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May 23, 2006

UGA's Endowment Continues to Embarrass. Thanks to Adams

Sunday's New York Times discussed academic fundraising efforts across the country. Some highlights:
"The University of Virginia will announce a $3 billion fund-raising drive in the fall. New York University is in the middle of a $2.5 billion campaign. And officials at Columbia University say they are moving ahead with plans for the largest university campaign so far, a push to raise $4 billion over seven years."

"Money is the mother's milk of academic quality, because it pays for the people, which is to say professors and students, through salaries and scholarships, and it pays for the stuff, which is to say computers and libraries and laboratories and classrooms. Everybody needs more all the time."

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which tracks university fund-raising, 22 universities are in drives to raise $1 billion or more."
Look, I realize that Columbia and NYU aren't our academic peers. But where does UGA stand next to more similar universities?

In 2005, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) published its report that ranked the endowments of 746 reporting universities and colleges. (EDIT: Link to PDF temporarily removed b/c their site has crashed).

I took a look at our SEC peers, the public universities ranked near us in the US News University Rankings and other interesting regional players. The results are beyond disappointing.

8 years into Mike Adams tenure, and we're barely ahead of Furman?

Mike Adams' lack of progress as a fundraiser is staggering. Especially as it relates to our academic and regional peers. We didn't hire him for his expertise as an administrator of a large university. We hired him for his fundraising abilities.

I just don't see it.

hat tip to Ignatiusdawg from DawgChat.


C. Paul said...


For all the heat we want to give Adams on things like GA/FL and tailgating on campus - our lack of endowment money is what he should be measured on. There really isn't anything to say beyond "look at where we are" and what his plans are to get us going.

Enjoyable as always-

Anonymous said...

That's eye opening. I always assumed, in spite of his arrogance and obsessed fixation on absurd trivialities, that he had a redeemiing quality such as being a really good fund raiser. Guess not. D,JD.

Anonymous said...

DD, once again your hammer finds its mark. For UGA to trail the JBC in endowment dough is an embarassment and evidences the disdain for Assams held by a vastly numerically larger DawgNation.

That the BOR cannot see this for what it is evidences the fact that politics are held above all other concerns...including those of the Alumni and supporters of the University.

Dawgnoxious said...

It such a joke when Adams plays the shell game with donations to the University to hide the true ineffectiveness of his fundraising prowess. C. Paul, the tailgating/GA-FL/Dooley/name it issues are why people won't give the man a check. They don't trust he has the University's best interests at heart. I know I wouldn't want my donation paying for his son's law school graduation party.

Including GEEF priority money in his fundraising totals is completely misleading, and increases in seating priority money covers up for the fact that academic donations have stagnated under Adams. GEEF donations don't grow our endowment, but Adams wants to bask in the reflected glory of record athletic donations.

When I hear the Athletic Association "donated" $2 million to the capital campaign, it infuriates me because Adams isn't raising new money, he's just re-arranging the piles.

Donations to the University are an endorsement of the status quo, and when people withhold their donations (other than for tickets), it's like giving the prime minister a vote of no confidence.

Nathan said...

In many ways, Clough is a goofup (mostly with regards to athletics). As a fundraiser he's been absolutely fantastic though - look at GT's 15% jump in that ranking. Clough is to fundraising and overall institute profile what Richt has been to UGa football (i.e - waking the sleeping giant).

Also not represented there is money from research grants and other 3rd party income streams, something Tech is bathing in right now. I don't know how Adams has done in that area, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's poorly as well.

I'm not one of those Tech people who hopes Georgia is a miserable academic failure. Like it or not, Tech is tied to UGa as part of the same university system, and with UGa being the flagship school of the state a strong university system isn't going to exist without UGa doing well. While Tech is doing extremely well in our niche, it would be nice to see Georgia building a stronger endowment and I'd like to see more cooperation on the academic side between the two schools - there's no reason Tech can't take advantage of UGa's liberal arts and law programs, and UGa can't leverage the fact that one of the elite technical schools in the country is nearby. The only people who lose in scenarios like that are those with some form of ridiculous grudge.

