WAYS TO GIVE:
If you are making a gift by phone, please contact Leslie Gray, Senior Director of Development, Humanities and Fine Arts (805) 893-4193 or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tristin Sherman, Associate Director of Development, Humanities and Fine Arts (805) 893-3136 or email@example.com.
Now more than ever, the English Department benefits from unrestricted gifts and major support from our alumni, parents, and friends. As shown by our careful deployment of past gifts, the English Department avoids using gifts for routine purposes. Instead, we nurture gifts as strategic reserves for genuinely future-oriented initiatives that encourage students, develop new ways of teaching, and advance research for our integrated community of faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students. Even small gifts sponsor key research and teaching activities that help innovate for the future.
The highest giving priority for the English Department is to sustain and invent new “quality” research and teaching experiences, despite the strains of the statewide budgetary retrenchment of 2008. During that budget crisis, English Department remained one of the most responsible programs on campus in maintaining access to courses for its students despite decreased instructional funding during the current budget crisis. We held overall course enrollments steady in the ensuing years, serving most majors of any humanities department on campus; and non-majors in our courses jumped 30% since 2007. Simultaneously, our national caliber as a department has climbed. The recent National Research Council (NRC) Assessment of Research Doctoral Programs placed us in a ranking range reaching into the top twenty in the nation.
We would be lying, though, to say that the picture is all rosy. Maintaining instructional access for students makes us vulnerable in one way. We are concerned about our ability to provide quality instructional and research opportunities for our best undergraduate majors while also continuing to recruit top graduate students. (Our department’s quality means that we are often competing with the most elite private and pubic universities for the best graduate students, a competition that becomes progressively harder as our support funding for such students declines due to rising student tuition in California.)
We are most proud of using gifts in the last few years in a strategic and consolidated way to seed “quality” instructional and research opportunities for our students at all levels: for example, for undergraduates through our Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and the Yvonne Gartrell, Jenkins-Stark, Kieth Vineyard, and Chris Martinez awards; and for graduate students through awards in the memory of our former faculty members Lee Bliss, William Frost, Richard Helgerson, Donald Pearce, and Everett Zimmerman.
There are many ways to support the English Department. Listed below are our current highest priorities.
- Development and technology for new pedagogical methods (especially those that allow students to achieve a higher level of engagement in large lecture courses and those that allow our top students to benefit from our honors program, capstone research experiences, and our nation-leading departmental research centers).
- Graduate student fellowships, including recruitment awards for top students, travel awards for dissertation research and for presenting talks at conferences to gain professional experience, and dissertation-year fellowships to allow our best students to focus on finishing their degrees.
- Funding for undergraduate and graduate publishing initiatives (print journals, online platforms). The department currently hosts some initiatives that could be fostered and expanded by involving experts from the publishing industry.
- Major endowed funding for named faculty “chair” positions that can help us recruit and retain excellent faculty in a time when private and some public institutions have a substantial competitive financial advantage over the University of California.