Clarity, equity is needed as institutions increasingly focus on gifts: Editorial

As postsecondary institutions increasingly focus on gifts and celebrate record-breaking donations, they will need to think more deeply about clarity and equity, writes Mark Cardwell. Cardwell discusses a recent survey on charitable giving that included 54 Canadian postsecondary institutions. It showed that donors are excited to support initiatives, particularly student financial aid, research programs, and capital projects, but Cardwell notes that challenges can arise when the terms of a donation are not clear to both parties. Additionally, Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director David Robinson says there are concerns about academic freedom and university autonomy when donors try to use gifts to influence decision-making. Robinson adds that there are also issues around inequity as larger institutions receive “the lion’s share” of donations, which results in smaller, regional institutions falling behind as public funding declines. University Affairs Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.

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