Who We Are

David P. Manuel, Ph.D., is the founder and principal of University Donor Advisors (UDA).  He has forty-two years of experience in American higher education.  His career is anchored in degrees in economics (Ph.D., University of Mississippi) and he taught a wide array of sub-fields, while focusing his research on corporate strategy, international economics and energy economics.  Subsequent to his academic pursuits, Dr. Manuel served in leadership roles in both public and private universities – dean of two business schools in both sectors (University of Louisiana-Lafayette and St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX)), vice president for academic affairs in a private university (St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX), chancellor of a public university (LSU-Alexandria, LA), and president of a private liberal arts university (Drury University, Springfield, MO).

The breadth and depth of Dr. Manuel’s academic, administrative and philanthropic endeavors serve donors well who wish to positively impact their chosen university.  He has been directly involved in working with donors to refine and articulate their intentions and objectives.  His work with donors, faculty, department chairs and deans has resulted in donor funding of endowed scholarships, endowed chairs, capital projects and programmatic initiatives to enhance student experiences.  Dr. Manuel’s efforts with a donor, dean, vice president for advancement and a colleague president culminated in the endowment and naming of a school with a significant eight-figure gift.

To reach similar milestones with UDA clients, Dr. Manuel works closely and carefully with each donor so that each clearly understands the goals of the chosen university and how the donor can assist in building greater excellence in the university.  Dr. Manuel’s efforts to build mutual respect for excellence has resulted in successful funding of a wide array of university projects and programs in architecture, business, health sciences, international studies, music, natural sciences, performing arts, non-profit and leadership studies, and political science.