Attempting to compensate for years of state funding cuts, University leaders now believe they have at least one thing on their side — timing.
With a two-year tuition plan set in stone and the NCAA investigation now in the past, Chancellor Holden Thorp and the Board of Trustees are looking to utilize the next 18 months to plan what they hope will be the University’s largest fundraising campaign ever.
At Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, Thorp presented the vision behind the University’s coming campaign, along with marching orders for the board to adopt a more active role on campus as they try to hone an effective pitch.
In the fall and early spring, administrators advocated for a two-year tuition plan with the intention of using the following 18-month quiet period to their advantage, Thorp said in an interview.
“We engineered this on purpose,” he said. “The fact that the football (investigation) ended 10 days earlier was a bonus.”
And administrators will carry out most of the preparation of the campaign before fall 2013, when tuition discussions will likely flare up again.
“Between now and then we need to have a very crisp story of how we’re going to sustain the public research university,” Thorp said.
To remedy the steady, decades-long decline of state support, the University will embark on an ambitious fundraising campaign that is expected to exceed the $2.38 billion raised between 1999 and 2007.
But first it needs to find a message, a task that will define the coming months.