Politics, Policy and Positioning Your Dean:
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Politics, Policy and Positioning Your Dean: Your Role in Shaping the Message Keith Oakley and Rich Bundy PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Politics, Policy and Positioning Your Dean: Your Role in Shaping the Message Keith Oakley and Rich Bundy. Politics, Policy and Positioning Your Dean: Your Role in Shaping the Message Keith Oakley and Rich Bundy.

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Politics, Policy and Positioning Your Dean: Your Role in Shaping the Message Keith Oakley and Rich Bundy

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2007 naada presentat

Politics, Policy and Positioning Your Dean:

Your Role in Shaping

the Message

Keith Oakley and Rich Bundy


2007 naada presentat

Politics, Policy and Positioning Your Dean:

Your Role in Shaping

the Message

Keith Oakley and Rich Bundy


2007 naada presentat

It is a real fact of life for all of us in university fund raising that politics, religion, and countless other topics play a major role in our jobs. How we handle those subjects is directly correlated to our success as fundraisers.

The questions we’ll address today focus on how we maneuver around sensitive subjects, and perhaps sensitive donors, accomplish our fund raising or advocacy goals, make the most strategic use of our University administrators, and at the same time stay true to our personal and institutional mission and values?


2007 naada presentat

Perhaps the best way to consider these issues is

through a series of questions to you as to how

YOU would, or have, handled the following

situations?

We will ask for your thoughts as we discuss

each of these scenarios.


2007 naada presentat

  • You have a past donor who is considering a major new gift to your college and also happens to be a major opponent of the war in Iraq. During your visit, and after spending quite a bit of time complaining about the war, the donor asks you point blank “How do you feel about the war?”

  • How would YOU respond?


2007 naada presentat

  • You have a donor who is considering a scholarship in honor of their parents. They happen to come from a religious family where religion is very much a part of their core values and heritage. They indicate to you that they would very much like for the scholarship criteria to include a requirement that the recipient be a Christian and a member of their denomination.

  • How do you respond to this request,

  • and NOT lose the gift?


2007 naada presentat

  • You are hosting a dinner with the Chancellor, Dean, and a major prospect at the home of a former US Ambassador (who is very active in the Democratic party) when the spouse of your Chancellor (who happens to be a male in this case) begins to discuss their close relationship and fondness for the current President (who is Republican).

  • How do YOU manage the conversation

  • to minimize damage?


2007 naada presentat

  • Your College has received state funding to build a meat processing laboratory when a member of the Board of Trustees, who is an extreme animal rights advocate, threatens to pull funding from a major Foundation (he is also on their Board) that provides $5 million annually for the University’s premiere scholarship program.

  • Is there a way to MANAGE this situation?


2007 naada presentat

Perhaps the only consistent answer here is that

there is no absolute or correct answer for any of

these and many other similar situations.

Keith’s rules for these types of conversations:……


2007 naada presentat

  • Never discuss your personal opinions and beliefs relative to religion or politics.

  • Keep the mission and values of your institution out front and paramount in the conversation.

  • Try and redirect the conversation back to the purpose for which you are there.

  • If all else fails, just nod, smile, and say nothing other than “I understand.”


2007 naada presentat

  • Could we have planned this better? Could we have prepared the dean differently for this situation? Could we have prepared our audience better for this introduction? Was this the best way to introduce our new dean to this particular constituent? Is there anything I could have done to alleviate this individual’s concerns before they were brought to the dean in a public forum?

  • All of these questions (and countless others!) are ones that we must ask ourselves as we prepare for each and every interaction our Deans, Department Chairs, faculty and other campus leaders have with our donors.


2007 naada presentat

  • Your dean co-authors a report outlining several negative effects of animal confinements on air quality. The report is issued at the same time you are in discussions with a prospective corporate donor interested in making a six figure commitment to support ongoing research into the economic attributes of large-scale hog confinements. Representatives of the company ask to meet with the dean to discuss this report before completing their pledge documentation.

    What can YOU do to position the dean

    so this visit has a positive outcome?


2007 naada presentat

  • Your dean’s academic background is in genetics, and he has been at the forefront of the genomics revolution that is sweeping agriculture. In the past, your dean has made public remarks that have been dismissive of organic agriculture, including an unfortunate one-time public reference to “tree huggers who don’t practice real science.” One of your most significant donors is widely known for her vocal support and generous philanthropy to organic agriculture policy, programs and research, and your university has a featured campaign objective to support your graduate program in sustainable agriculture with graduate fellowships.

  • How do YOU position your dean to interact with this donor?


2007 naada presentat

  • Your dean is also a graduate of your university. One of her classmates and close friends from graduate school is furious with your institution’s Foundation because of their decision to restructure their donor recognition society. This restructuring moves the dean’s classmate into a different recognition level, and he will no longer be invited to the annual gala – one of the high points of your campus social scene. This donor is the owner of a successful company that is going public this year.

  • How can YOU utilize your dean to keep a gifting conversation moving forward?


2007 naada presentat

  • Your recently appointed Dean was chosen from among a field of outstanding national candidates. One of the candidates who was not chosen has a seven-figure revocable bequest to your college.

  • How do YOU prepare your new dean

  • to play a role in stewarding this gift?


2007 naada presentat

As with Keith’s examples, the only consistent answer here is that there is no absolute or correct answer for any of these situations.

Rich’s rules for these types of conversations:……


2007 naada presentat

  • The donor’s relationship is with the institution, not the individual. Do your best to separate the person from the policy.

  • Always ask “Who is(are) the best person(s) to move this gift conversation forward?” If it’s not your dean, leave him/her at home. If it’s not YOU, prepare your dean to make the call without you – don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the equation if necessary.

  • Acknowledge that you understand the concern your donor raises, ask for and listen to the donors’ suggested solutions, and above all else, seek the most positive resolution.

  • Always be mindful that you play a role in perpetuating the dignity of the office of the dean (the position, not always the individual). Value and protect his/her time. Do your homework and be aggressive about preparing the dean. Be respectful at all times. Put your dean in the best light possible.


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