On this episode of the RAISE podcast, we have the privilege of learning from Peter Hayashida, Vice Chancellor of Advancement at the University of California Riverside and President of the UC Riverside Foundation. Peter grew up in a military family that moved from base to base, so he learned early on how to be adaptable, resilient, and to accept change as a natural part of life. But, as a result of all that bouncing around, he has invested in setting down his own deep roots. Peter has served long tenures at both UCLA and UC Riverside, and he has lots to say about the value of sticking it out, cultivating happiness right where you are, and becoming a deeply ingrained member of a university community.
On this episode, Peter talks about how universities’ value propositions need to adapt in response to social changes; how the first time alums hear from the school after graduation it should be a message of “How are you feeling about UCR?” or “How can we help you?”; and how our alums expect to have a donor experience that’s much closer to Amazon’s intimate, personalized customer experience (and we’ve got a long way to go to catch up to Amazon). Peter points out that we are really good at starting up new things in the advancement world, but we are really bad at letting things go. Thank you, Peter, for sharing some of the amazing new things your team is doing (virtual reality goggles to give campus tours at remote alumni events!), as well as some of the things you’re letting go (mass email appeals).
Here are some highlights from the episode…
Peter chose his alma mater after sifting through UCLA’s view book while attending public high school on an army base in Tokyo, Japan. His first time seeing campus was when he arrived for freshman orientation.
Unlike many advancement folks, Peter has not hopped from institution to institution while advancing his career. We asked him why. He thinks it may have something to do with his military upbringing, and the early wisdom that there are good and bad parts to every living situation, every job, and every community. So, we can either spend a lot of time thinking “could-a, should-a, would-a,” or we can set down roots and work to cultivate happiness right where we are.
Peter began working at UCLA after a brief stint in the financial services sector post-graduation. He interviewed for an Academic Advisor position, and he was too young, too inexperienced, and too blissfully ignorant to understand the breadth and depth of the role. Luckily for Peter, the Director of Counseling was just eccentric enough that she hired him for all these reasons.
Once Peter began working in Alumni Relations, he realized that AR folks are…well…kind of crazy. They work early mornings, nights, and weekends, and all in the name of working with alums who already know the institution and to help them fall in love with it again. (Shoutout to our crazy-dedicated AR folks!)
Peter understands that he and his team are storytellers. And those stories need to paint a full picture of an alum’s relationship with UC Riverside, which started when they were admitted to the school.
More than half of the students at UC Riverside are first-gen. 85% of its students are non-white. 97% are California residents. And the school ranks #1 in US News and World Report on Social Mobility for its students.
Peter acknowledges that there are many social changes happening in the country, and the value proposition of colleges and universities will need to change because of this.
Peter is an experienced leader in higher education who has spent more than three decades in the University of California system. He served in a range of roles at UCLA for 19 years, most recently as assistant vice chancellor for external affairs. He was part of the team that oversaw Campaign UCLA, the largest university or college fundraising effort at the time, securing $3.053 billion in philanthropic support.
Hayashida has served since 2009 as the president of the UCR Foundation and vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of California, Riverside. UCR is a comprehensive, minority-serving, Research I institution and a national vanguard in social mobility; more than half of students are first generation college graduates and a similar proportion are from low-income families.
Under Hayashida’s leadership, UCR planned, launched, and completed the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history, surpassing its $300 million goal in 2020 and more than doubling the endowment. Hayashida served for five years on the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s board of trustees and continues teaching and writing for CASE.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Northridge.