Faculty role in Campaign discussed by Roberson at Assembly meeting

By Mary Jo Frank

Faculty will play a key role in The Campaign for Michigan, Joseph Roberson promises.

Speaking to Senate Assembly Oct. 19, Roberson, associate vice president for development and executive director of The Campaign for Michigan, noted that faculty are involved in the creative activities for which funds are being raised. Faculty also can spark enthusiasm by explaining their programs to campaign volunteers and prospective donors, he added.

Eventually—probably not this year—faculty and staff also will be asked to contribute, Roberson said.

Officially launched Sept. 18, The Campaign for Michigan seeks to raise $850,000,000 in cash and pledges and $150,000,000 in trusts and bequests—or a total of $1 billion, Roberson explained.

Currently University fund-raisers are identifying prospective donors among the U-M’s 350,000 living alumni, reviewing unit requests and systematically “asking for money.”

Roberson said gift committees have been organized in 17 major cities. In addition, each University unit has a visiting committee to contact prospective donors.

Responding to faculty questions, Roberson said he doesn’t believe the U-M campaign will adversely affect other institutions in Michigan.

Corporations and foundations invest in programs in which they have a vested interest, Roberson said. The Campaign for Michigan is aimed at alumni who have emotional ties to the University.

Roy Penchansky, professor of health services management and policy, asked why faculty were not more involved in goal setting.

Roberson said faculty involvement varied by unit and appeared to be affected by the size and complexity of the units.

Roberson also addressed faculty concerns about a campaign brochure that appeared to equate professorial chairs with endowed coaching positions. He apologized for the error and said that the few copies that were circulated had been recalled and destroyed.


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