UMass Amherst Names Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs; Michael Leto Brings Proven Track Record of Success

AMHERST, Mass. – A veteran fundraiser with a track record of success will be the next vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the university announced today.

Michael A. Leto, currently vice president for development and alumni relations at Central Michigan University, will begin his transition to the UMass Amherst leadership team starting in April and will begin his full-time duties in June. Leto, who also served as executive director of development at the Indiana University Foundation – considered one of the nation’s leading fundraising organizations – was selected following a national search.

“We’re thrilled to bring a talented professional with Michael Leto’s background and skills to our team, and we look forward to great success going forward under his leadership,” Chancellor Robert Holub said in an announcement to campus. “We have enormous potential in our development and alumni affairs activities, and many solid professionals working in this area. His primary task will be to better connect to our alumni and friends, and to build even more support for UMass Amherst in the years ahead. I’m confident in our university’s ability, working together, to achieve our goals.”

As vice chancellor, Leto will serve on Holub’s leadership team and will be responsible for implementing short- and long-term plans to improve private support for UMass Amherst as well as greater connectivity to the university’s alumni and supporters. As the state’s leading public university, UMass Amherst has more than 200,000 living alumni. The university also enjoys strong support from foundations and corporations in Massachusetts and around the nation and world. In 2008, the campus raised $35 million, the largest single year total in university history.

“It is clear to me that we can build on this base of fundraising success, even in these difficult economic times, to help UMass Amherst going forward,” Holub said. “Private support will be critical for us to improve funding for faculty lines, create enhanced scholarship and fellowship opportunities, and to provide us with the additional resources we need to achieve our goal of becoming one of our nation’s finest public research universities.”

Leto replaces Toivo Tammerk, who will retire at the end of March after four years as the leader of development and alumni activities at UMass Amherst.

Leto will begin his transition to UMass Amherst in April. He has held his current position at Central Michigan University, an institution of 27,000 students, since 1998. From 1990-1998, he held a senior leadership position at the Indiana University Foundation in Bloomington, serving as executive director of development for an eight-campus, national research university that enrolls more than 100,000 students. He also has held positions at Southeast Missouri State University, Saint Louis University and the Indiana University of Technology. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Ball State University.