University of Nebraska Foundation announces new CEO
Brian Hastings, a senior executive at The Ohio State University, has been named president and CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation. The foundation’s board of directors met Friday afternoon to approve Hastings’ appointment.
Hastings brings more than two decades of experience in higher education fundraising, along with strong expertise in implementing universitywide advancement strategies. He most recently served as executive director of The Ohio State University’s $2.5 billion fundraising campaign, in addition to his duties as senior associate vice president at the university.
The foundation’s board unanimously voted to accept the recommendation of the search committee in naming Hastings to the position. Peter Whitted, chair of the foundation’s board of directors and a member of the search committee, said the committee conducted an extensive, nationwide search which resulted in qualified applicants from Nebraska as well as several major institutions around the country.
“Brian Hastings brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from a Big Ten peer institution,” Whitted said. “He has helped lead not only one of the most successful development teams for a public, land-grant institution, but also one of the most successful fundraising campaigns.”
Whitted said the committee placed a priority on the following attributes in their recruiting of the foundation’s next CEO: excellent networking and relationship skills with donors; strategic thinking skills; strong leadership, management and mentoring skills; and Midwestern values and a good fit with Nebraska’s culture.
University President James B. Milliken, who also served on the search committee, called Hastings an excellent choice to lead the foundation forward.
“Brian has provided leadership and enjoyed much success at one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious public universities,” he said. “I am confident this experience has prepared him well to lead our foundation at this important point in our history. The University of Nebraska is on a roll, and the foundation will continue to be a key reason for that success.”
The University of Nebraska Foundation launched the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, a comprehensive fundraising campaign on behalf of the University of Nebraska, in 2005. The campaign ends in 2014. Gifts to the campaign currently exceed $1.2 billion.
“As a first-generation college graduate and lifelong Midwesterner, I am truly humbled by this opportunity to work with the outstanding foundation staff in service to the university and the citizens of Nebraska,” Hasting said. “I was impressed with the great accomplishments occurring on each of the four campuses, inspired by the leadership and commitment of the volunteers, and warmed by the incredible sense of pride exhibited by everyone. I look forward to working with alumni, friends, faculty, and staff in realizing the unlimited possibilities that lie ahead in the Campaign for Nebraska and beyond.”
The foundation’s total assets, as of June 30, were about $1.8 billion. The vast majority of the foundation’s assets are endowed gifts given by donors for specific programs at the university. John Gottschalk, former publisher of the Omaha World-Herald, has been leading the foundation in the interim, while the CEO search was being conducted.
Hastings, and his wife Sharon, have two young children. He plans to begin his duties at the University of Nebraska Foundation in early fall.
Additional information about Hasting’s professional experience is available on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/pub/hastings-brian/6/227/970.
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has connected the dreams and passions of donors to the mission of the university for more than 75 years. In 2011, donors gave a record $172 million in gifts for scholarships, academic programs, medical research and other priorities at the university. The foundation’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities concludes in 2014. For more information, visit campaignfornebraska.org.

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