Lennie Barton out as Alumni Relations Executive Director

We heard about this on Friday but wanted to wait until something official came out.

Link to Red & White for Life Blog

An Announcement from Chancellor Woodward

10.12.2009 | Posted by Chris Richter | Filed under Alumni Association News, Alumni News | Tags: Jim Woodward, Lennie Barton |

As some of you have perhaps heard by now, a change in the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations/Executive Director of the Alumni Association will take place immediately. The decision to make this change was made by me following extensive discussions with our Trustees and others and based on a careful and thorough evaluation of the organization and especially the trends, financial and otherwise, now underway. I firmly believe that new leadership is needed if the defined mission and purpose of the Alumni Association are to be successfully pursued in the years ahead.

Like many of you, I appreciate the many contributions that Lennie Barton ’77, ’81 MS, ’87 DED has made to NC State and the Alumni Association during his long career at NC State, and wish him well as he pursues future endeavors.

NC State’s best years are ahead, and I invite all alumni to help build a stronger and more vibrant Alumni Relations program and Alumni Association in support of your university. Thank you.

Jim Woodward

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37 Responses to Lennie Barton out as Alumni Relations Executive Director

  1. tobaccordshow 10/12/2009 at 5:17 PM #

    I like this chancellor.

  2. Pano Fasoulas 10/12/2009 at 5:33 PM #

    Lee Fowler is the name I want to hear being told to hit the bricks. Why is giving falling? It’s because of Fowler. I’m stuck because of LTR’s in my giving level to the Wolfpack Club. So, the Alumni Assoc and the rest of the university gets the pinch and I’ve told them when they call asking for donations. Get Fowler out and my Alumni Assoc giving goes up.

  3. old13 10/12/2009 at 5:44 PM #

    If this is a fund-raising issue, I know how Woodward could boost overall giving by a BUNCH! (Can anyone guess how!)

  4. DRW 10/12/2009 at 5:44 PM #

    This seems very odd and unseemly. So, is Barton taking the fall because donations are down because of the bad economy? If so, how does changing directors help that?

    Was it a bad management? If so, why the hell is someone like Fowler still here?

    Was it a personality conflict?

  5. ldr of the pk 75 10/12/2009 at 5:51 PM #

    You hate to hear of anyone losing a job in these times, but changes are being made all the time. I have a nephew just lost his job at one of the Charlotte TV stations.

    Don’t know that I know Lennie personally though I was in Textile School at the sametime. (He attended better than I for sure). He was also a member of the Wolfpack Golf Team. He has lots of history with the school and I can only wish him luck in the future.

    Can’t say I’d be too upset to see Fowler go, though. AD of the Sports program and Exec Director of the Alumni are two very different positions. Perhaps Lennie was misused, should he have been AD?

  6. buttPACKer 10/12/2009 at 6:02 PM #

    i like Woodward, too. It’s a shame he’s bound to go back to retirement.

  7. Dogbreath 10/12/2009 at 6:03 PM #

    I’m typing this from my blackberry, so forgive any grammar errors…our university is getting its ass handed to it, and its not limited to the athletic arena.

    Case in point, I work for one of the largest media organizations in the world, and have received approval to build an internship program in the area of flexographic production and variable printing. A colleague of mine from a different company shared the success she has enjoyed with Clemson’s internship program, administered through their Graphic Communication department.

    I spoke with her about 3 weeks ago, and she mentioned that Clemson was hosting its semiannual Employee/Intern workshop on Oct. 5th-6th, and strongly suggested attending.

    I hustled together a program and booked a flight. This was all done last minute. Despite this fact, the Dean of the College and the Dept Head contacted me personally to ensure all my needs were satisfied, and explained a bit about their curriculum.

    All students are required to complete 2 full semesters of internships to graduate, and it is a very competitive situation both for prime placement and to do good work for your company sponsor.

    Prior to traveling up there, and upon my return, I have searched for any similar program that NC State has to offer its design students. Couldn’t find a thing other than some general application form for employers hosted at the career center site. Needless to say, it was a complete pain in the ass, and I have not yet heard a thing from either the College of Design or the career center.

    As far as my visit to Clemson, it was simply world class. The first night there was a dinner hosted by the President of the School, Dr. Jim Barker. Graduating seniors spoke and gave testimonials of their experience in the program and preparation for the workforce. The next day, we toured the new multimillion dollar research lab that was funded by Sunoco. World class. The rest of the day was centered around meeting 1 to 1 with students, and I came away with about 20 potential interns that would be outstanding fits for our specific need.

