Staff and faculty asked to donate

by Sam Kean

Officials of Campaign Minnesota, the University’s $1.3 billion fund-raising drive, recently asked faculty and staff members to dig deeper to help ensure the future success of the University.
The campaign set a goal for faculty and staff member donations at $40 million. The remaining funds will come from private sources.
Unlike past campaigns, Campaign Minnesota, which began in 1996 and wraps up in 2003, did not set a separate goal for faculty and staff members until October.
Judy Kirk, campaign director and executive vice president for development with the University of Minnesota Foundation, said the campaign decided to single out University faculty and staff to emphasize how important their donations are.
Officials decided on $40 million dollars as a goal, she said, because the figure is attainable but large enough to challenge University employees to donate.
Since the beginning of the campaign, faculty and staff members have given $26 million, while the overall campaign has raised $945 million, as of October.
University employees can direct a portion of each paycheck to the campaign or simply make donations on their own.
Campaign Minnesota donations are intended to supplement the University’s budget, which is allocated by the state Legislature. Instead of spending private donations on items such as blue books and pencils, Kirk explained, donors can direct their money toward specific areas, including faculty endowments, student scholarships and libraries. Or, if they prefer, donors can let University officials spend the money as they see fit.
These bigger goals are the ones that push the University above and beyond what it would be without the funding, Kirk said.
Stephanie Dilworth, University principal auditor and a member of the campaign’s faculty and staff committee, said based on past efforts and a good economy, she expects faculty and staff members to meet their goal “without any effort.”
Faculty and staff members need to be generous, she continued, because more than anyone, they have stake in the University’s future.
“If we ask for private donations, we having to be willing to give,” she added.
Faculty and staff committee chair and geology professor V. Rama Murthy also cited generous donations in the past as evidence the campaign would be successful. Not even recent swoons on Wall Street have slowed the steady flow of donations, he said.
In fact, the 17,000 full-time faculty and staff members gave $13 million in fiscal year 2000 alone.

Sam Kean covers faculty and administration and encourages comments at [email protected]