Kim O'Neill hired as the new vice president for University Advancement and CEO of the WWU Foundation

June 4, 2021

Dear WWU Community,

Following a nationwide search, I am pleased to announce that Kim O’Neill will join Western Washington University as our new Vice President for University Advancement and CEO of the WWU Foundation effective July 1. Kim currently serves as Associate Vice President of Advancement at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, a position she has held since September 2019. The start date provides considerable overlap for transition with Stephanie Bowers, who will be retiring after 20 years of exemplary service to Western at the end of summer.

In her current capacity, Kim leads a team of fundraisers who share an annual goal of raising $100 million in each of the last two fiscal years at Texas Tech. In addition to leading the team, she has also been personally responsible for facilitating more than $44 million that includes public-private partnerships, naming of a school, and a challenge grant to address racial equity during her time at Texas Tech. Kim has also been instrumental in establishing new and improved processes including annual planning done in coordination with deans, and new performance impact measurements.

Prior to Texas Tech, Kim served in a number of progressively responsible positions at the University of Idaho beginning in 2005 as a Student Recruitment Coordinator and Development Coordinator for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Director of Development for the College of Natural Resources; Assistant Dean of Development and Assistant Dean of Advancement for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; and ultimately Associate Vice President of Development for the university. In her final position at the University of Idaho, Kim led a team of 25 fundraisers that contributed to the highest fundraising years to date, from nearly $39 million in fiscal year 2017 to $52 million in 2019.

A strong Advancement and fundraising division is critical in nurturing external partnerships and raising resources from individual and corporate partners to help us advance our strategic aspirations of inclusive student success, academic excellence and Washington impact. Kim brings substantial and relevant leadership and executive management background to accelerate our fundraising and corporate and foundation relations efforts.

A native of Stanwood, Washington, Kim began her career as a substitute teacher in the Enumclaw and Stanwood School Districts. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Washington State University, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications and Innovation at Texas Tech.

I look forward to welcoming Kim and her family back to the Pacific Northwest this summer and partnering with her to elevate fundraising and corporate and foundation partnerships at Western. Please join me in welcoming Kim to our Western community.

Sabah Randhawa
President, Western Washington University