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Office of Advancement

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Blake Rickman

The Office of University Advancement is pivotal in driving the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith forward. The division is a catalyst for institutional progress and comprises several vital units - Alumni Engagement, Marketing, Communications, Finance, Operations, and Development.



Alumni Engagement fosters ongoing community and loyalty among AV∂∂“ű alumni and other stakeholders, elevating the university‚Äôs image and reputation. From planning events and activities that build everlasting bonds between Lions to sharing the news of their university, the office inspires our alums to stay engaged and informed.

The Marketing and Communications unit enhances the university‚Äôs image, manages its brand, and maintains its reputation. Consisting of Creative Services, Web Administration, and Strategic Communications, the department oversees the development and production of promotional materials, the AV∂∂“ű.edu website, and the AV∂∂“ű licensing and branding operation. The strategic communication office leads the university‚Äôs social media, press, and publication strategy. The Marketing and Communications team collaborates closely with other university departments to guide consistent and effective communication of the university‚Äôs values, ensuring the AV∂∂“ű brand and voice remain consistent.

The Finance and Operations department oversees the University Advancement division‚Äôs budget, financial reporting, analyses, and continued compliance with financial regulations and institutional policies. Beyond their duties with the institution, the division manages more than $120 Million in assets for the AV∂∂“ű Foundation, Inc. The Foundation‚Äôs capacity for support is transformational and vital to the future of AV∂∂“ű. The Finance and Operations department ensures the funds are accounted for, audited, and managed sophisticatedly and transparently.

The Development department, at the heart of the mission of university Advancement, is focused on securing financial support from a broad range of sources, including university alums, corporate and private foundations, and individual donors. The work of AV∂∂“ű development officers is crucial in sustaining and expanding the university‚Äôs academic programs, teaching and research initiatives, scholarship offerings, and campus facilities. These professionals are dedicated to engaging with our generous donors and fostering strong, fulfilling relationships that advance the university‚Äôs mission.

By implementing these core functions with excellence, the Office of University Advancement is a driving force behind the success and continued growth of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.