September 14, 2005

Contact: Eric Gerber
713.743.8189 (office)
281.627.2065 (cell)

Onetime USF, Duke Administrator Will Oversee Development,
Public Affairs at UH, UHS Starting Oct. 15

HOUSTON, Sept. 14, 2005 – Michael D. Rierson has been appointed Vice President and Vice Chancellor for University Advancement at the University of Houston and UH System, respectively.

His appointment, which was announced by UHS Chancellor Jay Gogue, is subject to final confirmation by the UHS Board of Regents. Rierson is scheduled to begin Oct. 15.

“We’re fortunate to have an individual with his considerable experience and clear commitment to educational excellence joining us,” Gogue said.

Rierson has been serving as the Vice President for University Advancement at the University of South Florida and USF Foundation president since 2001. Prior to that, Rierson held a similar position at the University of Miami. He has also held administrative positions at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“The eyes of the world have been focused on Houston these past few weeks, and they have seen a world-class city that is home to a world-class university. This is the kind of place where people can make a real difference,” Rierson said, “and I am thrilled to be joining the University of Houston and the UH System to help make a difference for today and for the future.”

During his tenure at USF, Rierson led the school’s largest annual giving year to date and secured the largest gift in the institution’s history -- $34.5 million from Dr. Kiran C. Patel. He also played a pivotal role in USF gaining entry into the Big East Athletic Conference.

A School of Journalism graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rierson also holds a master’s degree in communication from that institution.

Rierson has served as former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt’s senior policy adviser and speechwriter. While living in Washington, D. C., he worked as manager of corporate relations for PBS. In the 1970s, Rierson was assistant director of the UNC Center for Public Television, the statewide television network. In 1995, Rierson was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and studied at the University of Copenhagen.

In his new position, Rierson will oversee development and public affairs at the University of Houston and coordinate advancement activities at all four UH System universities and the area teaching centers. He also will play a principal role in the major capital campaign currently being considered by the UHS Board of Regents.

Note: A photo of Rierson is available at


The University of Houston System is the state’s only metropolitan higher education system, encompassing four universities and two multi-institution teaching centers. The universities are the University of Houston, a nationally recognized doctoral degree-granting, comprehensive research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university beginning limited expansion into graduate programs; and the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the University of Houston-Victoria, both upper division and master’s-level institutions. The centers are the UH System at Sugar Land in Fort Bend and the UH System at Cinco Ranch. In addition, the UH System includes KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio and classical radio station, and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at