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The Daily Tar Heel

Moeser Strives to Procure Funding for University

Raking in the cash has recently become an even greater part of Chancellor James Moeser's job description.

With a 7 percent budget cutback from the N.C. General Assembly lying before North Carolina's public universities, alternative sources of funding are more important than ever to UNC.

But this is not the first time Moeser has focused on UNC's monetary resources. From private donations to corporate contracts, Moeser has shown a strong commitment to raising money for UNC's coffers.

In his Oct. 12 University Day speech, Moeser pledged to triple UNC's share of the higher education bond money with private donations, bringing the University a total of $1.5 billion in funds.

UNC will receive almost $500 million for capital improvements from the $3.1 billion bond referendum, which was passed by N.C. voters on Nov. 7.

"The bond bill is the key that opens the lock to the future," Moeser said in his speech. "Almost a half a billion dollars would come directly to this campus, and my pledge to the people of North Carolina is to take that investment and triple it in terms of private support to this campus."

Giving Back

In working to achieve Moeser's goal, UNC has begun a seven-year fund-raising campaign. Ginger Travis, a writer in the UNC Office for University Development, said the name and details of the campaign will be announced on University Day 2001, but until then UNC is seeking monetary commitments from donors.

Gifts for fiscal year 2000 totalled $165.7 million. Though no numbers are available yet for Moeser's time at UNC, Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for University advancement, said Moeser's vision and experience make him a great fund-raising leader.

"He's so excited about what our faculty and students are doing, and it's these private gifts that are going to fund those dreams," Kupec said. "The donors really respond to his leadership."

Kupec also praised Moeser's contacts with potential donors. "He's out there. He's on the road," Kupec said. "He meets with lots of potential donors. We think he's come in providing great leadership for this University."

Gifts to UNC are either restricted, earmarked by the donor for a specific purpose, or unrestricted, which allows the University to decide where the money goes. Travis said the overwhelming majority of gifts are restricted.

Though most donors have specific plans for their dollars, Moeser said he does not allow donors to use their money to manipulate the University. He said he recently turned down a $10 million donation because the direction was inappropriate. "We're not going to be driven by people with money," he said.

Moeser said ensuring that the entire University benefits from the fund-raising campaign requires working with donors. "We have a great opportunity to guide those gifts," he said. "It's a matter of matching donors with our projects."

Not for Sale

In addition to the $70 million given by individuals last year, corporations donated about $40.5 million to UNC in gifts and grants. These gifts and grants are not contracts with the corporation. Contracts require the University to provide some service or rights to the company to receive money or services, such as having the men's basketball team wear Nike apparel.

Corporate gifts and grants, given without such strings attached, help fund research and public service programs, help support faculty and students and pay for renovation and construction, said Mark Meares, associate director of corporate and foundation relations.

Meares said he and his department seek out opportunities for corporate money, and Moeser says he foresees UNC receiving more corporate support.

But Moeser also said he will not allow corporate funding to affect the integrity of UNC. "The University and our values are not for sale," he said. "We will not compromise academic freedom."

Moeser said the research funded by this money will benefit the entire state by keeping it on the cutting edge. "The future of this state lies in the research going on here and our ability to spin out new ideas," Moeser said.

Moeser also said UNC has strict guidelines for its research. The University is prohibited from doing research that is not publishable or could be done strictly to justify a product. "We're very careful to make sure we won't become seduced (by money)," Moeser said.

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"The Art of the Deal"

UNC also receives corporate money and services that are not in the form of gifts or grants. These are provided through contracts the University has with corporations like Nike and Wachovia.

Carolyn Elfland, associate vice chancellor for auxiliary services, said UNC contracted Classic Food Services to fill all campus vending machines and cafeteria soda fountains. As part of the deal, UNC receives a payment from the company that partly covers the debt on Lenoir Dining Hall's renovations. The deal saves each student $14 in student fees each year.

The University does not currently have a soft drink contract, but Moeser said he would like UNC to negotiate one. While Moeser was at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the school negotiated a $20 million deal with Pepsi.

But corporate venders have not always been welcome at UNC. Last year, the Faculty Council adopted a resolution pressuring the University to renegotiate its contract with Wachovia, which placed a Wachovia Sale Center next to Student Stores and gave students the option of linking their UNC ONE Card to a Wachovia bank account.

The council was concerned that the center's visual commercialism would hurt the intellectual environment on campus and that the deal could allow Wachovia to establish a monopoly on campus.

Elfland said that while the University has to be careful that its contracts do not restrict any person's freedom or make decisions without community input, the payoffs of such contracts can be great. "State funds are getting tighter. Research funding is designated," she said. "The main opportunities we have are related with corporations and gifts."

Other universities have taken greater advantage of available corporate money by putting corporate logos around their campuses. But Moeser recognizes that UNC holds itself to higher standards than most other universities. "We pride ourselves on not having any corporate signage in Kenan Stadium or the Dean Dome," he said.

But UNC is not completely without corporate markings. Banners bearing corporate names such as Nike and TPX hang in Carmichael Auditorium and Boshamer Stadium, but only during games.

Because of UNC's unique atmosphere and its self-image, Moeser said the appropriate amount of corporate visibility on campus is difficult to discern.

"How much is too much? ... I can't tell you what's right," Moeser said. "There's economic gain, but there's also the question of commercialization of the University. I think the culture of this place wouldn't take too much signage. I don't know what that point is."

Moeser said he will make decisions about corporate deals on a case-by-case basis, gauging the reaction of the University community.

Leaving a Legacy

Moeser said making decisions about all types of funding require him to weigh the monetary benefits against sometimes intangible and lasting costs. "We need to be extremely careful to leave behind things at least as good as we found them," he said. "I also see this as a great opportunity because, of all the decisions that get made during my time, these may be some of the most long-lasting."

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