U ranks 14th in nation for private financial donations

Nationally, overall donations to colleges and universities declined for the first time in more than 15 years.

Branden Peterson

The University ranked 14th nationally among reporting universities and colleges in private financial giving in 2001-02, collecting more than $233 million, according to a March report by the Council for Aid to Education.

More than 900 schools were surveyed.

“It’s nice to be among the top nationally,” said Martha Douglas, a University Foundation director. “I think it’s a good indication of the generosity that people have at the University.”

Nationally, overall donations to U.S. universities and colleges declined for the first year in more than 15 years.

Douglas said the reported numbers in the study are not consistent with statistics in the University’s annual report because the study includes financial gifts, grants and noncontractual research money.

Douglas said although University contributions grew during the past several years, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and slumping economy sunk private donations to the University last year.

Douglas said University contribution coffers are recuperating after last year’s sharp decline in private contributions, and the foundation expects the 2003 fiscal year report to show rising figures.

The University of Southern California took top honors in the council’s survey, raking in $585 million in contributions.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was the only Big Ten school ahead of the University, ranking seventh and collecting $307 million.

The Council for Aid to Education is a New York research group and subsidiary of the Rand Corporation researching aspects of higher education.

Branden Peterson covers the St. Paul campus and welcomes comments at [email protected]