Despite the departure of Chancellor Carol Folt halfway through her primary fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Carolina continues to exceed goals.
The Campaign, launched in October 2017, is the University’s most ambitious fundraising initiative to date, with the goal of raising $4.25 billion by the end of 2022. The funds generated by the Campaign go toward its four priorities: students and the education experience, faculty and scholarship, innovation and impact and lastly, a series of “Signature Initiatives,” which include student scholarships, global education, convergent science and the Arts Everywhere initiative.
The Campaign’s priorities were developed through a collaborative effort spanning all of UNC’s different schools and groups, said Campaign for Carolina Development Marketing Director Lisa Marie Ferrell.
“Those priorities were established at a higher level than the University,” Ferrell said. “It wasn’t something that we said, ‘Okay, we want to do these things.’ It was incredibly collaborative. We worked throughout, hand-in-hand, all the different units, to really ensure that these different areas of focus were key in our fundraising effort.”
Folt played an integral role in developing the Blueprint for Next, a strategic framework that will guide the allocation of funds from the Campaign for Carolina and the direction of the University as a whole for the next decade. While Folt has left the University, the Campaign for Carolina continues to proceed, outpacing its goal by raising $2.51 billion out of $4.25 billion in less than two years, with just two-and-a-half years still left to go.
Ferrell said the Campaign for Carolina’s successful transition as the University moved from Folt’s leadership may be attributed, in part, to the continued involvement of interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz.
“Although Chancellor Folt was really a big part of the launch activities, as the public face of the campaign, (Guskiewicz) was actually right there as well,” Ferrell said. “So it’s been really interesting to see. You’re not going to see a lot of change, in other words. You’re going to see the sustaining work that is happening and will continue to happen.”
Before stepping into the interim chancellor position, Guskiewicz served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, where he worked in close collaboration with the Campaign for Carolina.
“Previously, as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kevin Guskiewicz’s role was very much focused on the College and the way that their goals are blending into the overall Campaign,” said UNC Media Relations manager Carly Miller. “Of course, now stepping into a new role as the interim Chancellor, he’s very much taking up the mantle and the responsibilities of where the chancellor stands in the overall campus-wide goals for the Campaign for Carolina.”
Additionally, from its inception, the Campaign for Carolina was planned out by development managers and members of the UNC community so that it could continue raising money for UNC despite leadership changes.
“The Campaign was set up to run over such a long period that it could not have been constructed, nor would it have been wise to be constructed around any single individual, whether you’re talking about a chancellor or a dean, simply because people in those positions are apt to change,” said Doug Shackelford, dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School. “So it was designed not around any person, but around the needs of the University and the specific schools.”
In the meantime, Shackleford said the Campaign for Carolina continues to have a noticeable impact on students at the University.
“The funds that we are raising are directly impacting students,” he said. “One of the biggest ways for us is, as part of the Campaign, we are working to expand the number of undergraduate students who we can admit to the business school, so an important part of the Campaign, for us, is raising funds to increase our faculty and staff, our program, so that we can admit more students into our undergraduate business program.”
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