Faculty, Campaigns and Institutional Strength

Creative leaders use a fundraising campaign to demonstrate that scholars are the foundation of the institution’s strength and academic collaboration will advance its growth. Faculty are more likely to collaborate with campaign planners if they believe campaign funds will improve academic programs or the campaign process will increase faculty influence on the institution’s future.

In general, effective collaborative projects are more like the processes faculty design to conduct research, seek a grant, or team-teach a class than the committee’s administrators typically use. Strong collaborative processes:

  • Enable the intellectual passions of faculty to shape programs rather than pushing change solely to achieve administrative or managerial goals;
  • Ease faculty collaboration and scholarship rather than reinforcing more bureaucratic barriers to interaction;
  • Link new program or research support with the faculty’s impulses to collaborate in entrepreneurial ways rather than with a general need for new funds; and
  • Bridge the gap between current and future resources with modest new funds rather than enlisting faculty involvement only on the promise of future support.

Susan Frost’s experience in designing and managing campaign-related planning projects at leading institutions and her studies of faculty engagement confirm these practices. With careful guidance, academic programs developed in the settings she maintains can flourish into new intellectual signatures for a college or university.