Facing a challenge

Nonprofit institute at N.C. State moving ahead, leaders say.

By Ret Boney

RALEIGH, N.C. [05.10.04] – The new Institute for Nonprofits at N.C. State University is on track to develop its programs and raise money, despite the impending loss of one, and possibly two, of its biggest champions, its backers say.

NCSU Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, a key player in creation of the institute, will leave her post to assume the top job at the University of California at San Diego in August.

And Linda Brady, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, which houses the institute, is a finalist for the job of vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and a finalist at another university she declines to identify.

Fox and NCSU leaders say her move to San Diego will not hurt the institute’s programs or fundraising.

“It shouldn’t affect it at all,” says Fox, “The institute is one of the principal projects in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. There is good leadership in place, and we’re having fruitful conversations with potential funders.”

Brady agrees that leadership changes should not slow progress at the institute.

“We will miss Chancellor Fox,” Brady says. “She has been such a strong supporter for the institute from the beginning, but I have absolutely no concerns about the commitment” from the university.

In fact, she says, the budget request she has submitted to the university’s provost includes $200,000 for the institute, most of it “recurring funds,” and reflects the college’s commitment to the new initiative.

“This is a high priority on our list,” she says, “and we are confident that money will come.”

Most of the request, she says, calls for “recurring” funds.

Private fundraising also is moving ahead, Brady says, with grant requests pending at the Progress Energy Foundation and the Aspen Institute, and talks ongoing with other corporations and foundations.

The A.J. Fletcher Foundation, which publishes the Philanthropy Journal, last year agreed to donate $1 million to the institute over four years if it could match those dollars with its own fundraising.

So far, the institute has received $15,000 from North State Bank in Raleigh, and a professor in the department of sociology and anthropology who is studying the nonprofit sector in Australia received a $30,000 grant.

The institute aims to help nonprofits navigate the evolving social, political and economic environment, and to prepare and motivate students to pursue nonprofit careers.

It already offers a graduate certificate program, is conducting research among nonprofits throughout North Carolina, is developing an undergraduate minor in nonprofit studies and plans to offer a masters in nonprofits degree within the next two years, among other activities.

Barbara Metelsky, the institute’s founding director, says the institute is in good shape, citing momentum in program development and growing support for the organization within the university.

The college has just hired its first full-time faculty member to focus on nonprofits, is conducting a search for its second and its nonprofit leadership and development undergraduate course for the fall is full, Metelsky says.

“The commitment goes well beyond the chancellor,” Metelsky says, referring to the more than 25 faculty and staff throughout NSCU who are involved with the institute.

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