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21.06.2005 Feature Article

Endowment Funds For Ghanaian Universities,Colleges And Schools - Part 1

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Our institutions of higher learning cannot just rely on the Government for all their financial needs. Action must be taken by our higher education administrators and the Board of Governors to increase private support. This may appear to be difficult in a country like Ghana. However, fund raising is a PROFESSINAL JOB. Well qualified professional fund-raisers may have to be consulted. Amateur uncoordinated fund-raising activities just do not work.

Below is a list of the Endowment Funds of some Historically Black American Universities :

Howard University, Washington D.C.....................................$312 million

Spelman College, Atlanta, GA...........$228.9million

Hampton University, Hampton, VA...............................$174.6million

Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA..........................$100.3 million

Tuskegee University, Tuskegee.............................$67 million

Dillard University, New Haven, LA.............................$53.1 million

Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA..............................$$30.0 million

Below is a list of the Endowment Funds of some Predominantly White Universities :

Harvard University, Cambridge Mass...........................$18.3 billion

Yale University, New Haven, Conn.......................................$10.1 billion

Princeton University, Princeton N.J........................................$8.2 billion

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.......................................$8.2 billion

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Mass...........$6.1 billion

Georgetown University, Washington D.C. ............................$$705.5 million

University of California ( Irvine ).............................................$126.5 million

In 1986, Harvard and Howard had endowment funds of $3.3 billion and $41.0 million respectively.

Universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton are relatively old and well established institutions and so it will be unrealistic for Ghanaian Universities to expect to attain their endowment fund levels in the near future.

However, Howard University is comparatively younger but it has managed to establish itself in the top 100 Research Level 1 Universities in the United States. In fact the University is ranked 90 among the 248 universities categorized as "Best National Universities" by the U.S. News and World Report 2005 edition of America's Best Colleges. Howard was also recognized in the rankings as a leading national university with a 10% population of INTERNATIONAL undergraduates.

I intend to concentrate on Howard University in this article but references will be made to other universities. It is not suggest that Ghanaians universities should strive to become replica of Howard University but I believe there are a lot of things our University and College Administrators and Board of Governors can learn from Howard.

Howard has a student population of about 10,500 students ( 7000 undergraduate; 2000 graduate ; 1500 1st Professional ). The University has a Faculty of about 1764 ( 1126 Full-Time; 234 Part-Time; 404 without compensation ). 87% of the faculty have Degrees from Top National Research Universities.

The University has 12 Schools and Colleges : Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; School of Arts and Sciences; School of Business; School of Communication; College of Dentistry; School of Divinity; College of Education; School of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science; School of Law ; College of Medicine; School of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences; School of Social Work. The University also supports at least 25 Major Research Centres including Centre for Sickle Cell Diseases, Cancer Centre ; Collaborative Alcohol Research Centre; National Human Genome Research Centre and Army High Performance Computing Research Centre.

For the Fiscal Year 2001, the Operating Revenue was $669.7 million. The Federal Government provided $225.6 million. This indicates that the Government provided about 34% of the operating revenue. For the same year the Operating Expenses came up to $$642.6 million. This shows clearly that the University does NOT depend entirely on the government for all its financial needs. There was a Surplus of $27.1 million. This is quite impressive.

Howard now has a dynamic President in the person of H. Patrick Swygert. Since he assumed office in 1995, he has initiated a process known as " The Strategic Framework For Action". " After Board approval of its goal, a 30 - member University Advisory Committee consisting of twenty five faculty members drawn from all the schools and colleges, two students and three administrative staff was appointed". The committee set up FOUR MAJOR GOALS:

1. Strengthening Academic Programs and Services

2. Promoting Excellence in Teaching and Research

3. Increasing PRIVATE SUPPORT

4. Enhancing National and Community Service

It is noteworthy that H. Patrick Swygert was a visiting professor of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, Legon in 1975 and 1976. It is also significant to record that the well-respected Legon professor the Late Paul A. V. Ansah, who has been described as "A scholar, a Christian and a Gentleman" was associated with Howard University. In 1979 - 1980, Paul was a Visiting Professor for the African Studies Research Programme and School of Journalism and Communication at Howard University, Washington D.C.

PART 2 OF THE ARTICLE will deal with some of the steps taken to increase private support and the progress made in achieving Goals # 1; 2 and 4.

Long live Ghana Universities, Colleges and Schools which have produced numerous scholars in spite of their financial difficulties and problems. Many of the alumnae and alumni are distinguishing themselves in all fields in many countries in all the corners of the world. Surely, they are all willing to help establish healthy ENDOWMENT FUNDS for their Alma Mater.

God Bless those who are in positions to set the ball rolling. Selfless, dedicated and "corrupt-proof" individuals are needed as leaders in this endeavour . Leo R. Sam Edmonton, Alberta CANADA

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Leo R. Sam
Leo R. Sam, © 2005

The author has 4 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: LeoRSam

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