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Fund-raising to Directly Benefit Student Groups

By Douglas E. Heimburger
Associate News Editor

Dean of Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams discussed plans to increase student involvement in fund-raising and in the Dean's Office at the Undergraduate Association Council meeting last night.

One of the key functions of the new Dean's Office is to further develop fund-raising abilities on campus, Williams said.

In the past, students were not heavily involved with the Alumni Office and the Office of Resource Development, which coordinate fund-raising on campus. As part of the new Dean's Office, students will play a more direct role in fund-raising,Williams said.

"So many of our alumni think first not of their academic experience but of their out-of-classroom experience," she said.Involving students in fund-raising could increase alumni support for student group funding.

"If we do it this way, there are fewer student demands on appropriated funds" which are distributed by the Institute apart from any direct Alumni donations,Williams said. Students can serve as excellent fund-raisers when dealing with alumni and corporations.

Currently, the Institute receives about $125 million dollars per year in alumni support. Much of that funding is restricted to scholarships and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program funding, among other things.

"What I would like to do is get the general student concerns higher on the list" of alumni priorities, Williams said. "Campus life is part of education here. It deserves support."

Groups consider fund-raising

In some instances, members of specific groups can work with alumni to recruit funding for their specific group, Williams said. The Black Theatre Guild, for example, has worked with Black alumni to gain additional funding for its activities.

Some members of the UACouncil questioned the propriety of fund-raising for specific groups. Allowing groups to raise funds may skew funding towards large established groups and make creating new groups more difficult, said Next House representative to the UAJeremyD. Sher '99.

"Fund-raising is an extremely well-coordinated and well looked over activity,"said Williams. "This is not going to happen in a sloppy way,"and the various fund-raising offices will ensure that as much of the funding as possible is unrestricted.

Still, having students assist in fund-raising should eventually lead to an increase in the total amount of alumni and corporation giving,she said.

Students to have role in Office

The New Dean's Office is currently considering how to better involve students in decision-making processes in the future, Williams said.

"I don't have the answers, and I'd love to hear from [students]," she said.

Because the Dean's Office is currently in the process of restructuring itself, recruiting student input is "messy because you don't have an organization in place,"Williams said.

Still, the unique situation in place gives students an opportunity to involve themselves in determining the future of the Dean's Office. The Office is currently developing a new "student cabinet"consisting of members of the UAand other groups to advise the office on how to better serve the needs of students.

Students already have the opportunity to express themselves in several ways, Williams said

For example, students traditionally have the ability to serve on faculty committees which do much of the work of the Institute, she said.

Students are also involved on other temporary committees, such as the search committees currently in place to locate a new Registrar and Dean of Admissions. In such committees, students are expected to contribute their opinions on the long-term direction of the offices, Williams said.

More recently, students had the ability to communicate their opinions on student affairs to the Visiting Committee, which convenes every two years to evaluate the Dean's Office.

In addition, students have had the opportunity to participate in the Task Force on StudentLife and Learning, which is formulating the long-term plans of the Institute as a whole.