Michael Eicher, one of UCLA’s top officials who oversaw
the decade-long, $3 billion fundraising initiative Campaign UCLA,
is leaving the university for a position at Johns Hopkins
University, officials said Wednesday.
Eicher, the vice chancellor of external affairs, was chiefly
responsible for raising funds and managing the university’s
relationship with external entities, such as local government,
community members and alumni. His last day will be July 14.
At Johns Hopkins, he will be the vice president for Development
and Alumni Relations, in which he will raise funds both for the
university and Johns Hopkins’ medical system, which includes
three hospitals and is a separate entity from the university.
“Now’s the right time for me to take a little risk
and to have an adventure,” said Eicher, who had been at UCLA
for 20 years, in an interview.
Eicher’s departure to the Maryland private university
marks the second time this year that a high-ranking UCLA
administrator has left for a top post at another university.
Soncia Lilly, a former assistant vice chancellor for student
affairs, left UCLA in April to be dean of students at the
University of Texas at Austin, a public school.
University of California leaders, including President Robert
Dynes and UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale, have consistently
expressed worries about preventing top administrators from leaving
to private schools in an era of decreasing state funding.
Asked if he would consider his move a confirmation of those
fears, Eicher said he didn’t because “that implies
things that weren’t part of my decision.”
Eicher has been at UCLA since 1986, when he started at UCLA
Health Sciences Development. He was appointed associate vice
chancellor for development in 1996 and vice chancellor of external
affairs in 1999.
He said in a letter to colleagues that he felt it was the right
time to leave “in large measure because external affairs is
strong and well-positioned to continue to move forward under new
His headline project for the last 10 years has been Campaign
UCLA, which ended in December and was the largest fundraising
campaign in higher education history.
Carnesale said in a statement that Eicher has “played a
major role in ensuring that UCLA continues to compete successfully
with other top-tier research universities.”
In the 2004-2005 fiscal year, Eicher made $233,500.08 in base
salary, the 40th highest base salary at UCLA and the eighth highest
salary for UCLA employees not associated with the health
Dennis O’Shea, a spokesman for Johns Hopkins, said
Eicher’s new job is slightly different than similar
fundraising positions at other universities because Eicher will be
managing the collective fundraising for two entirely separate
corporations ““ the university and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Johns Hopkins is currently in the middle of a large-scale
fundraising campaign of its own ““ “Johns Hopkins:
Knowledge for the World” ““ and has raised more than its
goal of $2 billion to date. It is scheduled to continue through
While O’Shea said the middle of a campaign is a strange
time to hire someone new, he said Eicher’s experience was
“very impressive” and that he would be an able leader
of Johns Hopkins’ fundraising efforts.
“I think our president and our senior leadership have
every confidence” in Eicher’s ability to pick up Johns
Hopkins’ current campaign, O’Shea said.
UCLA spokesman Lawrence Lokman said Carnesale and other
administrators would be deciding on an interim solution for the
position at UCLA in the coming weeks, but declined to give
specifics. Lokman said there were also “other issues”
to sort out, including who will replace Carnesale when he steps
down June 30.