Vice President for University Advancement hired


Photo courtesy of Oakland University

Following a national search that began back in Nov. 2017, Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz has announced that Micheal Westfall will be the University’s first Vice President of University Advancement pending approval from the Board of Trustees.

Westfall comes to Oakland from Eastern Washington University, where he served as Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation for 11 years. Westfall has also worked with Radford University, Virginia Tech University, Georgetown University, Michigan State University and the University of Toronto.

“I am delighted to welcome Michael Westfall to my cabinet to lead fundraising and alumni relations for OU,” Pescovitz said in a press release. “This is an exciting time as Michael joins us to take our advancement team to the next level.”

As the VP of Advancement, Westfall will captain many of Oakland’s fundraising initiatives as faithful donors are becoming increasingly important for universities to have. Westfall’s position will also be key in creating fundraising campaigns and maintaining relationships with alumni.

“We have been looking for how to make a fundraising operation that will be robust and able to fund itself,” University Provost and head of the position’s search committee, James Lentini, told The Post in November. “It’s required, really, of all public institutions now. Having the systematic pieces in place to raise funds on a sustained basis is what we’re really looking for.”

Out of the applicant pool for the position, Lentini was especially impressed by Westfall’s potential to maintain relationships with donors in an academic setting as opposed to a corporate one.

“[We needed someone] with the interpersonal skills, the experience and track record of being able to work with the president directly and the ability to work with major donors,” Lentini said. “That balance with him is what stood out.”

Lentini added that he most looks forward to seeing Westfall move Oakland toward making more connections with alumni and increasing individual donations to the university, which is something Oakland has lacked in the past.

Westfall will start at his work with Oakland on March 1, pending BOT approval.

“My family and I are thrilled to return ‘home’ to Michigan to join and contribute to the OU community,” Westfall said in a press release. “I am excited to partner with President Pescovitz to create the vision and strategies for the next campaign effort.”