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A Buffalo native with extensive fund-raising experience at Artpark and local colleges is the University at Buffalo's new vice president for development and alumni relations.

Jennifer A. McDonough, who now holds the same position at the University of Vermont, will start at UB in mid-November.

UB President William R. Greiner, who made the appointment, said McDonough impressed the host of university and volunteer leaders who interviewed her.

"She has excellent communication skills. She's the kind of person who knows how to get right to the meat of an issue, without dancing around it," said David Saleh, the president of UB's alumni association and one of those who met McDonough.

McDonough, 44, replaces Ronald H. Stein, who stepped down from the vice president's position May 31 to return to the faculty of UB's Graduate School of Education. The vice president's post paid $162,000 per year at the time, according to State University of New York records.

McDonough attended Bennett High School and received bachelor's and master's degrees from Buffalo State College.

Her local work experience includes stints directing development efforts at the Artpark National Heritage Trust in Lewiston, St. Bonaventure University and Canisius College.

"I'm really kind of excited about being able to come back to Western New York and give something back by working with an important institution of higher education," McDonough said.

While at the University of Vermont, McDonough oversaw an office with 74 staffers and an annual budget of $5 million. Under McDonough, Vermont's fund-raising increased by 30 percent during the past fiscal year.

McDonough will lead UB's effort to increase its fund-raising to a level on a par with large public universities such as the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois, Greiner said.

UB is in the middle of an ambitious "Generation to Generation" campaign with a goal of raising $250 million, in part to pay for new academic programs and buildings, he said.

"We have to get regular seven-figure and eight-figure gifts coming in," Greiner said.

McDonough said UB is well on its way to boosting its fund-raising, thanks to an extensive network of volunteers in the community and an active alumni association.

She said she plans an initial review of the structure of UB's development office and how its budget is being spent, followed by work on a long-term strategy for fund-raising and development.


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