Voices in the Wilderness

A forum for discussion of all things Dartmouth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fundraising Funnybusiness

As alumni are now acutely aware, Dartmouth recently launched a $1.3 billion capital campaign, the "Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience." The Daily D recently ran an article (here) claiming that Dartmouth currently ranks 19th in higher education in total dollars raised for the past year. However, this claim is misleading. The list The Dartmouth uses (no source available in the article) is actually just private institutions. Including public institutions, Dartmouth is 36th, behind North Carolina State at Raleigh, the University of Utah, and the University of Tennessee. Here is the list:

1 Harvard University 540,333,491
2 Leland Stanford Junior University 524,213,993
3 Cornell University 385,936,235
4 University of Pennsylvania 332,829,949
5 University of Southern California 322,090,595
6 Johns Hopkins University 311,573,165
7 Columbia University 290,618,180
8 MIT 289,838,445
9 Yale University 264,771,841
10. Univ of California, Los Angeles 262,148,586
11. Duke University 254,999,006
12 Univ. of Texas at Austin 252,175,348
13 Indiana University 248,458,068
14 University of Minnesota 245,682,841
15 New York University 214,863,578
16 Univ of California, San Francisco 213,996,780
17. University of Michigan 206,165,782
18. Ohio State University 203,273,515
19. University of Washington 195,762,442
20. UNC at Chapel Hill 186,934,586
21. Univ of California, Berkeley 178,005,169
22 University of Notre Dame 171,054,928
23 University of Virginia 166,297,512
24 Purdue University 166,241,791
25 University of Chicago 156,512,538
26 Pennsylvania State University 148,463,526
27 North Carolina State at Raleigh 135,151,296
28 Northwestern University 134,833,068
29 Emory University 134,270,539
30 University of Utah 134,255,322
31 University of Florida 132,713,358
32 University of Tennessee 121,988,832
33 Princeton University 125,052,997
34 Washington University 121,319,754
35 Vanderbilt University 121,286,772
36 Dartmouth College 116,575,110

Both the author of the Daily D article and a college representative downplay this issue, and the college official claims that Dartmouth's small size and liberal arts focus make it less comparable to even their (shorter) list.

Beside the fact that it is alarming that Dartmouth is ranked this low in fundraising and is the second to last Ivy, ahead of only Brown, the article also points out that 2004 was relatively better only because of a dismal 2003. The opening sentence in the D article makes the interesting claim that the campaign may be "long overdue," however, is it really the campaign itself that is overdue? A better interpretation of this information might be that the college is failing to inspire its alums and other backers to support it, a dire predicament indeed.