09/17/2012 10:16 am ET Updated May 08, 2013

Indiana University School Of Philanthropy, First Of Its Kind, Officially Legit

By The NonProfit Times

Indiana University has received approval to establish a School of Philanthropy on the Indiana University-Purdue University campus in Indianapolis (IUPUI).

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved the university’s proposal to create what is believed to be the world’s first school dedicated to the study and teaching of philanthropy. The School of Philanthropy will combine under one umbrella academic and research on the philanthropic sector.

The research arm will continue to be the Center on Philanthropy (CoP), which was established in 1987 and has been the university’s hub for philanthropic studies. The School of Philanthropy will be home to the ongoing bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in Philanthropic Studies created by the center.

The university’s Board of Trustees approved the plan this past June but required state approval.

“The Center on Philanthropy has long been recognized as the leading research institute of its kind and it makes major contributions to the study of philanthropy,” said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. “The transformation of the Center to a new School of Philanthropy will allow us to take full advantage of other university resources in related areas and provide unparalleled educational and research opportunities in this area for our students.”

Eugene R. Tempel, Ph.D., who was appointed senior fellow in philanthropy effective October 1, will lead the planning and organization of the new school, collaborating with faculty, staff and university administrators. Tempel, who currently serves as president of Indiana University Foundation, is a former executive director of the Center on Philanthropy and has been integrally involved with it since its inception.

“Many of today’s students want careers that let them make a meaningful difference in the lives of others,” Tempel said. “The School of Philanthropy will help them become the next generation of philanthropy and nonprofit professionals and scholars, equipping them to fulfill their dreams of changing the world.”

As with any academic setting, funding is an issue. Tempel told The NonProfit Times this past summer that the school as of June had raised just shy of $70 million. It is projected that $100 million will be needed.

The Center on Philanthropy will continue providing research and training programs, including The Fund Raising School, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Center on Philanthropy Executive Director Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., will continue to serve in that role, directing all aspects of the Center’s contributions to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

“Philanthropy and nonprofits play an increasingly prominent and important role in society, and they are now quite complex, requiring more sophisticated education, research and training,” Rooney said. “The new School of Philanthropy and the additional talented faculty and students it will attract will significantly expand the scope and impact of the Center on Philanthropy’s research and training in best practices. The result will be well-informed and equipped nonprofit professionals, donors and volunteers who are prepared to maximize the effectiveness of their organization’s mission and shape the future of philanthropy.”

Rooney told The NonProfit Times this past summer the CoP has five endowed chairs, verbal commitments for two new chairs and have been asked for proposals from potential funders for additional three chairs.

The push will be to grow the number of endowed chairs and scholarships, said Rooney. Right now roughly 75 faculty members have some sort of connection to the CoP. There are approximately 10 full-time equivalent positions and Rooney hopes to grow that to 20.

With the nonprofit sector roughly five percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and 11 percent of the workforce, such as school could be a profit-center for the university, Rooney said.

This story originally appeared in The NonProfit Times.



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