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Goddard to Become UCM VP for Advancement, Executive Director of Foundation

By Jeff Murphy, January 30, 2019

Courtney Goddard

WARRENSBURG, MO – Having a professional background that includes nearly 20 years of strategic higher education leadership experience, Courtney E. Goddard soon begins a new role at the University of Central Missouri. Effective March 1, she becomes Vice President for Advancement and External Engagement, Executive Director of the UCM Alumni Foundation.

Goddard’s appointment was announced today by Roger J. Best, UCM president. He is looking forward to employing Goddard’s knowledge and skills in areas such as development, alumni relations, external relations and engagement, and much more. Goddard already knows the campus, having served UCM since July 2018 as Associate Vice President of Advancement and Director of Advancement Services.

Best noted that as Goddard takes on the responsibilities of her new job, he is revising the focus of the VP position to “enhance our engagement with external constituencies as we look to build the awareness, perception and reputation of UCM and the high-quality academic programs and other capabilities we offer. The significance is evident in the revised focus and title as Vice President of Advancement and External Engagement.”
He added, “In her short time at UCM, Courtney has demonstrated strong support for the mission and purpose of the university, and has expressed a broad, long-term vision for the UCM Alumni Foundation. Courtney is uniquely positioned to serve in this expanded role and will provide strong leadership for UCM as a member of the President's Council.  I look forward to our work together as we reconnect with our many alumni and forge new relationships, which collectively will continue to position UCM as a leading institution in the region.”

Best said the university owes much gratitude to Bill Estes, who has provided interim leadership of the UCM Alumni-Foundation for the past year.

“During his tenure, we have seen the rebuild of the Alumni Foundation staff, revival of our alumni programming, a strong focus on professional development for the staff, and the creation of a revised financial model for the area which will ensure future success,” Best remarked.

Goddard has approximately two decades of experience in development/fundraising in higher education, arts and culture, social services and in working with nonprofit organizations. She said she is “excited and honored to begin in this new role at UCM.”

“During my time here I have come to view UCM as a remarkable institution positioned for enhanced growth and stature among the region’s finest colleges and universities,” she noted.

"I look forward to working with President Best, the UCM Alumni Foundation Board, UCM's talented faculty and staff, and the deeply committed UCM Advancement team to move UCM forward,” Goddard said. “My priorities are to strengthen UCM's relationship with our amazing alumni, increase UCM's level of engagement with the external communities we serve, and most importantly, to garner additional support for UCM's core mission and emerging priorities. I cannot wait to get started.”  

Diane Dudley, president of the UCM Alumni Foundation Board, said, “The Alumni Foundation Board is pleased with Ms. Goddard’s appointment and the collaboration that the University and the Board undertook in the selection process. Under Courtney’s leadership, the Alumni Foundation is well-positioned to continue its important fundraising efforts to support University of Central Missouri students and programs.”

A resident of Mission Hills, Kan., Goddard joined UCM after previously working for Park University in Parkville, Mo., 2007-2018. She began her service as Associate Vice President and General Counsel in June 2014 and was later promoted to Vice President and General Counsel. In addition to serving as the chief legal officer for Park University in all employment, regulatory and compliance matters, and providing legal counsel to all academic and administrative units, she provided senior leadership as a member of the President’s Executive Staff. This covered areas of advancement, enrollment management, operations, alumni relations, master planning, strategic planning and accreditation.

Goddard is a nationally recognized expert on higher education/employment law/compliance with more than 11 years of experience in higher education administration. Her career includes working for various law firms between August 2000 and November 2003, where she served as an associate in the area of education and employment litigation. Her vast work in the legal field included advising K-12 and higher education clients in the creation and negotiation of commercial, construction and employment contracts. She worked for Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin, LLP in Kansas City; and the St. Louis firms, Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan Jackstadt, P.C., and McMahon, Berger, Hanna, Linhan, Cody & McCarthy, P.C.

The seasoned general counsel and education leader earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Florida State University-Tallahassee, Fla.

Throughout her successful professional career, Goddard has garnered numerous awards and honors. Most recently, these include selection as a Kansas City Business Journal 2014 NextGen Leader, 2014 Ingram’s Magazine Rising Star of Philanthropy, 2015 KC Magazine Influential Women in Business KC, and Ingram’s “40 Under 40” Class of 2012.


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