Dean's Update

Thomasson scholarship student presenters
Dean Pasic (far left) and professor Tyrone Freeman (far right) with the prospective Thomasson Scholarship students. 

June is usually prominently marked by the launch of Giving USA, our major study with our longtime partners at the Giving Institute and Giving USA Foundation. But this June also marked another milestone as we conducted interviews for our path-breaking Thomasson scholarships. 

Alumna Benita Thomasson, M.A.’10, joined us as an observer as our scholarship committee interviewed 11 exceptional incoming first-year students who were candidates for this terrific opportunity to bring their considerable talents and hard work to our undergraduate program.

In light of the historic changes brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Giving USA allowed us to delve into the complexities of this large shift in public policy while we experienced the kind of robust economy that tends to elevate giving. As important as this piece of research is, it also demonstrates the need for more rigorous public information about what is happening in our civic sector.

The health of the civic sector globally was a topic I discussed in Philadelphia on the occasion of the International Grantmakers Symposium hosted jointly by CAF America and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy, both dynamic actors in our field we hope to partner with again in the future.

We welcomed our two newest board members, Kimberly Myers Hewlett and Ann Fitzgerald, M.A.’11. I was also pleased to attend the IU Foundation’s Partners in Philanthropy Awards, and later during the meeting of the foundation, the Women’s Philanthropy Circle awarded a grant to our Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy for a project to be led by postdoctoral appointee Dr. Kim Williams-Pulfer. Through a mentoring and scholarship program, the Mays Institute, in partnership with the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s Office of Diversity Initiatives, will inspire historically underrepresented students to pursue social change careers. 

In Washington, D.C., I caught up with IU alumni Andrew Dunckelman of and Professor Bob Grimm of the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute. Back in Indianapolis, I had the pleasure of catching up with BOV members Carol D’Amico and Holly McKiernan as well as Al Hubbard, a friend of the school. Several of us welcomed Yousef Alguwaifli to learn of his experiences in Saudi Arabia’s philanthropic sector and to explore how we might learn from each other. 

We saw several alumni of our school and IU during a launch of Giving USA for some 200 philanthropy professionals hosted by BOV member Peter Hoskow of CCS at the Chicago Navy Pier at which I presented the keynote.

While in Chicago I also called on new friends at the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, thanks to an introduction by BOV member Nicole Robinson. And thanks again to Peter Hoskow for connecting me to Seth Green, the dynamic founding director of Loyola University’s Baumhart Center, which is emerging as another important beacon of philanthropic education.

It was a joy to join my former colleagues for Johns Hopkins University’s Development and Alumni Relations management leadership retreat as they sought inspiration from the work of our school for their way forward after concluding their campaign and receiving an historic gift from Michael Bloomberg.

We were delighted to learn that Patricia Snell Herzog, our Melvin Simon Chair in Philanthropy, will be the chair of the American Sociological Association’s Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity (AMSS) section, an elected position in the nation’s largest sociological association.

Again in Washington, D.C., I participated in AFP’s Leadership Development Summit and called on David Rubenstein. The month concluded with the privilege of welcoming our sold-out Leadership Roundtable as we gathered insights and the latest research from stellar guest speakers, our wonderful faculty, and our highly engaged attendees whose leadership preparation inspired optimism.

Best regards,

Amir Pasic
Eugene R. Tempel Dean

News You Can Use

Coming in July

  • 4-5, European Research Network on Philanthropy Conference, Basel, Switzerland, Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs, presenting
  • 11-12, Giving USA Summer Symposium, Seattle, WA, Osili presenting
  • 11-13, The Church Network Annual Conference, Melissa Spas presenting
  • 23, Women's Philanthropy Institute All in for Women and Girls research rollout
  • 30, Philanthropy Panel Study research rollout

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Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

  • 3-6, Lake Institute’s four-day Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising course was led by Spas, Meredith McNabb and adjunct instructor Marc Kirchoff at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL.
  • 13, David King and Spas led a workshop on Fundraising as Ministry for The Summit conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by Sojourners.
  • 24-27, Lake Institute’s four-day Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising course was led by Spas, McNabb and adjunct instructor Gary Dollar at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.
  • 29, McNabb and Spas led a one-day Cultivating Generous Congregations workshop for the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.

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Una Osili (right) participates in the Giving USA virtual press conference.
  • 3, Released Charitable Giving and Tax Incentives: Estimating changes in charitable dollars and number of donors resulting from five policy proposals in collaboration with Independent Sector, which commissioned the research.
  • 18, In collaboration with our partners at Giving USA Foundation and the Giving Institute, released Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Giving in 2018. Dean Pasic, Osili, Executive Associate Dean for Academic Programs Patrick Rooney and Giving USA’s managing editor Anna Pruitt participated in and spoke at a number of Giving USA launch events in several cities around the country. Osili presented during a virtual press conference alongside Giving USA Foundation chair Rick Dunham and vice-chair Laura MacDonald.

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