Business Board of Visitors
  • Lawrence H. Lokman, vice president, Strategic Communications
  • Jeffrey J. Miller, chair of the Department of Dermatology, Penn State Hershey
  • Thomas G. Poole, vice president for administration
  • Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor, Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • Mark J. Theiss, senior director of development, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Peter G. Tombros, professor and distinguished executive-in-residence, Eberly College of Science
  • Steve Wagman, vice president, Penn State Alumni Association
Last Updated June 01, 2016