Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chris Wyrick out as UA's fundraising head

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 9:43 AM

click to enlarge CHRIS WYRICK: Leaving the U of A.
  • CHRIS WYRICK: Leaving the U of A.
The University of Arkansas has announced Chris Wyrick, vice chancellor of advancement at the Fayetteville campus, has resigned his position as of yesterday.

Wyrick has served in the role since 2013, before which he was senior associate athletic director at the university and, briefly, executive director of the Razorback Foundation.

UA Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz has appointed Mark Power as interim vice chancellor. A spokesperson for the university said he couldn't yet comment on the terms of severance for Wyrick, or the status of the search for a permanent fill for the position.

Wyrick replaced Brad Choate as head of advancement during the administration of the previous chancellor, David Gearhart, after a multi-million dollar deficit was discovered in that department. That scandal led to a legislative audit and a public hearing in which Choate declared he'd been "thrown under the bus" by other top leaders at the university to hide larger systemic financial and administrative problems. 

As part of the same episode, Wyrick fired John Diamond, the former top spokesperson for the UA. Diamond said at the time that Wyrick's behavior as a top administrator was frequently demeaning and inappropriate towards him and other staff

Here's the full statement from the university:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz announced Monday that Chris Wyrick, vice chancellor of University Advancement, will step down from his position effective immediately. Wyrick has been in this role since his appointment April 1, 2013, after serving from 2008 to 2011 as senior associate athletic director for Razorback Athletics and then serving as the executive director of the Razorback Foundation in 2012.

Steinmetz has appointed Mark Power, associate vice chancellor for development, as interim vice chancellor of University Advancement, effective immediately. Power has worked in development at the university in a variety of capacities since 2001.

"The timing of this change was important because we are facing a critical milestone in our capital campaign with the upcoming public launch," Steinmetz said. "I would like to thank Chris for his service to the University of Arkansas and the Division of University Advancement. I have enormous confidence in the entire advancement team to carry forth the vision of creating an energetic and inclusive experience to formally kick-off this significant fundraising endeavor. Campaign Arkansas is strong and will continue to thrive on the generosity of Razorbacks around the world and on our dedicated and passionate staff."

"It has been an honor to serve as the vice chancellor of advancement through the quiet phase on Campaign Arkansas," Wyrick said. "As the university moves into its launch this fall, I am excited to watch its progress and see the great results that the campaign's success bring. I leave the position with enthusiasm for the future and wish the entire Razorback family the absolute best."

The Division of University Advancement promotes the accomplishments of the university to a wide variety of constituents and raises private gift support for the university's programs.

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