On Campus

Oxford turfs fundraising canuck

Jon Dellandrea abruptly leaves post after internal dispute

An apparent internal dispute at Oxford University has led to the departure of Jon Dellandrea, the Canadian senior administrator who was in charge of the school’s £1.25-billion fundraising campaign.

He will move on to working in various “international consultancies”, according to the school.

Reports in both the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star said that Dellandrea, a member of the Order of Canada and the renowned leader of the University of Toronto’s $1-billion fundraising campaign that concluded in 2004, was on vacation at his cottage in Muskoka when Oxford announced two days ago that he was leaving his post.

The Oxford release announcing Dellandrea’s departure claimed that the school is already over half way to meeting its fundraising goal.

The move followed a week of speculation in British media, including a story in the Telegraph on July 26, that Dellandrea’s approach clashed with that of Oxford’s North American head of fundraising, tycoon Michael Moritz.

Moritz and his wife, novelist Harriet Heyman, recently donated £25 million (about $50 million in Canadian terms) to his alma mater, Oxford’s Christ Church College—the largest single donation in the college’s history. The gift’s terms stipulated that the university deposit the full sum, and an additional £75 million, into Oxford University Asset Management. Moritz was seen to be encouraging more prudent management of the school’s endowed funds.

The Star reported that Moritz was willing to donate “vast sums from a fortune built on prescient investments in Google and YouTube on condition that Dellandrea be fired.” According to the Telegraph, Moritz called Dellandrea “obtuse” and “uncooperative” in a recent phone call.

Oxford vice-chancellor John Hood brought Dellandrea to the school in 2005.