David J. Weerts is Associate Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development; and Director of the Postsecondary Education Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Minnesota. His teaching and scholarly interests include state financing of higher education, university-community engagement, and alumni philanthropy and volunteerism. His research on these topics has been supported by awards from the Spencer Foundation and the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan. His work appears in leading higher education journals including The Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and the Review of Higher Education. Currently, Weerts serves as associate editor for the International Journal of Educational Advancement.
In addition, Weerts has eight years of experience in university advancement, and has held major gifts officer positions at the University of Wisconsin Foundation and University of Minnesota Foundation. While serving as director of development for the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, he oversaw major gift activity for three major research centers and directed the Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Program, a $100 million campaign to attract the most talented graduate students to study at the university. In collaboration with deans, directors, faculty, and volunteers, he raised $65 million for this program during his tenure. Weerts holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.