Staff Editorial: Ambitious fundraising goal, alumni are key to improving

Things are looking up for UH – a new president, a master plan and a new Web site (well, for some that’s a plus). But something else is looking up for the University as well: our fundraising goals.

The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that UH is launching "the largest campaign in its history" with the hope of raising $600 million to $1 billion over the next five to seven years.

The Daily Cougar reported in August that the University was planning its next large campaign, but would wait until a new president and system chancellor was appointed to put the plan into full effect.

That time has come.

With the appointment of Renu Khator, UH is taking action to seek funds from private donors. Vice Chancellor and Vice President of University Advancement Michael Rierson told The Daily Cougar in August that a new Web site, newsletter and alumni magazine would help create a positive image of UH.

According to the Houston Chronicle, "The (development) office has since added 24 staffers and plans to fill 10 more posts over the next year. It has redesigned the UH Web site and alumni magazine and soon will start a newsletter titled The Purposes of Philanthropy."

All of these are steps in the right direction. UH should strive to build relationships with alumni for stronger ties with former students, which will give graduates a sense of pride and connection to the University. These relationships can also help UH secure much-needed funds to benefit current students – students who will one day be alumni themselves.

Setting, and hopefully achieving, a high fundraising goal will set a higher standard for UH. With plans of reaching flagship status and the slow unfolding of the master plan, UH is going to need this additional funding.

However, five to seven years is a long time and only time will tell if UH achieves its goals. It’s one thing to want something, and entirely separate thing to have it. It will also be interesting to see where this money, and that raised from tuition hikes, will go and how much students really will benefit from the campaign.

But for now, things are looking up.

Leave a Comment