Saturday, January 6, 2007

Fulton's back the push for University Status

An article in today's Deseret News says that Arizona philanthropist Ira Fulton is backing UVSC's bid to become a regional university, and he is putting his money where his mouth is.

Fulton, who on Thursday wrote UVSC a check for over half a million dollars, says he will help the community raise $10 million dollars and challenge the State Legislature to do the same. Ira and his wife Mary Lou started the Fulton Challenge earlier this year, setting a goal for the college of $300,000 in fundraising. Unlike similar challenges made to the Arizona State and Brigham Young, UVSC actually not only met their goal put nearly doubled it...raising $512,000. The Fulton's matched those funds dollar for dollar.

The article is pretty decent, but fails to mention that the $10 million UVSC is looking for from the state is actually for on-going funds. That money will be used to hire more faculty to reduce the ratio of adjunct to fulltime faculty and to increase the number of professors with terminal degrees. The school will also need to hire more fulltime staff to handle the expected enrollment increases, retention, and added complexity that comes with offering graduate programs and a more comprehensive undergraduate program.

The general feeling on campus was that Fulton might continue to extend his considerable fundraising talents to UVSC. In the last 7 years The Fulton have given over $100 million to ASU, $82 million to BYU and $10 million to the University of Utah. The article says that Ira is also leading a campaign to raise a billion dollars total for ASU.

The Pipeline spoke with a Dean recently who said that administrators hoped that if the school did well with the Fulton Challenge in 2006 that perhaps Ira would continue to give money in 2007. That looks to be the case.

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