Scott Rabenold Named Vice President for University Development

scott rabenold

AUSTIN, Texas — Scott Rabenold has been appointed vice president for university development at The University of Texas at Austin. He is currently vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he has served in several leadership roles during the past 14 years.

He will begin Sept. 1, UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves announced in a letter to the campus community.

“Scott has the experience and vision needed to lead our philanthropy efforts in the years to come. He understands that successful fundraising is vital to UT Austin’s efforts to educate future leaders, foster world-class scholarship and research and increase levels of excellence,” Fenves said. “I am delighted to welcome Scott and his family to Austin. He will have both an immediate and long-term impact on our fundraising and our relationships with alumni and supporters.”

Under Rabenold’s leadership, The University of Tennessee has significantly increased the number of major gifts it receives. It also doubled its yearly philanthropy between 2009 and 2015.

At UT Austin, he will head fundraising efforts across campus and prepare for a capital campaign in the coming years to follow up on the Campaign for Texas, which raised $3.1 billion through 2014.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited to come to Texas. UT Austin is a world-class university with loyal and generous alumni who are committed to making their great school even greater,” Rabenold said. “I look forward to working with President Fenves and supporting his vision for invigorating the undergraduate experience, expanding research and redefining health care.”  

A native of Iowa, Rabenold, 41, and his wife, Sarah, have four children, ages 5 to 12. He has a bachelor’s degree for the University of Iowa and an MBA from Drake University. He began his career at Wake Forest University and the University of Memphis before going to the University of Tennessee in 2002 to serve as an assistant athletic director and director of capital support for athletics. 

He subsequently served in various leadership roles at the Knoxville campus and the University of Tennessee System, including interim president of the University of Tennessee Foundation, before becoming vice chancellor in 2011. In that role, he has worked to increase collaboration among colleges and departments across the university and develop campus-wide development strategies, including development training for academic leaders; partnerships with foundations and corporations to support research; and a social media campaign featuring University of Tennessee celebrities.

Fenves appointed Rabenold in consultation with a campus committee that was chaired by Sharon Wood, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. 

"Scott will be a terrific addition to our Development team at the university, and I am looking forward to my fellow alumni and Longhorn supporters getting to know him," said John L. Adams, who earned his B.B.A. and J.D. at UT Austin and served on the search committee. "He understands the significant accomplishments and the opportunities we have to keep UT among the best universities in the country."

Rabenold is the third vice president to come to UT Austin from out-of-state public research universities this year. He joins provost and executive vice president Maurie McInnis, who came in July from the University of Virginia, and vice president and chief financial officer Darrell Bazzell, who joined UT Austin from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in April.