Paul Gardner, whose two decades of leadership in higher education development include seven years at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, will return to the School of Dentistry Dec. 14 in the role of associate dean of advancement.
Brad Bodager stepped down from that position earlier this year; Diane Frazier, director of major gifts for the University’s Office of University Development, has served in an interim capacity since Bodager’s departure.
Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for University Advancement, announced Gardner’s selection as associate dean at the fall meeting of the Dental Foundation of North Carolina, held recently.
“Paul will be a tremendous asset to the School of Dentistry,” Kupec said. “He has a proven track record of success in fundraising here on our campus and at other universities, and that, no doubt, will continue with his return to the dental school.”
Gardner, a 1986 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, has worked within University development roles for 18 years. After graduating from the University and before joining UNC-Chapel Hill as a development leader, Gardner worked in development at the University of Chicago and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Prior to joining the School of Dentistry in 1998, Gardner had served as assistant dean for development and alumni affairs at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication. While in that role, from 1989 to 1998, he helped the journalism school surpass its goal for the University’s Bicentennial Campaign.
Gardner led the School of Dentistry’s development efforts from 1998 to 2005. He was instrumental in helping the School exceed its goal for the Carolina First Campaign, raising more than $34 million two years prior to the campaign’s conclusion. More than 35 student aid funds and 11 faculty support funds were created during his tenure, and a $2 million gift for the Dental Sciences Building project was secured.
After leaving the School of Dentistry in 2005, Gardner joined Washington and Lee School of Law as associate dean for advancement. During that time, the number of development staff visits to alumni and total contributed funds increased by 180 percent.
Gardner returned to the University in January 2008, serving as associate dean for advancement at the School of Law. As was the case at the Washington and Lee law school, Gardner increased staff visits to alumni substantially and helped increase financial support to the School. More than $4 million was committed to the law school in 2008-09, and the number of $1,000-plus contributors has increased by 26 percent in 2009-10.
“We have benefited from Paul’s leadership, his enthusiasm, his high expectations for himself and others, and his devotion to Carolina,” School of Law Dean Jack Boger said in an e-mail announcement of Gardner’s departure.
Gardner said his immediate goals after returning to the School of Dentistry would be to re-connect with department chairs, faculty and staff members, alumni and friends, Dental Foundation and Dental Alumni Association boards and the Dental Sciences Building Steering Committee.
“We know what our goals are for the Dental Sciences Building, so we need to resume that campaign immediately,” Gardner said. “We also need to make preparations to introduce our new dean when he or she arrives in July 2010. I’m excited to be returning to the special community at the School and the wonderful folks I’ve worked with both internally and externally.”