CALEXICO — The hiring of San Diego State University-Imperial Valley’s new director of development and community relations comes at a critical time as the campus tries to do more with less this year, officials say.
“We’re hoping to be able to give more academic programs instead of contract them, hire more faculty instead of less, and offer more, not fewer, scholarships,” SDSU-IV Dean David Pearson said. “We have very serious budgetary challenges … unless we have someone actively raising money, all these contractions will happen.”
Brawley native Rodney L. Smart as been hired to help the campus as it continues forward with large projects such as the Imperial Valley University Partnership with Imperial Valley College and the SDSU-IV Center for Energy Sustainability.
The SDSU-IV position has been empty since Imperial County Supervisor John Renison left about 13 months ago, Pearson said.
No qualified applicants were found in the first round so a second round of applicants were reviewed this past fall.
Smart has more than 30 years of experience in sales and development/communication relations. He is a former mayor of Brawley and former Brawley Chamber of Commerce president.
As co-chairman of the Pioneers Memorial Hospital Foundation, he helped raise around $700,000 for the hospital’s intensive care unit as well as repeatedly served as master of ceremonies for one of its major fundraising events.
Smart also had experience helping to raise millions during his time as associate director of university development at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
“I’m very excited about where we stand right now,” he said. “I’m like a sponge. I will take it all in and see what I can do.”
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org