Ottawa University’s Senior Vice President of Advancement, Paul Bean, announced his resignation Wednesday after having served 10 years as the institution’s lead fundraiser. Bean has accepted the position of executive director of the Franklin County Development Council.
Bean led Ottawa University to unprecedented fundraising success during his tenure, posting more than $68 million in gifts and pledges through the university’s capital campaigns and its annual fundraising efforts. He worked closely with OU Chancellor Kevin Eichner and the board of trustees, posting several new highs in productivity each year while growing and developing staff and highly effective systems and processes. The university, which had previously garnered only two $1 million in its history, generated several times that number under Bean’s leadership.
“Paul was my very first hire upon accepting the presidency at OU now almost 12 years ago,” Eichner said. “We’ve enjoyed a great run together. He has been a faithful and effective fundraiser for us and has an almost unmatched ability to create and sustain positive relationships. His loyalty to our mission and institution has been exemplary and he will surely be missed, both professionally and personally. While we are certainly sorry to lose him at OU, we are pleased that Paul and Chris will remain in our community and that Paul will bring his many gifts to bear on behalf of Ottawa and Franklin County as a whole. I know I speak for our Board of Trustees and all of OU’s faculty and staff in thanking him for his many contributions and in wishing him the very best in this new chapter of his life.”
Bean said that he had spoken at length with the chancellor over the past couple of years about his desire for a change, but was determined not to leave until the time was right.
“The chance to represent the Ottawa and Franklin County communities is something I look forward to doing,” said Bean. “My wife and I love Ottawa and we want to make as much impact on its behalf as we believe we have for the university. I have treasured my time at Ottawa and am grateful to Kevin (Chancellor Eichner), the Board of Trustees, and especially my staff and many colleagues for our work together. I will be eternally thankful to the legion of donors who have supported me personally, and the university as a whole over these years. I cherish them and their generosity and am proud of the progress we have made at Ottawa University at every level. I firmly believe that OU’s best years lie ahead. It is wonderful place that I believe is truly doing God’s work.”
Bean will remain in his position until Oct. 25 to participate in the upcoming homecoming celebration Oct. 11-13 on the Ottawa campus. He will be honored at the board of trustee’s fall meeting and will be a part of the dedication of the university’s new stadium improvements, and the naming ceremony of AdventHealth Field - projects in which he has played a key development role.
With Bean’s departure, Janet Peters of the advancement department has been named interim director of university advancement. Peters, who has been with the university for 13 years, is currently the Director of Development and Planned Giving. In that role, she has managed the administrative functions of the office for the past eight years.
“Janet is a highly respected and effective leader, who knows every part of the university’s fundraising apparatus,” Eichner said. “She, along with Nori Hale, Courtney Klaus, John Holzhuter, Garrett Brown and Susan Trendel will continue in their respective Advancement roles, while stepping up with myself and President (Dr. Reggies) Wenyika in helping to fulfill the external fundraising responsibilities vacated by Paul’s departure in Kansas.”
The chancellor and the board of trustees will work closely with Peters and her team to determine the future design of the Advancement functions between now and the calendar-year end. The process for selecting Bean’s successor will begin immediately.