After months of searching, Binghamton University has chosen its next vice president for advancement and executive director of the BU Foundation.
The University search committee has selected Andrew Watkins, who will begin his new role on July 16.
In a press release on May 25, University President Harvey Stenger welcomed Watkins to BU.
“I am thrilled to welcome Andrew to Binghamton to lead the way on the fundraising and alumni-relations efforts on campus,” the release states. “This is an integral part of the core of our University. Andrew and I have already begun talks about the next phase of growth and are optimistic about what’s to come.”
The positions were opened after Jim Broschart, the former vice president of advancement, left his role on Jan. 5 to become the associate vice chancellor for university development at North Carolina State University, leading BU to conduct a national search for a new hire.
According to the press release, the search committee was headed by Donald Nieman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Sheldon Goldfarb, ‘73, chair of the BU Foundation Board of Directors. The team was composed of campus community members, the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the BU Foundation Board of Directors.
According to Nieman, Watkins’ past experiences at various colleges and universities made him stand out in a highly competitive pool of applicants.
“Andrew’s résumé rose to the top from a highly talented national pool; his credentials in academic fundraising are impressive,” Nieman wrote in the press release. “His history of performance in fundraising gives him the insights necessary to enhance Binghamton in both alumni engagement and development success.”
Goldfarb wrote that he was impressed with Watkins’ developed understanding of fundraising and critical thinking.
“I was impressed with Andrew’s breadth of experience, his deep knowledge of fundraising, and his ability to think strategically,” Goldfarb wrote in the press release. “I look forward to working closely with him in his capacity of executive director of the Foundation Board.”
Most recently, Watkins oversaw 11 fundraising units primarily focused on arts, culture and the humanities at Michigan State University, eight of which have achieved their fundraising goals as part of a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign.
Watkins has also worked for Limestone College, Converse College, Clemson University and Florida State University, where he primarily focused on fundraising for student programming, scholarships and other campus resources.
In an email, Watkins wrote that his new job will showcase his knowledge of fundraising at the university level and networking with alumni and volunteers.
“At BU, this job is especially exciting to me because of the staff that already exists and makes the BU Foundation financially healthy,” Watkins wrote. “This will allow me to exercise my strengths which is in working with fundraisers, alumni professionals and volunteers to enhance the financial position of the University.”
According to Watkins, his first objective at the University will be to meet with top donors, board members, senior administrators and the staff of his department. He also aims to garner donations to benefit the University’s current programs.
“As I get to know BU, it will be critical that we work to develop our ability to explain why we need gifts, and what kind of impact those gifts will have for the students, faculty and staff of the University,” Watkins wrote. “If we’re doing this well, we will position ourselves well for gifts that transform areas of Binghamton University into eminent educational programs.”