Michael Eicher, the Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Development whose fundraising efforts have amassed over $3 billion for the university since his arrival in 2006, will leave Hopkins for Ohio State University this November.
The news was made public Tuesday morning in a statement by Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. He assumes his new position Nov. 1. As of yet, Hopkins has not announced his replacement.
“Ohio State is incredibly fortunate to have attracted Mike Eicher,” Gee said in a press release. “He is among the nation’s most accomplished leaders in higher education fundraising, having created and led two of the most successful university fundraising campaigns on record.”
Eicher, whose six-year tenure at Hopkins coincided with and facilitated one of the most substantive fiscal development periods in the university’s history, will serve as the Buckeyes’ senior vice president for Advancement. He will be responsible for Ohio State’s current $2.5 billion fundraising campaign.
Eicher arrived at Homewood in 2006 as a vice president for development and alumni relations and was promoted to his current title in October 2010.
He leaves behind an operation that has fallen consistently in rankings of the country’s top ten college and university development programs.
His departure comes just after the “Johns Hopkins: Knowledge for the World” campaign, a decade-long effort that garnered $3.7 billion for the Johns Hopkins Institutions. According to the Council for Aid to Education, Hopkins raised $485.41 million in donations in 2011, making it the sixth-most gainful university in the country.
“Generally speaking, what I’m most proud of is that the division I run is significantly stronger than it was when I arrived,” Eicher said. “I’m leaving it in good hands.”
He is spurred westward by a foundational interest in public higher education, he said. With more than 56,500 students, Ohio State is the third-largest university in the country -- with, Eicher said, a ways to go on the capital development front.
“Hopkins has a very mature development program. Ohio State’s program is younger, still growing,” he said. “Ohio State is a place on the rise, where I thought I could make a contribution.”
In spite of the disparity between a medium-sized private research university in Baltimore and one of the country’s largest public institutions, Eicher said that his responsibilities will, “on paper,” remain consistent between the two schools. At Hopkins, he is responsible for soliciting and maintaining private fiscal support for the University and its constituent institutions. He oversees the Office of Communications and Public Affairs in addition to fundraising efforts.
Beyond the Knowledge for the World campaign -- the centerpiece of his service to Hopkins -- his accomplishments are numerous. He has expanded the university’s donor base with a marked increase in support from younger alumni, parents, and other non-alumni supporters. The five-year-old Young Alumni Weekend, which draws nearly a thousand recent graduates to their alma mater each October, is an Eicher brainchild.
A transition plan is in the works for Eicher’s departure; his last day of work at Homewood will be October 31, he said. President Ronald J. Daniels has yet to name a replacement to fill the position.