Tuesday, April 10

Will 'scandals' hurt universities' fundraising?

This June, University of Illinois President Joseph White will start an ambitious campaign to raise $2 billion.

In interviews with The Associated Press this week, White and James Gobberdiel of the University of Illinois Foundation (the university's fundraising arm) discussed whether they thought the school's recent decision to scrap its controversial American Indian mascot and the arrests of several athletes would impact fundraising.

One would-be donor, upset about the loss of the mascot, backed out of a donation that would have topped $100,000, Gobberdiel said. But few other benefactors have spoken up, he said.

Similarly, White said troubles in the athletic department on the Champaign-Urbana campus shouldn't affect his ability to raise money. They are a bigger problem for the students involved than for the university.

Yeah, I guess he's right. A good fundraiser should be able to get you around these kinds of troubles... unless of course you find yourself like Toledo University and you're mired in an alleged point shaving betting scandal... now I'd imagine that can't make fundraising easy.

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