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3Qs: The Faculty Giving Initiative

As Northeastern University continues its unprecedented momentum, faculty have established a new undertaking — the Faculty Giving Initiative — that aims to raise ambitions and strive for even greater achievement and success in the future. Richard Daynard, University Distinguished Professor of Law and the chair of the Senate Agenda Committee, discusses the goals of this new initiative and how faculty can get involved.

What is the Faculty Giving Initiative, and how was it started?

When the current Faculty Senate Agenda Committee was elected in April, we briefly huddled to decide what we wanted to accomplish this academic year. One of our top priorities turned out to be showing our commitment to Northeastern in yet another way — through financial contributions. Part of our thinking was that we, as faculty, have special insights into areas where a few thousand extra dollars each year would really make a difference — in travel funds, fellowships, lectureships, etc. We were delighted last month when the Faculty Senate enthusiastically supported the initiative.

What do you hope to achieve with the initiative, and what does it mean to Northeastern?

Aside from funding a bunch of worthwhile projects — both those that currently exist or new projects faculty come up with in response to the initiative — we also want to add a new dimension to faculty participation at Northeastern. We show our commitment in various ways to make Northeastern the best it can possibly be: through our teaching and scholarship, advising students and mentoring junior colleagues, revising curricula, hiring new faculty and participating in governance at the departmental, school, college and university levels. But we can, at very modest cost to each of us, make an additional difference by contributing financially to programs that are important to us. Broad faculty participation also sends an important message to trustees, alumni and foundations: We who know Northeastern best are willing to show our commitment in a currency that everyone understands.

How can faculty members participate in this initiative?

Faculty members can contribute to existing funds — departmental, college or university-wide — or they can set up new ones. A letter I sent to each colleague recently included a list showing a sampling of existing funds that may be of interest to faculty members. I know some faculty members have expressed interest in getting together with others in their department or school to come up with a new project that they can all contribute to. Two advancement staff members — Joe Donnelly ( and Bill Woodman ( — are available to help with logistics. A Faculty Giving Initiative portal has also been established for making contributions, including through a variety of possible salary deductions arrangements.

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