Bye – bye, Bobcats

Two departing Quinnipiac administrators reflect back and look forward

By on April 24, 2019

Quinnipiac University
Donald Weinbach has spent the past two decades raising money for Quinnipiac. He oversees philanthropic support for all of the academic programs, co-curricular programs, athletic programs and “bricks and mortar” projects like the People’s United Center.

He was previously responsible for local, state and federal government affairs prior to the hiring of Bethany Zemba, the vice president and chief of staff for President Judy Olian.

He said his retirement was something he has been contemplating, but said he wasn’t ready to go until he sat in on the transition between President Lahey and President Olian.

“I wanted to make sure that that transition went smoothly and to spend a few years with the new president and then transition out in 2020 which has been the plan all along,” Weinbach said. “My wife and I want to go off and do other things with our life.”

After spending one year with the new president, Weinbach said he thinks the transition has been “fantastic.”

“Judy has hit the ground running,” Weinbach said. “We have our first truly strategic plan since I’ve been here. This is a comprehensive strategic plan that has included the entire university community. I’m excited that next week the Board of Trustees will be reviewing it and voting on it.”

After the plan is approved, a new capital campaign to fund the strategic plan will begin. Weinbach said the vice president for development and alumni affairs has a lot to look forward to.

“The person who is my successor probably has the best job in America,” Weinbach said. “In terms of where is Quinnipiac is positioned, in terms of academic quality, where we are positioned in terms of our alumni base and in terms of our leadership here.”

In almost a quarter of a century with the university, Weinbach said he has enjoyed seeing the impact that philanthropy has had on students and faculty.

“It’s not about the amount of money raised,” Weinbach said. “It’s more about the impact it has on the human condition.”

While he has enjoyed watching his efforts create tangible results for the Quinnipiac community, Weinbach said next year will be his 30th year raising money in higher education and it is time for someone new to take over.

“No matter what you are, you’ve got to realize when it’s time to bring in new blood,” Weinbach said. “I have so many other interests I would like to pursue. Now is the perfect time to do this.”

After much thought, Weinbach said his future can be defined by the simple acronym, AGE- airplanes, golf and entertainment.

“Varied interests, but I love airplanes, I love playing golf and my wife is in the entertainment world,” Weinbach said. “I have a lot of opportunities in front of me.”

While his retirement is looking like a hole-in-one, Weinbach said he will miss Quinnipiac.

“I always say that we’re big enough to deliver, but small enough to care,” Weinbach said. “I think we have the perfect-sized university. We have a great culture here. It’s a winning-team spirit.”

Weinbach acknowledged that he is one of several administrators who has announced plans to leave Quinnipiac in the future, but said this is normal in times of transition.

“Any organization that goes through a change in leadership, this is what happens,” Weinbach said. “This is not unusual at all.”

Quinnipiac University
Unlike Weinbach, Greg Eichhorn, vice president for admissions and financial aid, does not plan to retire after his departure from Quinnipiac. Eichhorn, who started his position in 2016 planned to stay at Quinnipiac for the long-haul but last week it was announced that his last day is June 30, 2019.

Eichhorn, joined by Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan, said he made this decision after discussions with President Judy Olian and Provost Mark Thompson.

“At this time, we kind of both agree that strategically wise, in the direction they want to go, it is best that I finish up the year,” Eichhorn said. “They’re going to move in a different direction, especially in terms of the strategic plan.”

Space concerns as a symptom of a growing student body are a key motive behind the university-wide strategic plan. As a result of the plan, this next year’s incoming class will be smaller than the previous two, Eichhorn said.

“That should create some of that space and other ramifications for the first- year students,” Eichhorn said.

Eichhorn said the most difficult part of his job is making sure the university has enough resources for the students it enrolls.

“I am always concerned that we are budgeting correctly for financial aid and matching our goals from a quantity standpoint, that we’re marketable,” Eichhorn said. “With changing demographics, that’s what keeps me up at night. Do we have enough to afford the student body that we want and the resources to provide to them so we get the diverse student body and the numbers we need from a financial standpoint? As long as we dedicate the plan and the funding to those things success should happen.”

The vice president for admissions and financial aid position will be changing after his departure Eichhorn said.

“The plan is the position will be more enrollment management,” Eichhorn said. “There’s that strategic part of things. The position will be involved with more than just admissions, recruitment and financial aid.”

The incoming class is the final one Eichhorn will enroll at Quinnipiac, but he said they are a record-breaking group.

“This year we are having tremendous success with quality of the freshman class,” Eichhorn said. “We’ll set all kinds of records in every single one of our schools. Right now diversity looks really strong in the entering class.”

As for next year, Eichhorn won’t be doing AGE (airplanes, golf and entertainment) like Weinbach but rather IDK (I don’t know). Eichhorn said he currently has lots of options within the higher-education arena which he will continue to weigh with his family.

Previous to his career at Quinnipiac, Eichhorn worked at Albright University in Pennsylvania. He said he enjoyed the small-school environment because he was able to interact with the students more often than he is able to at Quinnipiac.

“I don’t have as much face-to-face time with students as I would like to,” Eichhorn said. “That’s function of the job and the bigness. Hopefully I’ll get a little more interaction. My guess is I will go somewhere smaller.”

Looking into Quinnipiac’s future, Eichhorn said he thinks the university is on the right track.

“I wish the university nothing but luck and good fortunes and I think it’s poised for greatness,” Eichhorn said.

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