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'Coming to Michigan feels a bit like coming home:' MSU names new VP of university advancement

March 1, 2022
<p>Berkey Hall, on Michigan State University&#x27;s North Campus, photographed on Jan. 29, 2022.</p>

Berkey Hall, on Michigan State University's North Campus, photographed on Jan. 29, 2022.

Photo by Olivia Hans | The State News

MSU announced Kim Tobin will be the next vice president of university advancement, in a press release on Tuesday. Tobin will take over for Marti K.S. Heil, who is retiring after 33 years at the university.

“I am a passionate advocate for philanthropy and the transformative impact it can make on an institution’s ability to effect positive change in the world,” Tobin said in the release. “I’m eager to add my energy to the team at MSU and work together to help the university advance its newly defined strategic priorities.”

In her new role, Tobin will oversee university development efforts as well as the work of the MSU Alumni Office. She will lead a team of more than 300 people through planning and executing the institution’s next comprehensive capital campaign.

“Kim has an impeccable track record of success in donor and alumni relations with an inherent ability to engage audiences in philanthropic opportunities that transform lives,” President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in the release. “Her involvement in development at every level of an institution will serve her well in this role, and I know she will further the excellence of MSU.”

Tobin is currently serving the same role as Colorado State University, or CSU.

At CSU, Tobin oversees a 160-member team and leads development efforts, campaign initiatives and alumni and donor relations. 

During her time at the university, she led two successful comprehensive campaigns. The most recent, which concluded in 2020, was a $1 billion campaign and exceeded its goal 651 days early with the support of more than 140,000 donors. CSU had its most successful fundraising year to date in 2021 with Tobin’s help.

Before starting at CSU, Tobin served in various development roles at Lakehead University and the University of Toronto. 

Additionally, she holds a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from CSU, a master’s degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University and a bachelor’s degree in arts administration and art history from the University of Toronto.

Tobin is a native of Thunder Bay, Ontario and attended her first college football game at Spartan Stadium as a child. 

“As a Great Lakes native, coming to Michigan feels a bit like coming home,” Tobin said. 

Provost Teresa Woodruff co-chaired the search committee for VP of university advancement and said in the press release she is delighted Tobin is joining MSU at this time. 

“Creating an opportunity for our alumni, foundations and the broad MSU community to engage with these goals through university advancement, and under her leadership, is exciting for all of us,” Woodruff said. 

The MSU Board of Trustees is subject to approve Tobin’s appointment during its next meeting on April 22. 

Also, in order to ensure a seamless transition, Heil will move to the role of senior adviser to the president, starting May 1 through June 3.

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