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Office of Academic Development | University of Michigan-Dearborn Archives

Name: Office of Academic Development

Historical Note:

The university began to do some external fund raising with the appointment in March 1975 of Dr. Lee Katz as first Associate Dean for Development and Research Support.  Katz also coordinated Evening programs, but by 1978 worked fulltime on development, as Dean of Academic Development in the Office of Academic Development. The office was responsible for sponsored research and special projects, alumni development, and state relations. 1978 was the first year in which more than one million dollars was raised in outside funding for faculty research, and other academic activities.  Katz left the university in July 1981.

Susan Burt was appointed by Chancellor William Jenkins (1980-1988) in June 1982 as director of Sponsored Research and Development.  She was promoted to Associate Vice-Chancellor for Sponsored Research and Development in 1985, making her the highest-ranking woman on the campus.    Chancellor Blenda Wilson (1989-1993) appointed Barbara Owens, formerly of the DSO, the United Negro College Fund, and New Detroit, as director of development in September of 1990.  In July 1991, Wilson appointed Wayne State University’s Lynne Aldrich, a person with excellent contacts in the American Association of University Women, as the first person to hold the title of Vice Chancellor of Development.  The director of development reported to the Vice Chancellor of Development.  Chancellor James Renick (1993-1999) replaced Aldrich with Susan Skramstad, a longtime member of the chancellor’s staff (1984-1993).  Skramstad held the position of Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement from 1993 through most of 1996, giving notice in July that she would be moving out of state.  During her tenure, substantial increases in donations and gifts were made, as well as a full reorganization into the Office of Institutional Advancement.  Susan McClanahan, who came from UMAA and WSU, ran IA from Jan.1997-June 2002, when she left to work for the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor.  Ray Metz, Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, was interim vice chancellor until Tom Baird, of UMAA and the Nature Conservancy, took over as head of IA in November of 2003.  At this time, IA comprises Directors of Corporate Funding, Development Funding, Henry Ford Estate Funding, as well as Alumni Relations, and University Relations.

The first annual fund-raising drive was in 1977-1978. The annual fund campaign of May 1983 raised $20,000, up 9% from 1981-82.  The Regents agreed to include UM-D in the “Campaign for Michigan” in 1983.  Alumni pledges from a phon-a-thon Sept. 29, 1983 raised $15,000.  The May 1984 annual fund drive raised $34,239.  UM-D participated in UM’s Capital Campaign, (MCampaign, the Campaign for Michigan), 1992-1997, and raised $24 million, a record for the campus.  UM initiated another five-year capital campaign in 2002, part of which is UM-D’s goal is $40 million. 

For post-1981 material, consult the finding aid for the Office of Development, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Office of University Relations, Office of Government Relations.  Additional information may also be available in the records of the Chancellor's Office, as well as campus publications and IA’s website. This history will be augmented as further research is done.

Note Author: K. Morgan

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