Death Watch: Can fundraising and foundations save California's community colleges?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: In Thursday's installment of the ongoing Los Angeles Times front page series aptly titled "Fading Dreams," (described as "occasional articles about the challenges facing California's community colleges"), Saddleback's own Tod Burnett appears. The subject of this installment was fundraising.
...About 40% of community colleges in the state have only one full-time or part-time fundraiser, and most of the others have fewer than five, according to the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Those are tiny staffs compared to the development departments at most four-year colleges and universities. Now, however, some community colleges are adding personnel....
...Last year, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo received its largest gift — a $2.2-million unsolicited bequest from the estate of Dorothy Marie Lowry, who frequently took courses for older adults. The school is using that to expand its fundraising staff and to give scholarships to senior citizens. Saddleback expects to launch its first alumni campaign, reaching out to 112,000 former students.
Saddleback President Tod A. Burnett said his school and others should have taken such steps many years ago. "If community colleges had been doing what UC and Cal States were doing," he said, "we wouldn't be as bad off today as we are."Click here to to read the Larry Gordon's article in its entirety, Hard-up colleges turn to donors.
The series itself makes excellent, if discouraging, reading, a sort of slo-mo death watch of higher education in California.
And now, back to grading.