Philanthropy becoming question of 'who' instead of 'how much'
- The University of New Hampshire and Ohio University are making headlines this week for their handling of two private gifts; one a popular bequest from a longtime librarian, and the other from controversial conservative media figure Roger Ailes.
- The University of New Hampshire is under fire for allocating a large portion of the librarian's $4 million bequest to a new scoreboard for its football stadium, while Ohio is being applauded for returning a $500,000 gift from Ailes and removing his name from the school's student newsroom.
- The stories extend recent conversations about how institutions can best gather campus consensus surrounding much-needed financial support.
In the University of New Hampshire's case, more should have been done to engage students and faculty on the institution's plans for the gift, to showcase the importance of a well-rounded allocation plan rooted in transparency. For Ohio, distance from a disgraced alumnus is almost universally understood and accepted.
But for college leaders, these two stories are very good case studies on the importance of quality relationships with faculty, student and alumni leadership. Philanthropy is something all groups recognize as a priority for any campus, but sharing business and outreach objectives tied to philanthropic support is an area where all parties who are impacted by it, want to have a voice in suggesting the impact upon their own careers or educational journeys.
- Inside Higher Ed The librarian's bequest
- Huffington Post Ohio University rejects Roger Ailes' name and money