Engineering & Computer Science Enhances AEA Team to Advance Transforming Our Future Plan

 Fred Brown and Deb Perkins

April 13, 2018

Syracuse University’s College of Engineering & Computer Science has made two key personnel enhancements to bolster the Transforming Our Future plan, the College’s strategic advancement plan. Fred Brown, from Gettysburg College, has been hired as assistant dean of advancement and external affairs (AEA), and Debra Perkins has been promoted, broadening her role as director of advancement.

“Fred and Deb are the right people to help us reach our ambitious transformation goals,” said Dean Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg. “With their leadership, our College will continue to augment our engagement efforts and ultimately enhance our impact on students, alumni, and the community.”

Fred Brown Named Assistant Dean for Advancement and External Affairs
Brown joins Engineering & Computer Science from Gettysburg, where he served as a senior major gifts officer. He has more than 20 years of higher education experience involving alumni relations, annual giving, major gifts, and planned giving. Prior to his career in higher education, Fred spent eight years as a professional civil engineer. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lafayette College.

While at Gettysburg, Brown successfully delivered a number of major gifts supporting initiatives that included creating an internship program and construction of a new admissions welcome center. He identified and recruited eight members of Gettysburg’s board of trustees. He was also instrumental in developing the vision, strategy, and fundraising initiatives for the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg, a center for leadership and public policy.

As a member of the Engineering & Computer Science leadership team, Brown will be responsible for the development and execution of the College’s fundraising strategic plan, and he will direct fundraising and engagement efforts. He will dual-report jointly to Dahlberg and to the University vice president for development, Peter Cronin. Within the College, he will oversee the advancement, external relations, and communications and marketing staff. He will officially join the team on Monday, May 14.

Debra Perkins Promoted
Effective immediately, Perkins will expand her role as director of advancement to augment the College’s engagement efforts, catalyze the growth of the College major gifts portfolio, and streamline internal processes to connect advancement and the College strategic plan.

Since 2011, Perkins has secured and stewarded leadership and major gifts in support of the College, and she has contributed significantly to external advancement of the College. Perkins is responsible for securing the lead gifts for three state-of-the-art collaborative classrooms in Link Hall, a new computer classroom in the Center for Science and Technology, recent upgrades to the Link 105 auditorium, and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. Perkins holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and also has a background in engineering, having earned a master’s in electrical engineering from SU and a bachelors in biomedical engineering from RPI. She started her career at General Electric as a systems engineer and systems engineering manager.

With the Transforming Our Future plan, the College aims to become a leading model for contemporary engineering and computer science education. To date, College fundraising is supporting the plan’s key initiatives – which include the Bill and Penny Allyn Innovation Center, student success, the [email protected] invention accelerators, scholars programs, and endowed faculty support.

Alumni, companies, and friends who commit $50,000 or more by June 2018 will become members of the college’s Transformation Founders Circle or Corporate Founders Circle and will be prominently recognized in the Bill and Penny Allyn Innovation Center.

For compete information on the Transforming Our Future plan, and to support the plan, please visit