With incentives, UNC fundraising chief’s pay could rival chancellor’s

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Thanks to a deal proposed by Chancellor Carol Folt and approved this summer by the board of trustees, annual pay for David Routh, the incoming fundraising chief at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, could total $494,000, or only $26,000 less than Folt’s own salary.

The annual salary for Routh, who was named Thursday and begins his job October 14 as vice chancellor for development, will total $395,000.

And if he meets goals Folt sets, Routh also could get incentive pay totaling up to 25 percent of his base pay, or nearly $99,000, bringing his annual pay to nearly $494,000.

Folt’s annual salary is $520,000, compared to $432,600 for her predecessor, Holden Thorp, UNC says.

The stakes are high for both Folt and Routh: A comprehensive fundraising campaign at UNC-CH that at one time was expected to total $3 billion has been on hold for years.

Plans to launch the campaign initially were delayed by the collapse of the economy five years ago.

They were delayed again in the spring of 2012 by the board of trustees, which reportedly rejected plans for the campaign submitted by Thorp and Matt Kupec, the former vice chancellor for advancement, saying the plans needed more work.

This summer, during the search for the new vice chancellor, the UNC-CH board of trustees approved a proposal by Folt to provide the incentive pay.

That move prompted speculation that Folt, former interim president at Dartmouth who became UNC chancellor on July 1, was courting a candidate who already was paid $500,000 or more, or wanted to be paid that amount.

Routh, a 1982 graduate of UNC-CH, has been serving as managing director for U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Raleigh and is a former director of gift planning at the university.

Thorp resigned in September 2012 in the face of a scandal involving Kupec, who had resigned days earlier after 21 years as the school’s fundraising chief.

Kupec’s annual salary totaled $349,800, UNC says.

The annual salary for Julia Sprunt Grumbles, a former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting who served for a year as interim vice chancellor for advancement before stepping down in early September, was $295,000.

Thorp named Grumbles to the post after he resigned but before he stepped down in June. He now is provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

UNC-CH names David Routh vice chancellor for development

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — David Routh, managing director for U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Raleigh and former director of gift planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named UNC’s vice chancellor for development.

The hiring of Routh, who begins work October 14, concludes a turbulent year for fundraising at the UNC triggered by a scandal involving his predecessor, Matt Kupec, that led to the resignations of Kupec and of Holden Thorp as chancellor.

After he resigned but before he stepped down in June, Thorp named Julia Sprunt Grumbles, a former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting, as interim vice chancellor for development. Grumbles stepped down earlier this month.

And in January, Elizabeth Dunn retired as senior associate vice chancellor for university advancement at UNC-CH. That position still is vacant.

Carol Folt, former interim president of Dartmouth who became UNC’s chancellor on July 1, announced Routh’s appointment today in an email message to the UNC community.

With a new chancellor and vice chancellor, UNC is expected to move ahead with planning for a long-delayed comprehensive campaign that at one time was expected to total $3 billion.

Routh, a UNC-CH graduate, also will be chief executive of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation Inc., a nonprofit that receives gifts on behalf of the University, its schools and units.

He has spent the last 17 years serving individuals, families and their charitable interests, including colleges and universities, private foundations and charitable trusts.

At UNC, Routh was director of gift planning in central development from 2006 to 2009 during the school’s last major fundraising campaign, which raised a record-high $2.38 billion over eight years.

He is vice chair of the Board of Visitors for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and chair of its Capital Campaign Planning Committee.

A native of Greensboro, Routh is a 1982 UNC-CH graduate, with bachelor’s degrees in economics and religious studies.

UNC-Chapel Hill loses interim fundraising chief

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Julia Sprunt Grumbles has stepped down as interim vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The departure of Grumbles, a former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting, leaves the school without fundraising leadership, at least temporarily.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt is expected this fall to name a new vice chancellor for university development.

The fundraising operation at the school has been without permanent leadership since the resignations a year ago of Holden Thorp as chancellor and of Matt Kupec as vice chancellor for university advancement in midst of a controversy involving Kupec.

That lack of leadership, in turn, has left in a state of suspension UNC’s long-delayed plans for a comprehensive campaign that at one time was expected to total $3 billion.

After Kupec resigned and Thorp announced his resignation, effective at the end of the academic year in June, he named Grumbles as interim vice chancellor for advancement and launched a search for a new vice chancellor.

Folt, a former interim president at Dartmouth who became chancellor July 1, has signaled that total compensation for the new vice chancellor for development might be exceptionally high.

This summer, in an unusual move, the board of trustees at UNC-CH approved a proposal by Folt to let the next vice chancellor for development receive incentive pay of up to 25 percent of his or her base pay by meeting goals set by Folt.

That move led to speculation that Folt might be courting a candidate who already was paid over $500,000 a year.

Underscoring that speculation was the participation by Folt earlier this year, before she took office, in the decision to dismiss search firm Witt/Kieffer from the search for Kupec’s permanent successor.

Thorp had launched that search after he announced he was resigning but before he stepped down this summer. He now is provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

Search firm Isaacson, Miller subsequently was hired to conduct the search.

