Arizona NOW Campaign

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TO: Campus Community
FROM: President Ann Weaver Hart
DATE: Friday, April 25, 2014
SUBJECT: Arizona NOW Campaign

 

As you all know, the University launched its capital fundraising campaign, Arizona NOW, on Friday, April 11. As the funding landscape for higher education continues to shift, the support of partners from our community, from business and from the UA’s dedicated alumni and friends will be critical as we continue to implement the vision of our Never Settle academic plan. I am writing today to ask for your support in building these vital philanthropic partnerships on behalf of the UA and to share with you the ways that the campaign’s priorities align with the academic vision and business plan that we have spent the past two years creating and implementing.

Closely aligned with our strategic plan’s goals, this campaign will focus on three critical priorities:

  • Enhancing the student experience with engaging learning that deeply integrates knowledge and application
  • Empowering innovative thinkers as they create new knowledge and new ways of seeing
  • Expanding UA’s reach by partnering with business and community

 

Enhancing the Student Experience: Engaging

One of the central features of enhancing the student experience is the University’s 100% Engagement initiative, which is preparing our students for success through activities that deeply integrate learning and real-world application of knowledge. Our students are enabled by opportunities that can be provided only here at the UA. To move the University forward, we must strive to offer scholarships, internships, honors programs, international studies, and extracurricular activities that encourage students to develop their talents, their leadership skills and their passions. Partnerships with supporters and alumni help provide these vital opportunities.

Empowering Innovative Thinkers: Innovating

Student engagement cannot take place at this level without world-class teachers who are also working at the frontiers of human knowledge and technology. This is why the second vital objective we’re pursuing through Arizona NOW is empowering innovative thinkers. UA researchers and teachers are innovating to expand human knowledge in ways that would be unimaginable in other settings while engaging our students in fields critical to our economic and civic well-being. Our goal is to create a pipeline of both knowledge and talent that benefits Arizona and communities around the world.

For example, as you know, the University of Arizona is one of the few major research universities to have adapted tenure and promotion guidelines to reward faculty for work focused on the application of knowledge – in patents, inventions, licensing or other means of translating knowledge into practical outcomes. This change expands the impact of UA research, and it more closely integrates the work that our faculty are doing with business and community partners.

To support these efforts, Arizona Now will help the University establish more endowed positions for faculty and chairs, which empower the work of outstanding faculty by providing resources necessary for innovative research and teaching. These endowments will allow us to continue attracting and retaining world-class faculty here at the University of Arizona and will continue our legacy of excellence well into the decades and century to come.

Expanding UA’s Reach: Partnering

To truly empower our faculty and students, the University of Arizona must expand its reach by partnering with our neighbors here in Tucson and with communities and businesses around the world. This expansion is the third major focus of Arizona NOW. Renovations to some of our most visited and iconic public spaces express our commitment to partnering, as a reinvigorated McKale Center, Centennial Hall, Old Main, and the Arizona State Museum will create a more inviting environment for our many guests and create an infrastructure that matches our position as an elite public university.

Our commitment to expanding the UA’s reach means moving outward into our communities as well. One key way we are achieving this goal is through the education, research, and patient care provided through the Arizona Health Sciences Center, which collaborates with the UA Health Network here in Tucson and with a variety of clinical partners in Phoenix and around the state. These partnerships bring the benefits of cutting edge research to patients and communities throughout Arizona. As you all know first-hand, there are many other ways that the university impacts our community, and I encourage you to work within your colleges and divisions to promote and develop partnerships that will further integrate the UA with our neighbors and partners here in Tucson and around the world.

Financial Goal

To achieve our objectives of enhancing the student experience, empowering innovative thinkers, and expanding the UA’s impact, we have established an aggressive, yet attainable, financial goal of $1.5 billion dollars for Arizona NOW.

This is an impressive number, but this campaign is not about hitting a financial target.  It is about what this support will make possible in your daily work here at the University: cutting-edge research in areas we haven’t even thought about yet, long-awaited answers to critical health care questions finally revealed, and partnerships that cross boundaries and lead to new ideas and breakthrough discoveries.  And because our scholars are also among the world’s best teachers, all of these things come together to create educational experiences unavailable to students anywhere else. This is why UA students graduate ready to be the leaders who will transform our future.

This is noble and important work and, although we have accomplished much in the past few years, we must press forward with Arizona Now to promote and enhance the University’s partnership with all of our supporters. I encourage you to find out more about the campaign at http://www.uafoundation.org/NetCommunity/arizona-now.

I look forward to what we will accomplish together in this campaign. Thank you for all that you do here at the University of Arizona: Bigger Questions, Better Answers, Bear Down!