Unknown said...

I agree Nathan.

I want and need GT to do well academically. In my line of work, having GT so incredibly strong in engineering is a huge plus for my company.

UGA has a larger alumni base than GT, and there's no reason our giving should be so far behind GT.

But more importantly, we're behind such second rate schools as UK and Arkansas. Those places make Clemson look like an Ivy League school.


Nathan said...

To complete the hijack of this post - the University system in Georgia is one of the state's strongest selling points for economic growth. With the Hope scholarships keeping many kids in-state, and with 3 national top 100 schools within a 100 mile radius (and each complimenting the others) there is a huge base of "talent" for employers to work with.

This is Georgia's #1 resource - not peanuts and peaches, but fresh faced college kids with quality educations. Part of the massive growth of the Georgia (specifically Atlanta) economy over the past quarter century has been based off this, and the ability of the university system to keep up at that level impacts the entire state. So yes, Clough and Adams not being fuckups makes them two of the more important employees of the state. All the more reason why Adams still having a job makes me shake my head.

Unknown said...

If memory serves, only Georgia, Texas and California have two universities ranked in the USNews Top 20 public university list.

That's amazing. Especially considering the High Schools of this state.

And Zell Miller gets a HUGE share of the credit for selling the Hope Scholarship program.

However, Georgia is still just scratching the surface of what it can become if it gets its financial house in better order.


Anonymous said...

One thing to remember about our endowment is that UGA is at a major disadvantage compared to other large state Universities b/c we don't have a medical school or an engineering program. Not supporting Adams in any way, but our endowment lags b/c we don't have those two programs.

Nathan said...

I admit I don't fully understand the politics of why UGa doesn't have a medical program, but it makes sense to me for them to have one.

As for engineering - it makes absolutely no sense to split resources when one school in the system does such a fantastic job in that field. UGa having engineering makes as much sense as GT having a law school (i.e - it doesn't).

Now, sharing resources between the two schools and offering degree programs that include taking classes from other schools in the system? I'm all for that. In fact, I did a dual degree program with a private school while at Tech because I wanted some liberal arts background ... I see no reason why one between GT and UGa (like we have with Georgia State to an extent) wouldn't be beneficial to both student bodies.

Anonymous said...

one thing that analysis probably doesn't factor in though is the Hope Scholarship. Since that's funded by the state government, Hope money probably does not contribute to our endowment, but I bet it covers most of the tuition for our in state students... ( I doubt many people in-state get into UGA with less than a 3.0) It would be interesting to see the rankings if they accounted for external scholarships...

Nathan said...

Hope is important, but for a public school it's really a non-factor - most instate students in every state get into state public schools one way or another. It's a huge, huge, huge boon for the Georgia private schools though - it gives them a monster leg up on private schools in other states.

Where endowment helps is in offering scholarships to the best out of state talent and bringing them into Georgia (I'm from North Carolina originally, GT money helped get me to Atlanta - not that I was a top talent or anything).

Anonymous said...

but my point about hope is is that it significantly decresases the amount of money UGA has to give to scholarships; therefore, it does not need as large of an endowment as other state schools. It would be interesting to see where the Cal Berkley endowment ranks. Arguably the top public school in the country, but California residents get in free so they don't need as much of an endowment either...

Worrier said...

I guess you don't consider Tennessee in your academic strata (but you do Arkansas?) or you would have noted the Vols are 81, 22 spots ahead of the vaunted UGA system will all of its lottery-funded free education.

Relating back to football for a moment and to deflect the sure-to-come anti-Vol responses, if we don't solve our QB problem the football team might be ranked 81 as well.

Unknown said...

Tennessee is ranked well below us in the US News rankings. But that's not the issue.

I didn't list Texas, Alabama or Tennessee because the Endowments are listed as for the "State of Tennessee" so I assume it's for the entire public university system.

So UTC, UTM, UTK, etc are all serviced by that fund.


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