3Qs: The Faculty Giving Initiative

November 26, 2012

As North­eastern Uni­ver­sity con­tinues its unprece­dented momentum, fac­ulty have estab­lished a new under­taking — the Fac­ulty Giving Ini­tia­tive — that aims to raise ambi­tions and strive for even greater achieve­ment and suc­cess in the future. Richard Day­nard, Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Law and the chair of the Senate Agenda Com­mittee, dis­cusses the goals of this new ini­tia­tive and how fac­ulty can get involved.

1. What is the Faculty Giving Initiative, and how was it started?

When the cur­rent Fac­ulty Senate Agenda Com­mittee was elected in April, we briefly hud­dled to decide what we wanted to accom­plish this aca­d­emic year. One of our top pri­or­i­ties turned out to be showing our com­mit­ment to North­eastern in yet another way — through finan­cial con­tri­bu­tions. Part of our thinking was that we, as fac­ulty, have spe­cial insights into areas where a few thou­sand extra dol­lars each year would really make a dif­fer­ence — in travel funds, fel­low­ships, lec­ture­ships, etc. We were delighted last month when the Fac­ulty Senate enthu­si­as­ti­cally sup­ported the initiative.

2. What do you hope to achieve with the initiative, and what does it mean to Northeastern?

Aside from funding a bunch of worth­while projects — both those that cur­rently exist or new projects fac­ulty come up with in response to the ini­tia­tive — we also want to add a new dimen­sion to fac­ulty par­tic­i­pa­tion at North­eastern. We show our com­mit­ment in var­ious ways to make North­eastern the best it can pos­sibly be: through our teaching and schol­ar­ship, advising stu­dents and men­toring junior col­leagues, revising cur­ricula, hiring new fac­ulty and par­tic­i­pating in gov­er­nance at the depart­mental, school, col­lege and uni­ver­sity levels. But we can, at very modest cost to each of us, make an addi­tional dif­fer­ence by con­tributing finan­cially to pro­grams that are impor­tant to us. Broad fac­ulty par­tic­i­pa­tion also sends an impor­tant mes­sage to trustees, alumni and foun­da­tions: We who know North­eastern best are willing to show our com­mit­ment in a cur­rency that everyone understands.

3. How can faculty members participate in this initiative?

Fac­ulty mem­bers can con­tribute to existing funds — depart­mental, col­lege or university-​​wide — or they can set up new ones. A letter I sent to each col­league recently included a list showing a sam­pling of existing funds that may be of interest to fac­ulty mem­bers. I know some fac­ulty mem­bers have expressed interest in get­ting together with others in their depart­ment or school to come up with a new project that they can all con­tribute to. Two advance­ment staff mem­bers — Joe Don­nelly (j.​[email protected]​neu.​edu) and Bill Woodman (w.​[email protected]​neu.​edu) — are avail­able to help with logis­tics. A Fac­ulty Giving Ini­tia­tive portal has also been estab­lished for making con­tri­bu­tions, including through a variety of pos­sible salary deduc­tions arrangements.