Robert J. Parker Jr., has been appointed vice president for College Relations, President David R. Harris has announced.
Parker has more than two decades of executive leadership and institutional advancement experience.
Since 2014, he has been the senior associate dean for development in the College of Arts and Sciences and executive director of the Arts and Sciences Foundation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing strategies to meet and exceed the College’s $750 million goal in the University’s $4.25 billion campaign, “For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina.”
In fiscal year 2019, under Parker’s leadership, the Foundation raised $109.5 million in new gifts and pledges for Arts and Sciences. He also provided strategic leadership for the Foundation’s major gift activity for the “Carolina First” campaign (UNC’s previous campaign), in which the College surpassed its $350 million campaign goal by more than $35 million.
Between his appointments at UNC, he served as vice president for college advancement at Agnes Scott College from 2009 to 2014. There, Parker worked closely with the president and trustees to plan, organize and execute the school’s largest campaign, “The Greatness Before Us,” with a $100 million goal. The campaign closed in December 2016 at $115.9 million.
Parker began his career in development at the University of Chicago, where he received an M.A. in religious studies (1989) and a Ph.D. in theology (1997). He holds a B.A. in history from Baylor University.
At Union, Parker will be responsible for managing alumni relations and development.
He will play a critical role in overseeing the College’s $300 million “Powering Union: The Campaign for Multiple Tomorrows,” the largest and most ambitious capital campaign in the school’s 225-year history.
The public phase of the campaign launched in late February with the announcement of a $51 million gift from Class of 1980 graduates Rich and Mary Templeton. The gift, the largest ever for the College, will transform engineering and the liberal arts with the creation of the Templeton Institute for Engineering and Computer Science. In addition, the gift will be used in the recruitment and retention of women pursuing a degree in engineering or computer science, enhancements to the curriculum, faculty support, and capital to further develop spaces and facilities.
“I’m excited to have Rob join Union as a member of my senior staff,” President Harris said. “This is a critical time for the College as we face unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic. Rob is the ideal person to help us navigate these challenges and ensure we secure the necessary resources to support the College’s core mission in which every student is prepared to lead across multiple tomorrows.”
Parker begins Oct. 1.