The University of Michigan official who led the day-to-day operations of the University’s record-breaking $3.1 billion Michigan Difference fundraising campaign will now likely lead a similar effort at Michigan State University.

Michigan State’s Board of Trustees will vote today to officially approve Robert Groves, who currently serves as the University of Michigan’s associate vice president for development, to become MSU’s vice president of university advancement.

Groves said he was heavily recruited by Michigan State, saying the school “had to work pretty hard to get me to look at the job.”

“It’s simply an opportunity for a promotion and the next step in my career,” Groves said, adding that he’s appreciated his time at the University of Michigan. “I’ve been very happy here.”

Groves, who would start his new post in January if approved today, would oversee Michigan State’s financial development, alumni association and career advancement services. Michigan State concluded The Campaign for MSU last year, a $1.4 billion fundraising campaign that was publicly launched in 2002.

Groves, who has held his position at the University of Michigan since 2004, directed the Michigan Difference Campaign’s day-to-day operations. Despite tough economic times in the state, University officials have called the campaign the most successful fundraising campaign by a public university in history.

Jerry May, vice president for development at the University of Michigan, spoke highly of Groves’ work for the campaign.

“I am extremely proud that he has gotten this job, but sad that he is leaving. We have been in an intense campaign, and he has really pushed us forward,” he said.

May said he was confident that the University of Michigan’s fundraising staff will remain strong.

“We have been bringing people up through the system who aren’t as experienced,” he said. “We have a deep team of talented professionals.”

The Michigan Difference campaign, scheduled to end Dec. 31, has helped fund 185 new professorships and 22 new campus buildings. It added more than $910 million to the University’s endowment and almost 2,000 new scholarship funds.

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