February 26, 2002
It is with mixed emotions that I announce that Jane Bickford, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, will leave the university by the end of this calendar year. Several months ago Jane discussed with me the possibility of leaving Tulane. Jane expressed a desire to pursue a few of the professional options she has before her, including the possibility of completing her doctoral studies. In fairness to the university, she felt it would be best to leave this year because she was not prepared to make a long-term commitment to the university. I reluctantly concurred with her decision.
Since Jane joined Tulane in 1999, there have been many significant improvements in the university's institutional advancement efforts. Total private giving has more than doubled in the last three years compared to the three years preceding her arrival; the Annual Fund is at an all-time high and there have been double-digit increases in donors in each of the past three years. Under Jane's leadership, we also saw a marked improvement in alumni affairs, database management and the overall effectiveness of the development office. Her contributions have been varied and substantive. We all owe Jane our deepest gratitude for her efforts.
Knowing of Jane's possible departure, we retained a fundraising consulting firm to make an assessment of our Institutional Advancement function and readiness to proceed to the next stages of the capital campaign. One of the key recommendations made by the consultants was to create a new Senior Vice President (SVP) for External Affairs position to oversee all aspects of Tulane's external affairs. In light of Jane's departure, I think this is a timely and appropriate recommendation. After consultation with the Board of Administrators, I have come to the conclusion that we have the ideal individual to assume this very critical function already at the university in the person of Yvette Jones. Therefore, effective July 1, 2002, Yvette Jones, currently SVP for Planning and Administration since July 1, 1998, will assume this new role. When Yvette assumes this new role, her current position will be eliminated.
As many of you know, Yvette has been with the university for more than 20 years in a number of significant roles. Yvette has a superb grasp of the university's diverse constituencies and a deep understanding of its history and vision for the future. As a Tulane alumna and someone who already oversees many of the key functions to be assumed in the new position, she is well qualified to assume this new role. However, there are other important functions in Yvette's current portfolio that will be transferred to other existing senior officers in the next few months. These include: Information Technology, Human Resources, Research Administration and Financial Planning and Analysis. We anticipate completing the transfer of these functions by the end of the fiscal year. All of the senior officers are committed to working with Yvette and Jane to effect this transition in an orderly and seamless manner. Of course, I will keep you posted as changes are made.
Later in the year, we will formally thank Jane Bickford for her many contributions. No doubt she will be missed but we are pleased for her as she pursues the next phase of her career. I also want to thank Yvette Jones for her willingness to assume this vital new position. Given the magnitude and significance of the capital campaign, her role will be absolutely essential to Tulane's success.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me.
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