UM president focuses on top rung Mote led Berkeley's $1.1 billion campaign

August 02, 1998|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Officials at the University of Maryland, College Park believe that C. D. "Dan" Mote Jr.'s appointment as the 27th president could make the difference between keeping the college at status quo and turning it into a top-notch public institution.

College officials said Mote presents unique qualifications that they believe are critical to meeting their main goal-having College Park join the ranks of the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan.

"I think he will make people feel connected at College Park," said John Lippincott, associate vice chancellor for advancement for the Maryland.

Mote was vice chancellor for university relations at the University of California in Berkeley. There he lead the school's $1.1 billion fundraising campaign. He also held an endowed chair in mechanical engineering. College Park officials hope he will bring those fundraising skills to the school's $300 million campaign. They believe strong fund-raising and continued academic development could propel Maryland as one of the top public institutions.

University fund-raising campaigns depend heavily on the president, who usually leads in promoting donations around the world. Donations usually come from alumni, corporations and friends of the university.

"He will be a critical part of the campaign," said Reid Crawford, the school's vice president for advancement.

Mote said he believes the benefits of fundraising could eventually propel Maryland. He said money donated for scholarships, endowments and research projects will draw the country's best students and academia to College Park. "Maryland is one a very good track," he said. "Donations will help build on that."

Mote believes that fundraising will eventually lead to a stronger university, saying strong fund-raising will create a strong university. "Fundraising is not just about raising money," he said. "The real purpose is to build a base of support."

He added that Maryland must take the initiative to grow, saying the state will not be able to do it alone.

States are supporting higher education less and less," he said. ,, "While we can lament that I universities have to find other resources."

But he said that does not mean the university should move away from the state, saying fund-raising can also help the state. "Honestly, you want the state to take ownership of the success of the university," he said. "The university is obliged to do that for them."

The role of the president becomes a balancing act, finding donators who meet the state's demands. University officials believe that Mote's background will work for Maryland.

"I think legislators in Annapolis will like working with him. I think corporate leaders will enjoy sitting down with him," Lippincott said.

But he said he recognizes it can also come at a cost, namely taking away the president's time. Today's university presidents are donating as much as 80 percent of their time to fund-raising, on top of steering the campus.

Mote said he is also prepared to balance the growing responsibilities that come with being a university president when he arrives in September.

But he said that reflects the changing role for university presidents. "Fundraising is not going to end. It should be built into the infrastructure," he said.

"It is a matter of reallocating resources."

Pub Date: 8/02/98

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