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18 August 2006

Money Man

To a large part, what JSU will look like in the future — a $40 million music hall? a $7.5 million renovation of the college of education? — depends on fund-raising. Public universities across the country are turning to fund-raising to replace dwindling state support, and JSU is no exception.

State support of the school has dropped from 54 percent to 35 percent in the last thirty years, President Bill Meehan said Monday.

“So where do you make up the difference?” Meehan asked. “That's why you see many schools raising tuition. Or fund raising.”

Yet JSU's fund-raising efforts are behind most other state schools in Alabama, officials said. The University of Alabama fund-raising office has hundreds of full-time gift officers, he said. Until two years ago, JSU had one. Now it has three.

Joe Serviss, vice president for institutional advancement, said he hopes to further increase that number in the coming years. Before, he said, “the university was not aware of what additional fund-raising could do.”

The university presently has a young staff with its new director of institutional development Earl Warren and two others shouldering much of the responsibility for the university's most prized projects.

“We're in our infancy,” said Warren, who himself only started five months ago after helping raise money for Boys & Girls Clubs in Alabama.

If the fund-raisers meet financial targets, then libraries, field houses and classrooms can be built, renewing the image of the university. If they fail, the university's best ideas could remain blueprints.

See story at The Anniston Star's website: .

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