Rachel Stack

Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and CEO of the Foundation at SIUE Rachel Stack.

Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and the CEO of the Foundation at SIUE Rachel Stack has worked at SIUE since 2014. She will be retiring effective June 2022 after a long tenure at SIUE with the foundation.

Stack says she has enjoyed every moment at SIUE and has learned a lot.

“This was my first time being vice chancellor and I have learned so much from my donors, my board members, my colleagues and the chancellors that I’ve had the privilege to serve under, and my team of vice chancellors. I have really enjoyed it,” Stack said.

During her time at SIUE Stack has helped raise a lot of money for the university and the Foundation endowment.

“Over the course of the time I’ve been here, we’ve raised about $37 million, and we’ve grown the endowment to $37 million. When I came it was around [$20 million]. It’s been a really good experience,” Stack said. 

SIUE alumnus and Assistant Director of Constituent Relations for the Foundation Nick Niemerg said Stack is a great leader and has considered it a privilege to work with her.

“She is open to new ideas, she has this great ability to empower her staff, to take new projects and run with it, and through her leadership, the numbers speak for themselves,” Niemerg said. Our endowment has increased tremendously since she took the reins as the vice chancellor of the foundation. Her leadership is going to be missed, and she leaves very big shoes for the next person to fill.”

Senior Director of Financial Affairs Jenell Wright said it has been wonderful to work for Stack because she empowers her employees.

“Whereas some workplaces the boss will come to the employee with a big problem and tell the employee how they want it fixed, and that they want it fixed now and in this way,” Wright said. She’ll come to you with, ‘Here’s my idea but what are yours?’ She isn’t afraid to pivot to your idea if that’s what is best for the organization. That is exemplary leadership in my opinion.”

Niemerg said her guidance during the pandemic shutdown inspired him.

“You hear all these stories in the corporate world of bosses not being as aware of their employee’s needs and she has always put her staff’s needs first,” Niemerg said. “Which makes working at the foundation that much more enjoyable. She has really created a really cohesive unit, and we are all working and striving towards the same goals.”

The goals that were set by the Foundation last year were low because no one knew what was going to happen with COVID.

“I’m really pleased that last year we exceeded our goal. We put a really low goal because we didn’t know what COVID was going to do, but we ended up raising 5.6 million dollars which was amazing. I think COVID made people reassess a lot of things in their lives, including what they wanted their legacy to be, so I think that is what played into it,” Stack said.

Wright said Stack has also hired new directors to improve the foundation.

“She hired several new directors of development for the following departments: School of Engineering, School of Education, [Health] and Human Behavior, Athletics, as well as created a position and hired a prospect researcher. These positions as well as the new Enterprise system have all helped increase support and professionalize the SIUE Foundation,” Wright said.

“Stack was able to secure a lot of large gifts as well, according to Wright.”

“The amount is just increasing daily. It was fun to be here when she got the 3.6 million dollar gift, it was my third week of work here and it was a really neat moment. As a new employee at the time I was so happy for her,” Wright said.

Wright said Stack has a passion for helping students.

“She is very, very passionate about helping students. She will deal with student emergencies. It is challenging because most donations are restricted by donors and so we have all these funds that we have to put everyone’s separate wishes into. She is very attentive to make sure every possible solution has been checked to help make sure students can be helped,” Wright said.

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