Elizabeth Dunn retired in January as senior associate vice chancellor for university advancement at UNC-CH. That position still is vacant.

Incentive pay plan for UNC fundraising chief raises eyebrows

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In a highly unusual move, the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday approved a proposal by Chancellor Carol Folt to let the next vice chancellor for development receive incentive pay of up to 25 percent of his or her base pay by meeting goals set by Folt.

UNC, which is searching for a permanent fundraising chief, now can pay the new vice chancellor up to nearly $396,000 a year, based on a maximum set by General Administration for the 17-campus UNC system, according to The Herald-Sun in Durham.

That means the new vice chancellor could earn nearly $99,000 in incentive pay in addition to his or her base pay.

Speculation is that Folt may have a candidate in mind who already is paid over $500,000 a year, or wants to be paid that amount.

Incentive pay, if based on a percentage of contributions, could run counter to ethical principles for fundraising because it could give at least the appearance that, in soliciting gifts from donors, fundraising professionals might be acting in their own self-interest and also might be trying to secure a gift sooner than they otherwise would have.

Folt, former interim president at Dartmouth, succeeded Holden Thorp on July 1 after he resigned last September in the face of a controversy involving Matt Kupec, who the same week quit as vice chancellor for university advancement.

Earlier this year, before taking office but after she was hired, Folt participated in the decision to dismiss search firm Witt/Kieffer from the search for Kupec’s permanent successor.

Thorp had initiated the search after he announced his resignation but before he stepped down this summer.

Search firm Isaacson, Miller since has been hired to conduct the search.

Julia Sprunt Grumbles, former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting, is serving as interim vice chancellor for university advancement.

Thorp hired her after Kupec quit.

In the face of all the maneuvers over filling the University’s chief fundraising job, the plans for a long-delayed comprehensive campaign that at one time was expected to total $3 billion remain in limbo.

UNC-CH launches search for chief fundraiser

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Holden Thorp, outgoing chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has named an 11-member search committee to help identify candidates to be the school’s new vice chancellor for development.

UNC-CH already is searching for a new chancellor to succeed Thorp, who announced in September he would step down at the end of the school year this June.

“With the search for the University’s next chancellor well under way, it’s important to initiative the process now to time the vice chancellor search so my successor will have an opportunity to provide input and be involved in the interview process and final selection,” Thorp says in a message to faculty and staff.

He says UNC also is “using this strategy with the search for the executive vice chancellor and provost.”

Thorp says in the message that he consulted with his predecessor, James Moeser, “who had to deal with two vacant administrative positions when he became chancellor in 2000.”

Moeser “confirmed my thinking that initiating these key searches now would help accelerate the transition process within the administration and put my successor in the best position after taking office.”

Chairing the search committee will be Lowry Caudill, a UNC-CH alumnus, member of its board of trustees, co-founder of Magellan Laboratories, and an adjunct faculty member.

Thorp announced his resignation a week after Matt Kupec, the school’s long-time vice chancellor for university advancement, quit in the face of disclosures he had taken at least 25 personal trips at the university’s expense with Tami Hansbrough, a  fundraiser at the school and the mother of its former star basketball player Tyler Hansbrough.

She and Kupec, who both are divorced, had been in a relationship.

Kupec had pushed for UNC to hire Hansbrough, who quit several days after Kupec, and Thorp knew about her hiring and about Kupec’s role in it, according to published reports.

Thorp subsequently named Julia Sprunt Grumbles, former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting, as interim vice chancellor for advancement.

And Elizabeth Dunn is retiring this month as senior associate vice chancellor for university advancement.

Planning for a comprehensive campaign at UNC to raise $3 billion, an effort that had been expected to begin its quiet phase next summer, remains uncertain.

Four years ago, UNC was set to launch a multi-billion-dollar campaign when the economy crashed, so the school put the campaign on hold.

Last spring,  Thorp and Kupec reportedly asked the board of trustees to approve launching the campaign’s quiet phase this past July, but the board rejected the proposal, concluding the school was not ready and needed to spend another year working on its strategy.

Leadership changes scramble plans for UNC campaign

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Planning for a comprehensive campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to raise $3 billion, an effort that had been expected to begin its quiet phase next summer, likely will be put on hold, for the third time in four years, after UNC’s chancellor announced last month he would step down at the end of the school year and the school’s vice chancellor for university advancement quit the previous week, fundraising experts and people close to UNC say.

“They’re going to need to put it off,” says Karla Williams, a national fundraising consultant based in Charlotte, N.C. “The campaign has to be owned by the chancellor and his or her board. That’s where the ownership for a major initiative rests. If it doesn’t rest there, it’s going to fail.”

On-again, off-again

The latest turn in the on-again, off-again campaign came Sept. 17, when UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp announced he would leave his job at the end of the school year and return to his job as a professor.

That move came a week after Matt Kupec, the school’s long-time vice chancellor for university advancement, resigned in the wake of disclosures he had taken at least 25 personal trips at the university’s expense with Tami Hansbrough, a  fundraiser at the school and the mother of its former star basketball player Tyler Hansbrough.

She and Kupec, who both are divorced, have been in a relationship.

