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Canisius College hires Collins to lead advancement

A high-profile public relations expert has been hired by Canisius College in Buffalo to serve as vice president of Institutional Advancement at Canisius.

College president John Hurley n Tuesday announced the appointment of Bill Collins. Collins is the former principal and co-founder of Travers Collins. He will also serve as Chief Development and External Relations officer at the college.

Hurley says  Collins is "a consummate professional who brings to Canisius a wealth of experience in public relations, marketing and not for profit leadership in our community."

Recently, colleges like Canisius and Medaille College have experienced some financial difficult due to lower enrollment. But Collins tells WBFO News he will be coming in to oversee all advancement functions at the college in an effort to boost the school's strength and attract new students.

"Higher education, like many industries in this country, is stressed, and it's the new normal, especially in the north east where the demographics have slipped and the pool of available students has gotten smaller. So everybody is looking at how they go to market and how they run the organization and, of course, Canisius is no different.

Collins looks to the current economic boom in Buffalo as strengthening enrollment.

"I think Buffalo is going to become a destination for students to come, just like Pittsburgh has become a very hot destination. I think the more that happens positively in Buffalo the more we are going to see benefit not just travel and tourism, but higher education. I think it is going to pay off in a big way," noted Collins.

Collins will oversee fundraising, alumni engagement, marketing, public relations, creative services and website services. His former agency was purchased by The Martin Group last month. Collins was born and raised in Buffalo and has worked his entire career in the community. 

Collins begins his new post at Canisius on August 19.