Robinson tabbed vice chancellor at UNC-Pembroke

PEMBROKE — The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has a new vice chancellor for Advancement.

Bryan Robinson, a successful fundraiser with a strong track record of higher education leadership, will assume the position on July 16. Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings made the announcement recently after his recommendation was unanimously approved by trustees.

“I feel like everything I have done in state government and in academia, both as an executive and a researcher, has prepared me for this opportunity,” Robinson said. “My family and I feel blessed to be a part of the UNCP family.

“I am honored to be selected by the search committee, the chancellor and the board of trustees.”

Robinson has more than a decade of fundraising and development experience in higher education, including health care education. He comes to UNCP after serving as the senior assistant vice president and interim vice president for Advancement at the University of Louisville. He also served as senior director of Development and in a campaign planning role at Indiana University.

Cummings said he is thrilled to have Robinson join the Braves’ senior leadership team.

“UNC Pembroke is a special place requiring leaders who appreciate our proud history, the needs of our region and our students, and our bold vision for taking the university to new heights,” he said.

Cummings added, “Bryan Robinson is a dynamic leader who is a perfect fit during this period of incredible momentum at UNCP.

“As a first-generation college student who worked his way through school and conducted doctoral-level research on rural poverty, Bryan will bring a unique perspective to Southeastern North Carolina.

“He views higher education as the great equalizer and serves as a shining example of its power to change lives.”

Robinson served the University of Louisville for 10 years. He was senior director of Development for Major Gifts from 2008 to 2012.

He subsequently served as assistant to the dean and senior director of Development at Indiana University, where he helped plan a $2.5 billion multi-campus comprehensive campaign.

Robinson was recruited to return to the University of Louisville in 2013 and ultimately promoted to interim vice president for Advancement, assisting in the completion of a seven-year, $1 billion capital campaign.

Robinson said he plans to leverage his past successes in his new role at UNCP.

“I want to grow the Advancement Office in every way imaginable from personnel to increased engagement and philanthropic results. I see this as a unique opportunity to expand our infrastructure for short- and long-term success and growth for UNCP,” he said.

Robinson will arrive in Pembroke on the heels of a record-breaking year of fundraising success at UNCP. Under the leadership of Mark Gogal, interim vice chancellor for Advancement, the university has generated more than $3.6 million in gifts, pledges and planned gifts so far this budget year, in addition to the largest gift in the university’s 131-year history of $7 million from Jim and Sally Thomas.

“It is clear to me that we have wonderful people there now,” Robinson said. “We are going to stand on the shoulders of those who have laid the foundation for success and pursue a strategy that will advance UNCP with a meaningful and lasting effect as a member institution of the UNC System.

“We will implement a campaign and a vision for the future – a vision that importantly is deeply rooted in the pride we take in our rich history, heritage and tradition — and which is supported by the values of our chancellor and other senior leaders.”

Robinson’s former colleagues described him as “a visionary and a great strategist” and someone with “strong ethical and moral character.”

He began his career as principal and co-founder of a firm known as Equity Inc., a commercial business consulting, development and asset sales and management enterprise Kentucky and Indiana. He co-founded the firm in 2000, building the company from start-up status before expanding to locations Tennessee as well.

A Kentucky native from a small town, he holds a doctorate in higher education administration and social change from Bellarmine University in Louisville. He defended his dissertation in rural poverty after four years of research and study, including field research conducted abroad at the University of Roehampton in London.

Robinson holds a master’s degree in leadership in higher education and a bachelor’s degree in pre-law studies, both from the University of Louisville.

Robinson has served on numerous boards, councils and committees in academia, state government and in the private sector. Bryan currently serves as a member of the Education Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.

He and his wife, Kathy, have four children.

Mark Locklear

Special to The Robesonian

Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Communications & Marketing.