Derek Dictson, who had served as senior director of development and principal gift officer at Auburn University, has been named as New Mexico State University's new vice president for University Advancement. NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu announced the appointment, stating Dictson will join the university April 1.
"Derek is an excellent fundraiser, a talented leader and has a long history with NMSU," Arvizu said. "As a university system, we have high aspirations for our University Advancement office, particularly when it comes to helping our students succeed and taking our research, outreach and university athletics efforts to the next level. I'm confident Derek will help us in achieving these goals."
Dictson has nearly two decades of professional experience in the public and private sector, including 17 years of nonprofit fundraising and management experience. He has a master's of public service and administration degree from Texas A&M and a bachelor's degree in agricultural business and economics from NMSU. Dictson met his wife, Nikki, while both were students at NMSU.
"My family and I are excited to return to Las Cruces and NMSU," Dictson said. "The high quality education my wife and I received prepared us well for our careers. Multiple generations of our families also attended NMSU and dedicated their careers to serving this university and the people of New Mexico. It is an honor to follow in their footsteps and have the opportunity to make a positive impact upon this university and state that mean so much to us."
NMSU recently completed a comprehensive fundraising campaign, where nearly 29,000 donors participated in raising more than $125 million to benefit students and programs across the NMSU system.
"The outstanding work done by NMSU's University Advancement staff and board of the NMSU Foundation will impact generations of Aggies," Dictson said. "These efforts provide an important source of funding for students and programs which, in turn, have a profound impact upon the economy and quality of life in our community, state and region."
At Auburn, Dictson served as chief development officer for the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, leading a team of eight development officers and eight coordinators, administrators and specialists. He previously served as director of development, senior director of development and business unit manager for the Texas A&M Foundation.
Leslie Cervantes, NMSU's associate vice president for alumni and donor relations, will serve as interim vice president for University Advancement until Dictson?s arrival. Cervantes, also an NMSU graduate, has worked at the university since 2015. She previously served as chief of staff for Las Cruces Public Schools, having also served in community relations roles for the school district and as executive director of the Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation.