Wyrick to leave Razorback Foundation after being named vice chancellor for University Advancement


FAYETTEVILLE — The Razorback Foundation is in need of a new executive director.

Chris Wyrick, who became the executive director of the athletic department’s independent fundraising arm last fall, has accepted a position as Arkansas’ vice chancellor of university advancement. Chancellor David Gearhart announced Wyrick’s addition to his senior administrative team Wednesday morning.

“Chris has more than 20 years of successful fundraising experience in higher education, including positions at the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University and Vanderbilt University,” Gearhart said in a press release. “He has been with the University of Arkansas since 2008 and in that time has established himself as a superstar, highly regarded and admired by his colleagues.”

Wyrick, 45, moves into a position previously held by Brad Choate, who was reassigned last year when a review found the office had a $3.1 million shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.

It will be Wyrick’s third position in the past six months. He was named the Razorback Foundation’s executive director last September, replacing Harold Horton in the role. Wyrick moved to the foundation after working as the senior associate athletic director for development with the athletic department from 2008-2012.

Wyrick oversaw the athletic department’s successful Razorback Seat Value Program for football seating during his tenure with the athletic department. Thanks in part to R.S.V.P., $32 million was raised for athletics for the fiscal year 2010-11 and the Razorback Foundation saw an increase of 2,151 in membership.

Wyrick was with the Razorback Foundation for roughly five months, but in that time implemented a 24-month strategic plan to rebrand the Razorback Foundation.

“I have not followed any predesigned career path or spent time worrying about what is next,” Wyrick said in a university press release. “I have instead focused on work that I can be passionate about and giving it ‘one thousand percent.’ I will do all of that in my new role.”

Gearhart said Wednesday that Wyrick’s starting date in his new position has not been determined. Wyrick will work with the Razorback Foundation board and staff on a transition plan before moving into his new role with the university.

Sean Rochelle, who is the senior associate director of the Razorback Foundation, is likely a top candidate for the executive director role. Rochelle has been with the Razorback Foundation since 2008 and was considered for the executive director position along with Wyrick after Horton retired on July 31.