    Throughout the two days, every administrator, faculty member, and student went to great lengths to thank us for supporting the program. It was world class all around.

    On the other hand, we have NC State, where as an alumnus with a golden opportunity for current students, I cannot even get an email or phone response regarding my needs. What on earth are folks doing in West Raleigh to prepare these young men and women for the workforce? What resources do they offer young graduates for job placement? Is there a formal internship or mentor program? If there is I cannot find it.

    You may wonder why I have posted this. Honestly I debated doing it in a public forum, not wanting to do anymore damage than what is already being self-inflicted. But I can only suspect that this move on the Alumni Director is just one of many changes we will see.

    We shall hope.

  8. highstick 10/12/2009 at 6:40 PM #

    Dogbreath, until we get “some vision” at the top, it will continue!! The wrong people are calling the shots!! I’ve watched out university “creep backwards” for a number of years. Hate to say it, but the Carolina Masters in Accounting grads are much better rounded that those of State. Not in every case, but the major issue I see is the ability to communicate. From a technical standpoint, not much difference, but if you’re going to progress, you better know how to communicate!

  9. Dogbreath 10/12/2009 at 6:47 PM #

    Highstick, that is an interesting point that you bring up: the ability to communicate effectively. This was something I noted as a particular strength with the Clemson students. They were personable and interviewed extremely well, as many of them had already completed an internship. Mature beyond their years because they had functioned in a work setting. Not a bunch of techno automaton geeks.

  10. wolfpackdawg 10/12/2009 at 6:54 PM #

    I’m not surprised at ole Lennie. I think many get complacent in their jobs. Our university is a mirror image of NC government. He probably should not have been promoted from the college of Textiles. He remarried a chick that was much younger and in my graduating class which always struck me as being kind of F’ed up.

  11. Dogbreath 10/12/2009 at 8:06 PM #

    Compare this passivity:


    “….ePACK is a wonderful resource for those seeking an internship or job during the current academic year or students who are planning ahead and want to know the types of opportunities available. Employers who recruit at NC State use ePACK to post internships, jobs, information sessions, and more.”

    To this proactivity:


    “…All GC majors are required to do at least two internships in order to receive their degree, and many complete three. Students are encouraged to work in different geographic locations, process areas, and segments of the industry in order to gain a broad experience in the workplace. It is believed that the ultimate success of Clemson GC graduates is due to their overall knowledge of the industrial and business settings.”

  12. PTOWOLF 10/12/2009 at 8:58 PM #

    I graduated from the College of Textiles at a time when Lennie was Director of Student Services. He has always been the personification of the good ole boy network.

  13. Dogbreath 10/12/2009 at 9:06 PM #

    At UNCC Dr. Woodward had a nice track record for leading major capital and endowment projects, so I suspect he has a solid person lined up for our gig.

  14. wolfprof 10/12/2009 at 9:43 PM #

    A good and welcome sack. Alumni Relations has been working at cross purposes with the academic side of the university which, I gently remind those who require reminding, is the raison d’etre of the university.

  15. ncsu05mit10 10/12/2009 at 10:03 PM #

    Dogbreath, I think it’s important to note that Clemson’s GC department is part of a business school, not a design school. Different mission, different education, sure as hell different students and personalities.

    Being a College of Design graduate, I can attest to the weak career services, however. But I think this is due to the fact that the college is so small, you get a lot of jobs through professors and networking.

    What I would have loved is for the College to have hookups with national and international firms. Lots of schools do this… NCSU COD, not so much.

    Regarding Barton, I have no problem with it. I thought the interim chancellor was here to clean house anyway.

  16. TOBtime 10/12/2009 at 10:12 PM #

    Dogbreath, I had the EXACT same experience with our CHemistry Dept. 2 years ago. No one would return emails or phone calls. I got so fed up I went to UNCG and would have gone to HPU had not a hiring freeze been put in place. I was infuriated that prospective employers were treated this way and even more so because it WAS NOT this way when I graduated.

    See ya Lennie. Hopefully pus-bag foul-up joins you soon.

  17. Dogbreath 10/12/2009 at 10:13 PM #

    So a potential job with the New York Times company is not worthy of an email or call back?

