AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents today (Aug. 25) authorized a $10 million investment to strengthen fundraising capacity among the 15 UT institutions. The initiative, called Strength in Numbers, is part of Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa’s new action plan for advancing excellence throughout the UT System.
The program allocates funds strategically to UT institutions through a competitive process based on each institution’s multi-year business plan for fundraising. Performance metrics and accountability standards are built into the program.
At a time when colleges and universities are facing reduced resources across the nation, investment in the program is crucial because it leverages additional resources for institutional priorities.
“The Strength in Numbers program that the UT System launched previously had an enormous impact at UT Dallas, allowing us to add key fundraisers to our staff and to achieve immediate results, which included back-to-back record years of fundraising,” UT Dallas President DAVID DANIEL said. “We are building a world-class research university in North Texas, and private support will be even more important to that goal. This newest investment in Strength in Numbers will accelerate our progress even further, raising funds for student scholarships and fellowships as well as supporting programs that improve the quality of life for all Texans.”
Last year, more than 220,000 individuals made gifts to UT institutions with commitments in excess of $1 billion, resulting in one of the best fundraising years on record. In periods of market volatility and economic constraint, higher education philanthropy is considered a key support structure in providing much needed resources for students, faculty and academic programs, and is essential for advancing excellence throughout the UT System.
RANDA SAFADY, the UT System's vice chancellor for external relations, who will oversee the grant awards to campuses, praised the chancellor and regents for the investment. "We realized significant returns on investments after the Board's initial allocation to this program several years ago. The UT institutions are eager to engage even more friends and alumni in providing this vital philanthropic support. These new Strength in Numbers funds will allow institutions to build capacity in key personnel and operational areas to accomplish that.”
The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $12.8 billion (FY 2011) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 211,000 in the 2010 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 68,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.