Columbia has named two new executive vice presidents this month, University President Lee Bollinger announced in emails to the student body on Wednesday.
Frederick Van Sickle has been named executive vice president for University development and alumni relations. Van Sickle, who previously served as vice president for University development, took over for Susan Feagin on Jan. 1.
Feagin is now special adviser to the president, a newly created position.
In a separate email, Bollinger announced that G. Michael Purdy, the current director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, will become executive vice president for research on Feb. 1. That position has been held by David Hirsh since it was established in 2003.
In his new role, Van Sickle will lead the Office of Alumni and Development, which is responsible for the University’s fundraising and alumni relations.
According to an article published in the winter 2010-2011 issue of Columbia Magazine, as special adviser to the president, Feagin will “work on projects related to alumni relations, development, and other University matters.”
Feagin said she also plans to reach out to alumni volunteers working on the Columbia Campaign, including members of the various school-based dean’s councils, to hear suggestions for making the volunteer experience “more enjoyable, productive, and rewarding.”
In his email, Bollinger praised Feagin and Van Sickle for “creating the strong alumni and development organization in place today,” and for meeting the $4 billion goal of the Columbia Campaign a year ahead of schedule despite a strained economy.
The University announced last month that it was increasing the goal of the capital campaign to $5 billion, a mark Van Sickle said he hopes to exceed.
“I think that my appointment represents a commitment to continuing the strategy and work that we’ve been doing,” Van Sickle said.
Purdy said in an email that as executive vice president for research, he hopes to encourage interdisciplinary work.
At the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Purdy “helped build a world-renowned interdisciplinary research institution with the capacity to apply its scientific expertise to the complex problems facing a global society,” Bollinger wrote in his email.
“He possesses not only the respected scholarly and administrative experience required in this position, but also a deep familiarity with Columbia’s academic culture, and our ambitious goals for scientific research in the years ahead.”
Purdy said the next Earth Observatory director will be picked after an “exhaustive open search process” that could take up to a year.