  18. ncsu05mit10 10/12/2009 at 10:18 PM #

    ^^ It totally is. Those relationships should be established and nurtured. No one thinks nationally or globally, just regionally.

  19. CStanley 10/12/2009 at 10:49 PM #

    I keep waiting for the day when it’s Lee Fowler’s name in one of these headlines.

  20. JaxPackMan 10/12/2009 at 11:09 PM #

    I do not know the man and never met him at any alumni function. Remember a couple of years ago when they came out with the Charter Memberships and Lifetime memberships for the Alumni Association. It was a marketing program as if the association was starting up for the very first time. I believe Mr. Barton was behind this effort. I know this really torqued a number of very active and loyal, and very giving alums.

    The letter he sent out about the chancellor scandal didn’t exactly instill confidence in me. He said he didn’t know any more about the situation than anybody else. If I recall I believe he indicated something to the effect he was getting his information from news reports like everybody else. Well, he is supposed to be in the inner circle. So if he doesn’t have inside information than maybe we need a Alumni Director who does.

  21. GoldenChain 10/13/2009 at 9:24 AM #

    I have to disagree with most of you (well, ALL of you).
    Lenny had 3 degrees from NCSU and was really dedicated to the school since he could have easily pursued a secular career and done MUCH BETTER in industry.
    Lenny was a classmate of mine and a ‘Nelson Hall Alumnus’. Lenny did a great job recruiting for the CoT and even after he became alumni director he helped me several times.
    My middle son (AeroE 09) had some issues with the school (housing..big surprise) and Lenny always responded and helped me out, he even gave me his personal cell number when I had some questions on another matter.
    My experience was that he was ALWAYS visible at any alumni functions I ever attended (which were numerous).
    That same son attended church with Lenny while he was at State and evidently Lenny was very active so I don’t know what his family situation was (and neither do any of you) but somehow he managed to maintain some kind spirituality through it all (and hey, we’re all sinners saved by grace).

    I suspect that some who are complaining did not know him (as has been admitted) or had a vested business interest that Lenny did not think matched the Alumni Assoc’s best interest therefore you’re POed at him.
    (I’ve been in textiles sales/marketing for 30 years and unfortunately, not everyone agrees that I can help them, so I suck it up and go on and don’t bludgeon them to death on message boards)
    Is it just me or is statefansnation deteriorating into a “bitch board” where everyone throws out every single negative thought that crosses their mind without much support? I always like this place because it was the ‘thinking man’s blog’….now I’m beginning to wonder.

    It’s plainly obvious that Lenny got caught up in a political web where no one can cast dispersions against the school (except of course posters at SFN). Almost none of us liked the previous admin, but now that the new admin is the same as the old admin we think it’s OK to sacrifice a loyal alumni for the sake of the “machine”.

  22. packalum44 10/13/2009 at 9:41 AM #

    NC State colleges are run as fiefdoms. I’m always stunned when I hear of horror stories in other colleges than mine, the College of Management. I’ve never had a problem with communicating with professors and administrators. I keep in contact with a few on a personal and professional basis.

    On a slightly defensive note, we have a much better website 🙂



  23. Classof89 10/13/2009 at 10:40 AM #

    before some of you are so quick to shower Woodward with kudos, there is some suggestion that Barton was fired because he allowed the Alumni magazine in its last issue to run the transcript of a “roundtable discussion” about the Mary Easley fiasco which included some perennial critics of the university’s upper management, who, as you might predict, were not blowing sunshine up everyone’s ass about the situation. I have no idea as to the extent to which this played into the firing decision, but if it did, it’s yet another example of the good ole boy cabal that runs the university circling the wagons in response to the N&O catching them with their hands in the political cookie jar.

  24. PackHooligan 10/13/2009 at 11:32 AM #

    ^that is a shame if true. I read the roundtable discussion, and although it ended up being mostly an exercise of people saying problems needed to be fixed without identifying any solutions, it was a good idea and the kind of thing I would like to see more.

  25. WTNY 10/13/2009 at 3:04 PM #

    N&O: NCSU sacks head of alumni association

    Woodward said he was also concerned that the association has been using donations pledged for construction of the new Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center for operating expenses. When those pledges are all paid, he said, it’s unclear how the association will make up the loss in its budget.

    Barton seemed like a good fit to me. However, mismanagement of funds is a reason to sack someone.

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