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UB to search for new vice president of fundraising

The University at Buffalo's chief fundraiser will step down in July.

UB President Satish K. Tripathi announced the departure of Nancy Wells, who spent five years as vice president of philanthropy and alumni engagement.

University officials credited Wells with strengthening UB’s fundraising and alumni outreach efforts by implementing major organizational changes in the fundraising division.


Nancy Wells, who spent five years as vice president of philanthropy and alumni engagement at the University at Buffalo, will step down from her post.

Leadership philanthropic gifts and pledges increased by 60 percent during Wells' tenure at UB.

At the same time, annual overall giving has not grown at a rate that keeps pace with other major public research universities.

The University at Buffalo Foundation received $47.8 million in private donations in 2015-16, according to its audited financial statements. That amount was up from $26.5 million in 2014-15 and from $40.5 million  in 2013-14. But university officials had set a goal of increasing annual fundraising by $40 million per year by 2020, and among peer institutions in the Association of American Universities, UB continues to rank near the bottom in annual contributions.

Wells arrived at UB in 2012 after holding leadership positions in fundraising and alumni relations at a variety of institutions, including Stanford and McGill universities, and at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, where she served as vice president of development. She also had been director of development for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the largest repertory theater in the U.S.

Tripathi said in an email Monday that Wells elevated the importance of philanthropy and alumni engagement across the university.

"Nancy leaves UB strongly positioned to continue its important work," he said.

The university will launch a national search for Wells' successor in the coming months.

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