NCSU taps nonprofit chief

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Barbara Metelsky, director of the Nonprofit Sector Resource Institute at Seton Hall University, has been named director of a new initiative at N.C. State University to support nonprofit studies, services and research.

Metelsky, who starts work Aug. 15, initially will focus on helping to launch an interdisciplinary certificate program in nonprofit management this fall offered through the master’s program in public administration.

She also will help assess results of a survey, conducted this spring, to map the scope and needs of North Carolina nonprofits, and help shape the initiative’s work.

And in September, Metelsky will launch an inventory of the nonprofit interests of NCSU’s faculty, starting with the 350 faculty members in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and find ways to involve them in the initiative.

“There are many ways universities can engage and support their surrounding communities,” she says.

Linda Brady, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, says NCSU could offer a nonprofit master’s degree by fall 2005 or 2006.

The interdisciplinary degree could involve other schools and be available online and through other media for nonprofit executives throughout the state.

Metelsky also plans this fall to contract with an official of a major nonprofit academic program at another university to help the initiative develop a long-term strategy, including creation of a governing body that would include representatives from throughout the campus and from nonprofits, corporations and government.

What will distinguish the initiative, she says, will be a focus that roots academic studies and research in the needs of nonprofits and puts students and faculty to work to understand and meet those needs.

The key, she says, is to “take theory and use it in a practical way to support the growth and activities of the nonprofit sector.”

Brady says the initiative needs to raise $4 million, half of it for endowment.

The A.J. Fletcher Foundation in Raleigh has agreed to give $1 million over four years for operations if NCSU can match those funds.

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