University News

Arwen Staros Duffy Named Vice Chancellor for Advancement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. – Arwen Staros Duffy, currently assistant vice president for development at the University of Southern California (USC), has been named vice chancellor for advancement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Duffy will begin her new position Nov. 15, 2021.

Arwen Staros Duffy
Arwen Staros Duffy

Duffy has served in her leadership role at USC since 2014, where she oversaw record fundraising efforts for the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Gould School of Law, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, Price School of Public Policy, Rossier School of Education, and Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work as part of the Campaign for USC. Previously, she served as senior vice president for development and external affairs at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. A Yale University graduate in art, she also was vice president of advancement for the California Institute of the Arts, where she earned her MFA in 1994. Duffy began her career in higher education advancement at UCLA, where she secured support for the School of the Arts and Architecture and College of Letters and Science.

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, “Arwen Duffy possesses an extraordinary range of experience and expertise that will advance the mission of UMass Amherst as we seek new heights of philanthropic support for our revolutionary aspirations. Her most recent success at USC, a distinguished national university, as well as her deep knowledge of the arts, demonstrates the skill, creativity and leadership that she will bring to UMass.”

Duffy said, “Public universities play a special role in advancing knowledge for the public good, and I embrace UMass Amherst’s commitment to create a better, more just world. It is a privilege to join the commonwealth’s flagship university at a time when philanthropy is playing a vital role in fueling its mission. This month’s extraordinary gifts to the Marieb College of Nursing will make a lasting impact in the lives of UMass students and their future patients, and I am grateful to Interim Vice Chancellor Theresa Curry and the advancement team for their dedication to engaging alumni, parents, friends and neighbors in advocacy and support.”

Duffy observes that whether motivated to sustain the arts, advance the cause of social justice, or protect the environment, issue-driven philanthropists often recognize that outstanding universities such as UMass can help them achieve their objectives. By listening carefully to donors and connecting them with the right faculty and administrative partners, Duffy believes UMass can continue its ascent among the nation’s top public universities by garnering private support to strengthen existing programs and create new ones.

Duffy’s husband, Sean Duffy, is a visual artist. They have two sons, Jack, a college student, and James, a high school senior. Duffy also brings a special appreciation of UMass Amherst through her family connection to the university. Her father and stepmother are retired UMass faculty members James V. Staros, professor emeritus in biochemistry, and Alice C. Harris, professor emerita of linguistics.