As Yale gears up for the launch of its next capital campaign, University President Peter Salovey is pushing deans and academic officers to crank up their fundraising efforts.

In an interview with the News last fall, Vice President for Development Joan O’Neill explained that the deans of Yale’s various schools often serve as point people to present and explain gift opportunities to potential donors. In addition to getting high-ranking University administrators involved in fundraising, Salovey said, Yale is continuing to build up resources in the Office of Development.

“I have asked the deans and other University officials to get more involved in fundraising so that we have more feet on the ground,” Salovey told the News. “There’s always a trade-off in terms of how people spend their time. We want to make sure that this gets integrated well in their other job requirements.”

Dean of the School of Public Health Sten Vermund said he has increased his fundraising efforts two-fold since he came to Yale a little over a year ago. At the moment, Vermund said, he spends almost two days per week fundraising as part of his role as dean.

Development officers for the School of Public Health can fundraise effectively only when working closely with faculty members and the dean, Vermund said. He added that faculty members have to be involved in the process to advocate for their work to potential donors.

“In the ideal world, I’d spend less time on development,” he said. “But it’s a vital part of my job.”

He added that Salovey and O’Neill have asked the deans to articulate their school’s fundraising needs to inform capital campaign priorities. And during the fundraising push, Vermund said, the deans and faculty members will be asked “to make special efforts” to achieve the campaign’s goals.

Similarly, Dean of the School of Medicine Robert Alpern said his fundraising efforts will ramp up as Yale enters the first stages of the campaign and begins to approach people who have traditionally donated to Yale. Now, he said, he spends about 10 percent of his time fundraising, but that figure will likely double when Yale begins the campaign. According to Alpern, the past six months have seen an increase in gift opportunities for the School of Medicine.

It is not unusual for professional school deans — unlike the dean of Yale College — to serve as fundraisers for the University, said former University Secretary Sam Chauncey ’57. But now, he added, there appears to be “never-ending fundraising” at Yale.

Yale raised $595.89 million in 2017, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Hailey Fuchs |