UC sees small drop in private funding

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The University of California raised more than $1.56 billion in private donations during the 2011-12 fiscal year, a small drop from the $1.59 billion raised in the previous year.

In the face of deteriorating state funding, the university has stepped up its efforts to raise private funds. But it remains unlikely that philanthropy will be able to completely make up the shortfall in state appropriations, said Daniel Dooley, senior vice president for external relations for the University of California Office of the President, in a statement.

“Private gifts are furthering every part of the university — and we are so grateful for the support,” Dooley said. “As our state funds have fallen, we’ve seen donors step up to create more endowed faculty chairs and student scholarships, gifts that go right to the heart of our funding challenges.”

The funds raised will go toward a number of university initiatives, including research, financial aid and student scholarships, according to the 2011-12 annual report on the university’s private support.

“Strong philanthropic giving is impacting virtually every aspect of the university,” the report states. “It would be hard to underestimate the value that private gifts and donations have for the university, both in terms of their immediate impact on UC’s academic and research missions, but also for their positive influence on UC’s future.”

At UC Berkeley, $410.8 million was raised in the 2011-12 fiscal year, an increase from the $328.8 million raised in the 2010-11 fiscal year, according to the report. The campus raised more than any other in the UC system.

In 2008, the campus began the Campaign for Berkeley, an initiative aimed at bringing in more private money. The campus has to raise around $400 million in the next year to reach its goal of $3 billion by June 2013.

In this fiscal year, the campus completed the Hewlett Challenge, a $113 million matching grant initiated by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2007 to endow 100 new faculty chairs. The challenge was completed in November with all chairs funded, more than two years ahead of schedule.

“The new endowed chairs will be critical in reinforcing the distinction and quality of Berkeley’s world-class faculty and graduate students,” the report states.

Sara Khan covers academics and administration. Contact her at [email protected]