Courtesy of OSU
The Ohio State Athletics Department hired a new head of development, and they didn’t have to search far to find him.
Dan Cloran, former senior director of development and alumni relations for OSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, officially became the university’s executive associate athletic director of development on Nov. 1.
Cloran, who previously oversaw the athletic development at Xavier University from 2001-2010 before taking a position at OSU, said he is “very happy” to be working in an athletics department again.
“I’ve always had the desire to get back into athletics development,” Cloran said in an interview with The Lantern. “I just have a huge passion for athletics. Not for the excitement of it, but I see what it does for folks that may not have had any other opportunity to go to college but because of their athletic ability.”
Cloran came to OSU in January 2010 as a leader for the principal gifts team, which focuses on private donations, in University Development. Cloran started his position with the College of Arts and Sciences in July 2011.
In his new position, Cloran is responsible for overseeing all major fundraising operations within the athletic department, including oversight of the Buckeye Club, an OSU athletics fundraising group. Cloran said he and his department will also play a large role in supporting the “But for Ohio State” campaign, the university’s $2.5 billion fundraising initiative.
“We need to find more and more people that have an interest in supporting what we’re trying to do here (in Ohio State athletics),” Cloran said. “It’s 105,000 people that come in the stadium every home Saturday. As far as I’m concerned, every one of those folks has an interest in Ohio State.”
In the past year, Cloran led what Joseph Steinmetz, executive dean and vice provost of the College of Arts and Sciences, called “the best year of fundraising collectively in Arts and Sciences we ever had.” Steinmetz said the college raised nearly $35 million in Cloran’s time leading its development.
“You couldn’t ask for much more than that,” Steinmetz said.
Cloran said he feels that the development team “met and surpassed” their goals during his time in the college, but felt that moving into the athletics department was an opportunity he could not pass up.
“I wanted to get back into athletics and the fact that I get to do it at Ohio State … there’s nothing like it,” Cloran said. “I have a desire at some point to potentially become an athletic director … I always had it in the back of my mind (to join the OSU athletics department if the opportunity presented itself).”
OSU athletics director Gene Smith said Cloran is a “national leader in his field.”
“Dan is one of the most talented development officers in the country,” Smith said in an email. “His experience at Xavier University and here in our University Foundation uniquely prepared him for this position.”
Smith said Cloran will receive a total annual compensation of $225,000. As an employee of the University Foundation, Cloran will have a shared salary, 50 percent of which is paid by the athletics department, Smith said.
Cloran’s replacement in the College of Arts and Sciences as its senior director of development is Emily Alonso-Taub, who was a member of Cloran’s development team. Steinmetz said he expects the college’s development operations to operate “very similarly” under her leadership.
Although Cloran will be working within a different department of the university, he said he does not expect the transition to be difficult.
“The bottom line is, development’s development,” Cloran said. “People give to their passions whether they’re interested in academics, athletics, helping students, impacting the lives of student-athletes … truly, development skills are somewhat transferable.
“The approach to an athletics donor as it would be to an Arts and Sciences donor is very similar,” Cloran added. “There’s one common connection that everybody has that we talk to: they have some interest in Ohio State.”