Saying that Georgetown must increase its endowment in the immediate future, University President John J. DeGioia outlined the university’s next fundraising campaign in his annual welcome address to faculty Wednesday afternoon in the Gonda Theater.
DeGioia said that he hopes to raise at least $500 million in the upcoming campaign. He said that a better endowment would help the university recruit talented students and faculty members.
“While our admission’s rating places us among the most competitive of all universities each year, our endowment places us at a rank of 78. That means we are competing with a lot less resources. The goal is to begin closing some of that gap,” DeGioia said.
With a larger endowment, Georgetown would also be able to offer prospective students better financial aid and faculty members better compensation, DeGioia said.
“These are some of our most significant priorities,” he said.
DeGioia delineated the three main aspects of the university’s fundraising campaign, saying that it must work to become more of a global university, capitalize on opportunities in the sciences and further define its own identity.
“There is a strategic course that we can take now to define the aspects of Georgetown’s future,” DeGioia said.
He cited the effort to make Georgetown a global university as a high priority, noting the establishment of Georgetown’s first overseas campus in Qatar last year, as well as the appointment of a global steering group to explore opening a campus in China.
DeGioia also stressed the university’s commitment to the sciences, beginning with the groundbreaking of Georgetown’s new science center as early as October 2008.
“We were able to move forward with planning for the new science building on campus after the Board of Directors approved our proposal,” DeGioia said, noting that progress for the building currently remains in the conceptual design phase.
DeGioia said that the expansion of faculty would be essential to the development of science at Georgetown, and that he wants to increase the number of science faculty from 65 to as many as 90 or 100 after the new building is completed.
“We need further curricular education, interdisciplinary approaches and opportunities for those without exposure to science today,” he said.
Outlining his mission to medical education and research, DeGioia said that he hopes Georgetown can make further contributions to the life sciences and research in the future. He noted that the Medical Center, responsible for much of the university’s financial trouble in recent years, operated on a $5.4 million deficit last fiscal year, which was better than what administrators predicted.
Finally, DeGioia underlined his commitment to further define Georgetown’s identity in the framework of an American research university within the Catholic and Jesuit tradition.
“We must focus on exploring the ways we can strengthen the context of connecting work with engagement,” he said.
DeGioia highlighted certain projects that could be developed to strengthen Georgetown’s religious identity. He cited the progress of programs such as the partnership with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for uslim-Christian Understanding for and the Program for Jewish Civilization.
During the question-and-answer period following the address, DeGioia said that, in spite of Harvard and Princeton’s decisions to drop their early admissions programs, Georgetown currently does not intend to discontinue its practice of the program, but that administrators will be evaluating Georgetown’s admissions procedures.