Casandra Ulbrich has been named vice chancellor for institutional advancement at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Her appointment, effective May 15, was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

Ulbrich has served as vice president for college advancement and community relations at Macomb Community College, one of the nation’s largest community colleges, since 2011.

Photo of Casandra Ulbrich
Casandra Ulbrich

“Casandra brings to this position both a proven history of success in higher education development and a personal connection to our mission, each critical as we prepare to significantly increase philanthropic support on campus,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso.

As vice chancellor for institutional advancement, Ulbrich will establish a high-performing development enterprise, and shape and guide the future of philanthropy at UM-Dearborn. She will oversee the development and implementation of an integrated strategy for development, alumni engagement, business and foundation engagement, annual giving and will be responsible for increasing the university’s overall philanthropic revenue.

She replaces Mallory Simpson who retired Dec. 31.

Ulbrich, who is a first-generation college graduate and former Pell Grant recipient, said she understands the challenges that today’s university students face.

“I have focused my professional career and public service on ensuring that all Michigan students have the resources, opportunities and support that will allow them to reach their full potential,” Ulbrich said. “I am honored to continue this work at a highly mission-driven institution that focuses on student success and community impact.”

In her role at MCC, Ulbrich launched the college’s first comprehensive capital campaign, which exceeded its overall goal by 7 percent. She revamped the MCC Foundation, adding new staff and tripling the number of board members, which led to a fundraising increase of 20 percent in the first year and 300 percent by year four. The MCC Foundation earned the CASE Overall Foundation Improvement award in 2017 for its efforts.

She also led the development of the college’s Innovation Fund, which supported startups and emerging companies that provided learning opportunities for students. To date, the fund has awarded more than $1.7 million to 33 companies and has resulted in enhanced learning experiences for more than 500 students.

Prior to MCC, Ulbrich served in a number of development roles at Wayne State University. She also serves as an elected member of the state Board of Education.

Ulbrich earned an associate degree from St. Clair County Community College and her bachelor’s degree from U-M. She earned both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in communication from Wayne State University.