University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart on Wednesday (Feb. 13)announced that Chris Wyrick, the executive director of the Razorback Foundation, has agreed to join Gearhart’s senior administrative team as the next vice chancellor for university advancement.
The advancement division has been under review for a $3.3 million deficit. The previous advancement chief was removed from the post.
Gearhart made the announcement at an event held in the lobby of the university’s Administration Building. More than 100 UA alumni, donors, university students, faculty and staff gathered for the announcement.
“After several months of careful thought and consultation, I have selected our new vice chancellor for university advancement from within the U of A family,” Gearhart said as he introduced Wyrick. “Chris has more than 20 years of successful fundraising experience in higher education, including positions at the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Vanderbilt University. He has been with the University of Arkansas since 2008, and in that time has established himself as a superstar, highly regarded and admired by his colleagues.”
In making the announcement, Gearhart was joined by Johnelle Hunt, a longtime U of A supporter and one of three chairs of the Campaign Arkansas steering committee, the group of volunteers who are helping plan the university’s next capital campaign.
“Chris embodies the enthusiasm and advocacy everyone on the campaign steering committee feels,” Hunt stated. “A steady, experienced hand is needed—preferably one who has already earned the confidence and respect of the committee, and one who has shown he will go the extra mile and do things the right way. Chris has done all of those things.”
Wyrick, 45 and a native of Greensboro, N.C., said he was honored and humbled by Gearhart’s offer.
“There is a huge capital campaign on the horizon that will be instrumental in making that happen,” Wyrick continued. “I look forward to working with our campus leaders, deans, department heads, professors, and students to make their dreams come true.”
Gearhart explained that Wyrick’s starting date as vice chancellor will be determined once Wyrick is able to work with his Razorback Foundation board and staff on a transition plan.
Gearhart will continue to oversee the advancement division, which includes the university’s fundraising, communications, and alumni offices as well as the university’s special events and community relations units.
Wyrick is a 1992 graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.