Kupec had pushed for UNC to hire Hansbrough, who quit several days after Kupec, and Thorp knew about her hiring and about Kupec’s role in it, according to published reports.

Challenge, opportunity

Williams said the resignations of Thorp and Kupec represent a big challenge and a big opportunity for UNC.

“Universities, like all public institutions, are held to higher standards of behavior, when it comes to ask [donors] to give their money to the university,” she said. “It won’t take a lot for the board and donors to embrace new leaders, as long as the search is exhaustive. It will be a new kind of leader, no doubt a good thing for the university. New leadership brings new life. It’s inevitable.”

But people at and close to UNC say it has a lot of work to do to prepare its fundraising operation and systems to take on a $3 billion campaign.

Four years ago, UNC was set to launch a multi-billion-dollar campaign when the economy crashed, so the school put the campaign on hold.

Last spring,  Thorp and Kupec asked the board of trustees to approve launching the campaign’s quiet phase this past July, but the board rejected the proposal, concluding “you’re not ready, you don’t have a strategic plan, you don’t have vision, spend another year working on it,” said someone close to UNC who asked not to be identified.

Kupec, who was a star quarterback at UNC and has worked in its advancement operation for 20 years, is known as a hands-on fundraiser who enjoys working with donors but does not like managing.

“He felt managers were a waste of time and all you needed to do was go out and ask for money,” the person close to the school said.

Under Kupec’s watch, the school raised billions of dollars but it also has just begun wealth screening, or collecting publicly available data on the capacity of donors to give, the person close to UNC said.

“If I had been planning to announce in July, that should have been happening a year or two before that,” that person said. “I’m a little shocked they haven’t done that, whether in a campaign or not. It’s like getting an oil change. Every so often you do it.”

And recently, UNC reorganized its unit of regional major gift officers who, instead of cultivating major donors, now will prospect for major donors and then refer them to development officers in schools, departments and other units that focus on issues those donors care about, said Scott Ragland, director of development communications at UNC.

The person close to UNC said the kind of development work those major gift officers have done is critical for a school that plans to launch a multi-billion-dollar campaign in which a the biggest gift or handful of biggest gifts will total hundreds of millions of dollars.

“My gut is they don’t know their prospect pool enough to do a $3 billion campaign,” the person said.

Internal capacity

Carol O’Brien, a consultant in Durham, N.C., who has advised UNC in the past and currently is working with one of its programs, said the school will need an “objective assessment of their internal capacity” to run a campaign, including the entire fundraising infrastructure, budget, personnel and systems, including information technology and prospect research.

And when it comes time to look for a new vice chancellor, she said, the school should hire an executive search firm and work with a high-level committee that includes both university academic leaders and volunteer leaders to develop a job description that reflects the complexity of fundraising at a major university.

“Most campaigns now have large areas that involve interdisciplinary work, and research projects, and it takes someone who is conversant with these academic programs and priorities to be effective in high-level giving,” said O’Brien, a former director of development at Cornell University who has worked as a consultant on multi-billion-dollar campaigns at Duke, Cornell, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania.

The search firm also should find ways to talk to some of UNC’s top donors “to get a sense of the relationship they would like to have with this person,” she said.

Chief fundraising officers at universities, she said “need to work effectively with many people inside and outside the university, and the search process needs to ensure that the candidates and ultimately the person selected are sufficiently broadly gauged to be able to do that.”

On Sept. 19, UNC announced Thorp had named Julia Sprunt Grumbles, former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting, as interim vice chancellor for advancement.

Focus on donors

Williams said the critical job now is for the board of trustees to find a new chancellor who in turn will need to “forge a new agenda and new relationships and do a campaign that has their marks on it.”

And the UNC board will need to reassure donors in the wake of  the recent upheaval that the campaign “will stand on its own merit,” Williams said.

“Donors are the ones that really matter,” she said. “True philanthropy is based on value association. If a university has not upheld and stood up for the kinds of  values that the donors of that institution have shared in the past, such as integrity, if the veil of integrity has been broken, donors will say, ‘I’m no longer in sync because our values apparently not the same.'”

So while loyal donors may still make a “token gift to validate their relationship to the university,” she said, “if their pride has been affected they’re going to withhold a true investment, a large gift. They’re in a wait-and-see mode.”

Richard Krasno, executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, which has given over $100 million to  UNC, said donors “need to consider the larger picture and be proud of the excellence that this fine university has achieved over a long period of time, and continue to be supportive.”

Paul Fulton, a member of the board of governors for the 17-campus UNC system and former co-chair of a campaign at UNC that ended in 2008 and raised $3.3 billion, said the UNC’s fundraising and its development office are in “really good shape with a good organization.”

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, UNC received $287.4 million in gifts, its second-best year ever.

“Matt was good and we’ll miss him,” said Fulton, a former president of Sara Lee Corp.,  “But what he did was just bad judgment.”

A key question now, he said, is whether Thorp should hire a new vice chancellor or leave that decision to his own successor.

O’Brien said the likely course would be to conduct the chancellor search first.

“That will give them the best opportunity,” she said, “to move ahead with the leadership transition and campaign planning.”