December 3, 2015

Fred Van Sickle Named Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development

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Fred Van Sickle has been named the next vice president for alumni affairs and development, President Elizabeth Garrett announced Thursday. He will succeed Charles Phlegar, who departed the University earlier this year.

Van Sickle, who is currently the chief development officer at the Institute for Advanced Study — a postdoctoral research center  — will assume his new position on Jan. 18, according to the University.

He earned his bachelors’ degree from Lake Forest College in 1983, master of education from Harvard in 1989 and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, according to a University press release.

Van Sickle’s career in fundraising and alumni relations has spanned for three decades. He became deputy vice president for university development at Columbia University in 2002, and served as a vice president for eight years until he was named executive vice president for university development and alumni relations in 2011.

At Columbia, Van Sickle was a major player in the university’s $6.1 billion capital campaign, according to the release. He also created Columbia’s first Giving Day, which raised $6.8 billion from thousands of donors over social media.

In his new position at Cornell, Van Sickle will be responsible for the University’s development and alumni relations program, and will lead a team of approximately 350 people.

President Elizabeth Garrett said in the release that she is “delighted to welcome a leader of [Van Sickle’s] caliber” to Cornell.

“He brings unparalleled experience and a proven track record of accomplishment in higher education fundraising and community building,” she said. “We are setting ambitious goals for the university, and Fred will be key to developing and implementing many of the strategies to enable our success.”

Van Sickle said he was excited to lead a “strong group of seasoned professionals.”

“Cornell alumni, parents and friends have a reputation for being incredibly engaged, vocal supporters of the university, and I look forward to tapping into that energy,” he said. “Cornell has all the ingredients necessary to achieve even greater heights.”

6 thoughts on “Fred Van Sickle Named Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development

  1. I believe you have a typo here: “He also created Columbia’s first Giving Day, which raised $6.8 billion from thousands of donors over social media” The figure listed for Giving Day can not possibly $6.8 billion. Perhaps you mean million?

  2. The expenses and in turn tuition rates of colleges are totally out of control. When I was a student (I’m still in my 20s) I didn’t see anything expensive that actually benefited me. TA’s and post-docs get paid McDonalds salaries if they’re lucky. Classrooms were perfectly adequate but no fancier than my lower-middle class rural public high school. I scarcely used any lab equipment that wasn’t older than me, which was again perfectly fine (mechE). Most classes I took had 100+ students, which again I think is fine. My profs had light teaching loads despite their complaining and most (with a few exceptions) did a half-assed job leaving me to learn most stuff from TA’s, textbooks, or otherwise on my own. So why, after paying insane costs of attendance, should I throw away money to the circus that is Cornell? What would additional money go towards? Are there any legitimate reasons for this? To me it seems like Cornell and US universities in general need to be gutted of all the waste.

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