Today I am flying to Chicago to attend tomorrow’s Professional Fundraising Workshop for Deans, Department Chairs, and Aspiring Academic Leaders. At $750 a pop (for the “investment”) I was initially reluctant about attending, but decided to sign up since I had research/professional development funds that will expire on June 30. Also, while I was able to raise $112,000 as a department chair I’ll have to secure a lot more to be a successful dean, so any help I can receive will be worth it!

One of the specific topics I’m interested in exploring at the workshop is working with non-traditional donors, as people of color are 25% of the students at UW-Parkside, and 50% are first generation students. The new books Expanding the Donor Base in Higher Education: Engaging Non-Traditional Donors and Engaging Diverse College Alumni: The Essential Guide to Fundraising have given me some good ideas to discuss with the workshop leaders and participants.

I’ll also seek strategies for helping my soon-to-be department chairs raise money; it appears that this is not something they have deeply engaged in the past. Deans, chairs, and others must be more entrepreneurial than ever, as state, national, and global economies have created financial difficulties for many institutions of higher education.

The workshop is all day tomorrow, and on Thursday I’ll make a side trip to Kenosha to interview finalists for my dean’s assistant position. I’ll have to write about the interview process next week. On Thursday night I’ll debrief the workshop in part 2 of this post.