By Amanda Burdette
ADELPHI, Md. – Seeking to enter the major leagues of higher education fund raising, a University of Maryland regents’ committee Thursday approved a $110.1 million goal for the current fiscal year.
The amount represents a 9.7 percent increase over last year’s $100.4 million.
Vice Chancellor John K. Martin said the overall plan, which will come before the full board on Oct. 3, will generate $700 million over the next five years. It is the second-largest fund- raising goal in Maryland, behind Johns Hopkins University’s program.
Each university in the system will be responsible for raising its share of the combined goal from corporate and individual contributions.
Sue Gladhill, vice president for institutional advancement at University of Maryland Baltimore, explained how that campus’ 33-member fund-raising council is generating funds.
“We visit people who have an interest [in contributing]. We either like the suggestions they have, or we comeback with other suggestions. We are in a position to accommodate,” Gladhill said.
Martin said that alumni are the target source of the donations.
“They are the base of the pyramid. Two or three years ago it would have been absurd to generate such money,” he said. But now, “The timing has never been better. The economy is stable and people in general are doing well.”
The system receives 31 percent of its funds from the State of Maryland, said to Chris Shreeve, director of public information.
That amount is less than most other public systems in the U.S. John Lippincott, director of public relations for the regents, said Maryland ranks 33rd in state funding per student.
Added Martin, “Our immediate target is catching up with leading growing institutions such as University of Texas,” stressing that “endowments are the key.”
The campaign calls for doubling the Maryland endowment, now $32.7 million. The bigger the endowment principle, the greater the investment income available for the campuses.
Regent Wendell M. Holloway of Potomac, who presided over the meeting, said improving the quality of the system’s faculty and staff would win more government money, which would in turn attract more top-notch personnel.
“The more good people we get, the more the institution is valued and the more good people will want to come here,” Holloway said.
He recommended starting with improving the system’s infrastructure and equipment. Several promotional events are planned for late October, including a black-tie dinner on the 24th in College Park. -30-