'Oxford is the only university that could attract me to leave Toronto'

December 24, 2004

Jon Dellandrea has been lured from Canada to 'advance the cause' of Oxford University

"At 55 years old, I'm over-the-top excited, like a kid," said Jon Dellandrea, the development specialist from Canada whom Oxford University has enlisted to head up its development and external affairs.

Dr Dellandrea, currently vice-president and chief advancement officer at the University of Toronto, will join Oxford in the new role of pro vice-chancellor (development and external affairs) on October 1, 2005.

His role will encompass private funding, public affairs, branding and positioning, rather than simply fundraising. "The business we are in is advancing the cause of the university," he said.

The attraction of Oxford was its history, tradition and reputation and its arguable position as the "most dominant force in higher education in the Western world", he said. "My life is intertwined with Toronto. Oxford is the only university in the world that could attract me to leave," he said.

In 2003, under Dr Dellandrea's leadership, Toronto completed an ambitious fundraising campaign, bringing in more than $1 billion (£421 million) - the first and to date only Canadian university to do so. The cash allowed it to increase the number of endowed chairs from 15 in 1995 to 175 by the end of the campaign and the endowment for student aid from $69 million in 1995 to $500 million in 2003.

"Private funding is not the silver bullet solution. It's not a substitute for government support. It's getting that message out to the Government that says we will work hard to do our part but you cannot support a world-class university just with public support."

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