The Indiana University Board of Trustees has given its approval for the formation of a School of Philanthropy to be located on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The proposal would create what is believed to be the world’s first school dedicated to the study and teaching of philanthropy and builds on the strengths of the existing Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, an internationally recognized leader in philanthropy education, research and training.
The university next will submit the proposal for consideration by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. If approved by the commission, the School of Philanthropy would be the latest in a series of pioneering initiatives by Indiana University and its Center on Philanthropy that strengthen and support philanthropy and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Indiana University has been in the vanguard of philanthropy education since the Center on Philanthropy was founded at IUPUI in 1987. Led by the center, IU was the first university in the world to offer degrees in philanthropic studies, including a Master of Arts in 1993, a Ph.D. in 2003 and a Bachelor of Arts in 2010.
“Twenty-five years of commitment to excellence in philanthropic research, teaching and service have given Indiana University the strongest possible foundation to create a School of Philanthropy at IUPUI,” said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. “Today’s students want to make a difference in the world, and they are looking for an education that lets them engage their hearts as well as their heads. The School of Philanthropy would prepare them to change lives and communities at home and around the world.”
The proposed school would fulfill a goal the Center on Philanthropy set more than a decade ago. It would bring national and international focus to the maturation of philanthropic studies into a recognized field of academic study and would help attract and retain the best and brightest faculty and students to Indiana University and to work in philanthropy and nonprofit organizations.
"A strong culture of philanthropy has been fundamental to the success of many societies and institutions, and through the Center on Philanthropy, Indiana University has become a leader in research in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors in the United States and globally," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "Expanding the scope of our work through the creation of a new School of Philanthropy will allow us to strengthen our unique position in these fields by attracting and retaining top faculty, pursuing new areas of research, and growing enrollment at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.
"The new School of Philanthropy at IU will draw, to an even greater degree, from the expertise that exists across a number of schools at the university, providing a robust, interdisciplinary approach to fields of study that have become increasingly complex, and the university is fortunate to have a recognized thought leader in philanthropic studies in Gene Tempel to lead our work as we make this important transition."
As a part of the new school, the Center on Philanthropy would continue to offer its top-quality, innovative action research for nonprofit professionals and donors, as well as its groundbreaking research, training and service programs, including The Fund Raising School, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
“Philanthropy and nonprofit organizations are fundamental to a healthy society, and they operate in a constantly changing, ever-more-complex environment,” said Gene Tempel, current Indiana University Foundation president who recently accepted the position of senior fellow at the Center on Philanthropy, where he will play a major role in the university’s effort to establish the School of Philanthropy. “These challenges call for extraordinary efforts by universities to understand the philanthropic landscape and to equip philanthropy professionals, nonprofits, donors and volunteers to effectively achieve their missions. Indiana University and IUPUI are privileged to be a local, national and international leader in those efforts.”
Philanthropy and the nonprofit sector constitute about 10 percent of the U.S. labor force and about 5 percent of the gross domestic product annually. There are more than 1.4 million nonprofit organizations nationwide. These nonprofits will need to hire an additional 640,000 senior executives by 2016, according to a study by The Bridgespan Group. The School of Philanthropy would address these and other important workforce and economic development needs for Indiana, the nation and the world.
“Philanthropy’s role and impact in the business and government sectors and around the globe, as well as in the nonprofit sector, are increasing dramatically,” said Patrick M. Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. “The proposed School of Philanthropy would prepare current and aspiring philanthropy and nonprofit professionals with the knowledge to be thoughtful, sophisticated and innovative leaders and would educate new generations of scholars in a field whose importance is growing rapidly in all aspects of society.”
The Center on Philanthropy is already paving the way for these efforts. It has mentored dozens of philanthropy education programs at other universities in the U.S. and internationally. IU graduates with a Ph.D. in philanthropic studies are teaching in these programs, becoming the first generation of faculty members specifically educated to teach and conduct research in this burgeoning field.