Campaign for the future raises goal
By Andrea Lamberti
The Campaign for the future, a fund-raising effort to increase MIT's endowment, has raised its goal from $550 million to $700 million. The increase, recommended to the Corporation by President Paul E. Gray '54 and Vice-President and Treasurer Glenn P. Strehle '58, was approved at the March 2 meeting.
The increase was recommended by the Academic Council Campaign Priority Subgroup after meeting in the fall of 1989 "to consider the priorities for the elevated goal," according to Provost John M. Deutch '61, who served as subgroup chair. The initial goals were set by the subgroup when it first met in 1986, Deutch said.
Currently, the campaign is "$100 million ahead" of where it was expected to be at this time, Director of Major Gifts George Ramonat said. "We felt that since we were doing as well as we had, we should keep going" Ramonat added.
To date, the campaign has raised $470 million.
The campaign hopes to achieve the new goal by June 1992. "The original needs, as espoused by the faculty and administration in 1986, [required approximately] $920 million," Ramonat said. "When we set the original goal, we were conservative," he added, and "now that we've [demonstrated] a rate of success ... we've extrapolated" what donations could total by 1992.
At the Feb. 20 faculty meeting, Deutch said the three areas the campaign has targeted for intensive fund-raising efforts are: facilities spending, full professorships, and graduate student support.
Areas donors can specify for their gift are professorships, academic programs, student support, facilities, unrestricted donations and donations pending designation. Some of these areas have earned a significant amount more than expected by this point in time, Ramonat said. For example, unrestricted donations have already doubled the original goal of $40 million.
Other areas have not received as much donor support as expected by this point in the campaign, such as facilities support, which has achieved less than one-fourth the original goal. Now that the overall goal has been raised, the individual goals have been raised as well.
The increase will primarily affect academics; the goals for academic programs and unrestricted donations have been increased the most. The campaign "will support existing activities and it will provide for new opportun-<>
ities in research education, and very importantly, student support," Deutch said.
"The new campaign goal of $700 million reflects academic priorities, as found" by the subgroup, he added. The subgroup included deans of the schools, Associate Provost Samuel J. Keyser and Dean for Undergraduate Education Margaret L. A. MacVicar '65.
Deutch said that the academic priorities "point to the need to raise resources for undergraduates [and] graduate students." Support for endowed professorships will also be raised, in order to "lessen the dependence of the faculty on contract support for academic year salary," he continued.
Resources for research initiatives, and new and renovated facilities will also be increased, Deutch added.
These priorities are an "informed balance between academic needs and a realistic appraisal of donor interests," Deutch said. The campaign "will continue to be successful in large part because of faculty support to the campaign" which, Deutch noted, "has been both effective and forthcoming." The reason for this strong faculty support, according to Deutch, is that "the goals represent genuine academic needs."
Three different kinds of sources provide donations to the Campaign for the future -- individuals, corporations and foundations.
The campaign to increase MIT's endowment began in 1986 when Gray and others asked Deutch "to identify what the most urgent needs" were, Deutch said. Deutch then surveyed the faculty to identify some of these needs. "I believe this process is unique among US universities where development efforts are not always so carefully tailored to an appraisal of academic needs," he added.
Universities typically want their endowments to increase faster than the rate of inflation, Ramonat said. To achieve this, universities such as the Ivy League, MIT and Stanford follow a "five-percent rule," by which only five percent of the income generated by the endowment goes to the budget.
The rest of the budget must be covered by other resources, Ramonat said. These include federal government funds, corporate-sponsored research, tuition, and other miscellaneous revenues.
In comparison with other private universities, MIT has one of the highest budgets and lowest endowments.