Philanthropic funding of universities

December 6th, 2010 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A reader pointed this out to me:

Philanthropic support totalling $120 million has been given for research and learning at The University of Auckland since 2006, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, announced tonight.

The University’s “Leading the Way” fundraising Campaign aims to raise $150 million by the end of 2012, an achievement that would make it as successful as any campaign in Australasian university history. Originally set at $100 million, the Campaign target was raised as philanthropic funds given through the University’s advancement, research, and scholarships offices were pooled.

Globally, the most successful universities always have graduates who are willing to donate back to the university they went to. It is good to see doing so well.

Over the years 11 families, organisations, and individuals have each given more than $5 million to support the University, including: the Goodfellow family, who established the Maclaurin Chapel and have supported healthcare education and many other activities; the Neal and Annette Plowman family, who established an endowment fund to support business growth and innovation; and the Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust, funders of ophthalmology and child health research.

Also included are several New Zealand organisations: the Auckland Medical Research Foundation; the Cancer Society Auckland; the ASB Community Trust; the Neurological Foundation and the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board; as well as high-profile philanthropist Owen Glenn, who has funded improvements in business education, marine science and cancer research, and who was in Auckland for the event. …

A further 35 donors, each of whom has made gifts totalling between $1 million and $5 million, were named members of the Sir George Fowlds Society, after a former Minister of Education and Chair of Auckland University College.

A third group, the 179 donors who have each given between $100,000 and $1 million, were honoured as members of the Sir Douglas Robb Society. Sir Douglas was the primary force behind establishing the School of Medicine in Auckland.

So 11 families have given more than $5 million, 46 have given more than $1 million and 225 have given more than $100,000. That’s fantastic philanthropy.

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14 Responses to “Philanthropic funding of universities”

  1. Viking2 (11,562 comments) says:

    Yep great and if Govt. got the hell out of our lives there would be a lot more.

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  2. CJPhoto (227 comments) says:

    I wonder how much of these donations were facilitated by the ability to claim a donation rebate (or the rebate enabled a bigger donation). Up until recently rebates on personal donations were limited to the first $1500ish donated.

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  3. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Simon said…
    Online universities are the future

    You must be dreaming. That may be true for arts faculties, where no one is required to attend a (or do) laboratory class. Engineering, Science, Medicine (and may be architecture), learning is incomplete without students doing laboratory work and it is vital & fundamental that you do that in those courses. In arts, you can just read their textbooks and be efficient on the subject without requiring that you do lab work.

    Simon said…
    This money will do something for students. Sal Khan just brilliant has done more for learning than all the government univ boards put together.

    Idiotic comment. So, Sal Khan’s online courses had produced PhD post-graduate engineers/scientists that are now working for NASA, Los Alamos, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Fisher & Paykel etc,… ? Think before you post, because it exposes yourself.

    Simon said…
    Most universities in NZ will close.

    Another idiotic comment.

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  4. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I wonder how much of these donations were facilitated by the ability to claim a donation rebate (or the rebate enabled a bigger donation). Up until recently rebates on personal donations were limited to the first $1500ish donated.

    The $120 million has been raised since 2006, so some, but not all. You’d hope the super-rich like Owen Glenn wouldn’t have been affected by the rebate changes, since they’re like, super-rich and all, but people giving smaller amounts (100,000, 10,000) would probaby appreciate it.

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  5. Monty (980 comments) says:

    Tory Charity by Rich Pricks. I expect Labour will legislate against this as it will only widen the gap between rich and poor and make universities elitist.

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  6. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I expect Labour will legislate against this as it will only widen the gap between rich and poor and make universities elitist.

    You sound ridiculous but in any case if the opposition were going to try to make a point out of this it’d be that the government should be fundng universities properly so they don’t need philanthropic funding. Not that they’d do that (surely) but at the least fundraising for an endowment should be done regardless of how well funded you are by the government, as you never know when they’re going to start mucking you about!

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  7. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The presence of an alumni (regardless of whether they donate or not) is one of the things that make Universities so much better at doing useful research than the CRIs who do not have these connections into the community and are so dependent on goverment funded research.
    This is why I argued before the Select Committee that all CRIs should become joint ventured back into the Universities.

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  8. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Yet more proof of the University of Auckland’s shocking decline since VSM was introduced.

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  9. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    Now we just need all our universities to get medical schools so that they can also cash in on (the majority of) these types of donations.

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  10. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Now we just need all our universities to get medical schools so that they can also cash in on (the majority of) these types of donations.

    Heh!

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  11. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    “that the government should be fundng universities properly so they don’t need philanthropic funding”

    What is proper? That some people go to university at relatively little, if any, cost to themselves, for the purpose of getting a degree?
    Some will do arts degrees and go on to benefits because they’re ‘overqualified’ for the jobs available to someone with their qualifications.
    Some will do pol-sci/gender studies type degrees and go on to a life in government.
    Some will do BSc / commerce type degrees and go on to well paid careers.

    None of these should get free tertiary education.

    If their degree helps them earn more money, they can fund it themselves.
    If not then consider it a hobby, and again – fund it themselves.

    Why should someone on minimum wage be helping to pay for the tertiary education of anybody (other than perhaps their own kids)?

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  12. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    What is proper? That some people go to university at relatively little, if any, cost to themselves, for the purpose of getting a degree?

    Not all tertiary funding (philanthropic or otherwise) goes to student tuition costs.

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  13. fruitshop (45 comments) says:

    Academic philanthropy is the supreme domain of the Americans.
    There is a downside.
    Big donors have buildings and grad schools named after them
    which frequently have cause to scrape benefactors names off marble and brass plaques.
    Pity the poor grads who graduated with a degree from the Bernard Madoff School of Ethical Business,
    or a Lehman Bros Diploma in Financial Accounting.

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