In pursuing excellence, any public university needs friends and funds. And Indiana University has been working hard and effectively to expand its pool of both.
Earlier this year, the IU Alumni Association completed a campaign that brought its total membership to 100,000. That makes the IUAA one of the five largest such associations in the nation.
A university benefits in many ways by maintaining strong ties to high numbers of its alumni. They help recruit new students. A successful, satisfied graduate is the best spokesperson for the value of an IU degree. Our alumni contribute time, energy and resources to a long list of university efforts. And alumni are liaisons to their communities, providing feedback and advice to our university. The growth in the IUAA ranks is undoubtedly good news for the university.
IU also recorded another self-help success this academic year. The final report of the Bloomington Campus Endowment Campaign shows that its six-year effort raised more than $500 million, well over its original $350 million goal.
That money does not change our need for continued strong state support for our general fund budget. But it does allow us to undertake independent initiatives to improve IU’s quality of education—enhancing scholarship and fellowship opportunities available to students, increasing our number of endowed chairs and professorships, which help us retain and attract outstanding faculty members. The money also helps us upgrade our facilities, often in conjunction with state bond funds.
The Campaign for IUPUI is now well underway. That effort, which will solidify the status of our Indianapolis campus as a leader among urban universities, will have a goal of more than $500 million.
A successful public university must cultivate cooperation and partnerships. We must respond to the needs of our communities and help improve the economic outlook and the quality of life of our state. To achieve our goals, we depend on contributions—of both time and money—from our many friends, alumni and supporters. And, as we seek to meet the needs of the taxpayers of the state of Indiana, we rely on the state for a crucial—though, unfortunately, steadily diminishing—share of our general fund budget.
Based on the recent successes of our alumni association and endowment campaigns, I believe we can say that we are living up to our end of the bargain.
What’s on your mind? E-mail President Brand at: firstname.lastname@example.org