Champion of Good Causes
There’s a new face on campus this spring charged with guiding the future of philanthropy.
In March, the U-M Board of Regents appointed Casandra Ulbrich as UM-Dearborn’s next vice chancellor for institutional advancement.
Ulbrich has served as vice president for college advancement and community relations at Macomb Community College (MCC) — one of the nation’s largest community colleges — since 2011.
“Casandra brings to this position both a proven history of success in higher education development and a personal connection to our mission, each critical as we prepare to significantly increase philanthropic support on campus,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso.
As vice chancellor for institutional advancement, Ulbrich will establish a high-performing development enterprise, shape and guide the future of philanthropy at UM-Dearborn. She will oversee the development and implementation of an integrated strategy for development, alumni engagement, business and foundation engagement, and annual giving, and will be responsible for increasing the university’s overall philanthropic revenue.
Ulbrich, who is a first-generation college graduate and former Pell recipient, said she understands the challenges that today’s university students face.
“I have focused my professional career and public service on ensuring that all Michigan students have the resources, opportunities and support that will allow them to reach their full potential,” she said. “I am honored to continue this work at a highly mission-driven institution that focuses on student success and community impact.”
In her role at MCC, Ulbrich launched the college’s first comprehensive capital campaign, which exceeded its overall goal by 7 percent. She revamped the MCC Foundation, adding new staff and tripling the number of board members, which led to a fundraising increase of 20 percent in the first year and 300 percent by year four. The MCC Foundation earned the CASE Overall Foundation Improvement award in 2017 for its efforts.
She also led the development of the college’s Innovation Fund, which supported start-ups and emerging companies that also provided learning opportunities for students. To date, the fund has awarded more than $1.7 million to 33 companies and has resulted in enhanced learning experiences for more than 500 students.
Prior to MCC, Ulbrich served in a number of development roles at Wayne State University.
Ulbrich, who also currently serves on the State Board of Education, is a 1996 graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (A.B.). She earned an associate degree from St. Clair County Community College and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in communication from Wayne State University.