$1 billion campaign reaches halfway point

    Six months after its public launching, UCSD’s $1 billion fundraising campaign, “”Imagine What’s Next,”” currently totals $509.2 million in gifts and pledges. The campaign was first publicly introduced in March 2003 and is scheduled to conclude June 2007.

    Tibora Girczyc-Blum/Guardian
    Helping out: Thurgood Marshall College senior Matan Sarfaz donates blood for the San Diego Blood Bank. The drive will continue through Oct. 16 starting at 10 a.m. in Price Center Ballroom.

    The campaign began its “”quiet phase”” in July 2000, when the university first introduced the idea to the private sector to find out whether or not the project would be plausible.

    Now in the public phase, the campaign is halfway to the $1 billion goal.

    “”When you think about the basic equation of rapid growth and declining state resources, I’d say we’d have to explore other areas of funding,”” Vice Chancellor of External Relations James E. Langley said. “”We believed it was important to turn to the private sector.””

    According to Langley, UCSD is one out of 40 universities that has attempted to raise $1 billion.

    “”This was a tall order for UCSD,”” Langley said. “”There was a degree of risk and our donors have responded in a way that we find very rewarding.””

    The university has approached different potential donors in the private sector, including parents, corporations and businesses. Donations include the Irwin and Joan Jacobs’ donation of $110 million to the Jacobs School of Engineering and a $20 million gift by UC Board of Regents Chair John Moores and his wife Rebecca going toward the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. William Stensrud, chief executive officer of Ensemble Inc., and his wife Carol also recently gave a $5 million gift for the School of Management.

    The donations received from the campaign will go to areas such as academic programs, endowed chairs and scholarships.

    A majority of the donations received so far have gone to the health and sciences sector. Though there have been some significant gifts to the social sciences and humanities area, Langley says they are not as large as the ones received for health and sciences.

    “”We try to be as balanced as we can in securing support, but ultimately donors decide ‹ when we present them with a menu of opportunities ‹ which programs they think are most worthwhile,”” Langley said. “”When you deal with social sciences and humanities, it usually takes more time.””

    Alumni are also a source for donations. Although not as large as some donations received, the alumni network has been an important aspect of the campaign.

    “”We need to do a better job with current students, making them a part of this campus, making them feel that they have a voice and a stake in this campus before they leave,”” Langley said. “”Because if they don’t and they leave, we spend a lot of time and a lot money trying to re-engage them.””

    However, amid budget cuts and increasing student fees, some have wondered whether the money should be used for services that affect current UCSD students.

    “”It’s positive that we have outside resources coming in to make the university better,”” Jeremy Cogan, A.S. Commissioner of Enterprise Operations said. “”But at the same time, a lot of that is going to academic departments, going to research studies and to things that don’t directly benefit students on an everyday basis.””

    One aspect of the campaign affecting students is the effort to raise money for scholarships in.

    “”It always adds up to choices,”” Langley said. “”The best way we can help students while they’re here is to at least defray the costs of their education.””

    According to Langley, there have been gifts that will directly affect students, including donations for a softball field and physical improvements to the campus.

    “”While it is benefiting the stature of the university to make UCSD a more prominent campus, it’s not necessarily benefiting students with day-to-day needs,”” Cogan said. “”There hasn’t yet been any evidence that it will help outreach, or recruitment and retention programs, and that is a major necessity for students.””

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