“You are at an important point in the history of the university and you are ready to do really great things,” said Jerold Panas during a two-day seminar titled “Deans and Fundraising,” which brought together LAU deans, advancement and development staff and LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra.
Panas was referring to the juxtaposition between LAU’s impressive track record of academic excellence and the growing financial needs of the university as it seeks to continue to make its mark in academia. With student tuition insufficient for these purposes, outside support is increasingly necessary to ensure its advancement.
“LAU cannot continue to depend on tuition alone as a major part of revenue,” commented Jabbra. “This is why we will join forces with our deans to help create the right conditions for attracting significant philanthropic investments,” he added.
Marla Rice-Evans, vice president for University Advancement at LAU, echoed the importance of the deans’ involvement in advancing LAU. “Around the world, deans play a vital role to their university and are expected to engage alumni and fundraise actively for their institution,” she said.
Fortunately, according to Panas, the deans should face no trouble gaining financial support for LAU. “People give to bold and exciting programs which are seeing results, and LAU is one of those programs,” he explained during the seminar.
Panas’ wisdom comes from a decades-long career in financial resource development in the United States and abroad. He is responsible for helping over 3,500 institutions and charities reach their fundraising goals, including big names such as the University of Oxford and the American Red Cross.
“Just listening to such an experienced and extremely knowledgeable man who shared his extensive experience through real-life stories makes you interested and enthusiastic to learn more,” said Amal Abdel Massih, executive director of Advancement Services.
Abdel Massih’s enthusiasm was echoed by Nancy Hoffart, dean of the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing. “It’s great that LAU is moving toward having the deans become part of the giving process, which will create even more support for the university,” Hoffart said.
This engagement of deans in fundraising efforts should begin soon, urged Nassib Nasr, assistant vice president for Development. “The seminar did a great job of demystifying the subject of fundraising and demonstrating the benefits of having deans’ fundraising efforts be in coordination with the Development Office,” he said, adding, “We need to put together a structure and mechanism for how to involve them, and decide on a timeline so that we can start our journey together immediately.”