UM fundraising slot open with president due in June
By Sherri C. Ranta
As the University of Miami anticipates a June 1 arrival of new president Donna Shalala, several key positions, including the school's top fund-raising slot, are open.
UM's fifth president, Ms. Shalala a top Clinton administration official will succeed Edward T. Foote, whose 20-year tenure at UM is the longest of any president at a private, mid-sized research university, said Susan T. Jones, UM assistant vice president for development and university advancement.
Mr. Foote has been appointed chancellor of the school, she said, and will serve two years at the direction of the president and board of trustees, primarily in the areas of university advancement, fundraising, alumni and community relations.
"He will be active wherever he can be helpful," Ms. Jones said.
She said that after eight years as secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration, Ms. Shalala is taking time for personal appearances, speeches, writing a book and being with family.
"We've not had too much access to her although we have been in contact. She will really not be present until June 1. She has said it would not be appropriate for her to cast a shadow on Mr. Foote's successful 20-year presidency," Ms. Jones said.
As to filling interim positions two deans and the top university fund-raiser Ms. Jones said Ms. Shalala intends to examine those slots and make decisions after her arrival.
"She has said she is pleased with the leadership of UM. You won't see too many changes," Ms. Jones said.
UM's top fund-raising slot, vice president for university advancement, is empty with the departure March 27 of Michael Rierson, who leaves to become top fundraiser at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Under Mr. Rierson's leadership, fundraising for the first time topped $100 million in 1999-2000, Ms. Jones said.
"We've never had a year that big," she said.
Despite a downturn in the economy, giving is "ahead of last year. We will know the total after the fiscal year closes May 31. We are very optimistic that will meet or exceed the previous record."
What challenges will Ms. Shalala face when she arrives at UM this summer? The continued challenge to balance the budget just under $1 billion and attract and retain high quality faculty and students, Ms. Jones said.
A 75-year-old private research university, UM has about 13,960 students from 100 countries and 50 states enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. UM has graduate level schools of law, medicine and architecture.
The main campus is on a 260-acre tract in Coral Gables. The 12-acre medical campus is at the Jackson Memorial Medical Center Complex. UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science is on 16 acres on Virginia Key. The school's south campus is on 136 acres near Miami Metrozoo.