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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA hopes to increase cash flow as donations slide

    Although federal and private funding for the UA is down slightly this year, the university’s five-year strategic plan projects an increase in both sources of revenue in the next few years, thanks to new research facilities and aggressive fundraising campaigns.

    A draft of the university’s five-year strategic plan released last month showed that combined income from gifts, grants and contract revenues has decreased since a 2003 high of $525 million.

    Despite the recent dip in overall grants and contract revenues, grant awards are expected to ramp back up in 2007.

    The 2005 fiscal year brought in $490 million, and so far for the fiscal year ’06, the UA has been given more than $400 million in gifts.

    Leslie Tolbert, vice president for research, graduate studies and economic development, said expenditure reports from her department indicate that federal funding is down this year.

    “”What’s happening is this year we are falling a little bit behind last year, down a total of 3 percent,”” said Tolbert, who specializes in analyzing grant revenue and expenditure. “”There’s no nice story here, where you can say a certain college is crashing and burning – each college is a little up and a little down from last year.””

    Despite the recent dip in overall grants and contract revenues, grant awards are expected to ramp back up in 2007, according to the department’s projections.

    New buildings going up around campus – such as the BIO5 Institute – will contribute to more high-quality and productive work, thereby increasing funds, Tolbert said.

    Although she deals mainly with federal funding, Tolbert said private funding will play an integral part in the UA’s future, especially for securing endowments to bring in distinguished professors.

    Rodney Campbell, communications director for the UA Foundation, an organization that solicits funding from private donors, said the foundation only saw a slight drop, nearly $40,000, in donations compared to last year.

    Donors contributed $121,019,697 in the 2005 fiscal year, down from last year’s total of $121,056,869, according to a UA Foundation report released at the end of October.

    The decrease could be a result of the end of the Campaign Arizona fundraiser last year, Campbell said.

    The eight-year campaign, which ended in June 2005, made an unprecedented nearly $1.2 billion for the university.

    The funds are given to the department or college that the donor specifies.

    Campbell said eight years is about average for raising that amount of money. In fact, Campaign Arizona reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule and pushed on to finish with a total of $1.185 billion.

    Although the next campaign has not yet been planned, Campbell said he expects that, because of the UA’s peer school’s fundraising achievements, $1 billion might not cut it for the next one.

    Last month, Cornell University announced a fundraising drive to reach $4 billion in five years.

    Columbia, Stanford and Yale are also mounting campaigns to reach similar goals.

    “”Those institutions are continuing to up the ante,”” Campbell said. “”One would think the next goal (for the UA) would be more than a billion.””

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