Q. With the pending departure of President Lee C. Bollinger, will the University still launch a fundraising campaign?
A. Absolutely. No one denies this situation creates some uncertainty. There are some University priorities that may progress at a slower rate without a central champion to articulate their importance. But our needs and opportunities remain as compelling and important today as they did some weeks or months ago.
Q. Why not just postpone? Is it really possible to move forward without a president?
A. With the majority of priorities residing in the schools and colleges, we can continue to present these goals to our alumni and friends with the help of our faculty, development staff and volunteers.
We believe that considerable progress can be made in the coming months, especially if the economy shows signs of rebounding.
Q: Does that mean a launch date is set?
A: We understand that new University leadership must be in place before we officially launch the campaign, and there is the possibility that the public announcement date will be pushed back.
No specific date for a public announcement has been set. Our hope has been to launch the campaign officially sometime during the 200203 academic year, or a year to 18 months from now.
Q. How much will the campaign raise?
A. No University-wide goal has been set, but the schools and colleges continue to work on establishing and refining their priorities.
Q. What did President Bollinger do for the University in terms of fundraising?
A. The University experienced steady growth in fundraising during President Bollingers administration, and since he took office in 1997 has raised $963,184,715 from individual and corporate donors. In three of those four years, Michigan raised more money from alumni than any other public university.
In FY 2001, the University received $218,114,224 in gifts, surpassing for the second year in a row the $200 million mark in fundraising. This compares with $157,947,710 in gifts received in FY 1997.
President Bollinger played a major role in securing one of the largest gifts in University history when businessman and philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman gave $30 million to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1999; the school was renamed in Taubmans honor.
President Bollinger played an important role as well in naming the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in November 1999. He also assisted in raising more than $12 million in gifts toward the Schools $30 million endowment goal.
Q. How did the University determine the need for a new campaign?
A. About 18 months ago, the President, provost, deans, directors and development staff began a planning process that led to the articulation of an ambitious set of academic initiatives and needs across the University.
The majority of these priorities relate to specific schools and colleges, while about 2025 percent represent cross-school or University objectives.
Those needs and initiatives remain unchanged despite the departure of President Bollinger.
Q. And meeting all of these goals is the responsibility of the Universitys development staff?
A. Many people are responsible for reaching campaign goals. The Universitys success in achieving these objectives will depend on careful management and reallocation of existing resources, continued support from the state of Michigan, and significant growth in gifts from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations.
We believe that the best means to meet these objectives is through a University-wide fundraising campaign. The campaign will highlight our priorities, and a campaign timetable will move us and our volunteer leaders toward our goals.
Q. Why not simply continue the regular pace of development?
A. A campus-wide fundraising effort is the best way to focus effort. It allows us to extend Michigans preeminence in teaching, research and public service by creating a synergy that enables schools and colleges to hone their priorities, instill a sense of urgency, and build on our relationships with alumni and friends.
Q. What is the status of the campaign?
A. On July 1, 2000, we launched the pre-campaign phase of the campaign, often referred to as the nucleus fund, during which we seek leadership gifts and recruit volunteer leaders.
Across campus, schools and colleges continue to define their campaign priorities and recruit key volunteer leaders, who will play an increased role in this campaign. Development units, both centrally and in the academic units, continue to expand their staffs in preparation for the campaign.
A Volunteer Convocation is scheduled for May 1617 to build on and educate volunteer leadership about key campaign initiatives.