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Arts and Sciences’ Development Dean Departs

6.17.16


O’Neil A. S. Outar, who joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) as senior associate dean and director of development in September 2014, at the end of the first year of the public phase of its $2.5-billion capital campaign, is departing in early July. This represents the second change in campaign staff leadership during the capital campaign: Outar, a veteran academic fundraiser, succeeded Paul Keenan, who relocated to Hawaii for personal reasons, but remained associated with FAS in an advisory fundraising capacity.

A statement provided to the magazine by an FAS spokesperson noted, “While Harvard does not comment on personnel matters, we thank senior associate dean Outar for his service to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and will announce details of the search process for his replacement in the near future.” An internal communication about the change focused on Outar’s managerial accomplishments, citing his work to “ensure sustained momentum in the second half of the campaign,” and pointing to restructuring measures including “creation of new, dedicated teams to support communications and donor relations, and campaign priorities and initiatives,” as well as bolstering FAS’s fundraising staff and volunteer presence in China and California—markets of rising importance for future campaign activity.

Although FAS and The Harvard Campaign are not expected to provide an update of results until sometime this summer, after the fiscal-year books have been closed, the faculty has reported recent successes, such as a $25-million gift for financial aid. A recent status report on House renewal—a major FAS priority, and one long considered challenging for fundraisers—reveals that through this past March 31, gifts and pledges of $230 million had been secured: a significant sum, but only about half the $450-million goal. The report suggests that tapping internal sources of funds to pursue the House renovations had strained FAS’s finances overall, and made the case to accelerate borrowing, along with continued, House-specific fundraising, to continue the massive project.

Robert Cashion, senior associate vice president for alumni affairs and development, will serve as interim leader of FAS development while a search for Outar’s successor proceeds.

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