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Monday, September 18, 2006

Wharton receives $5 Million gift and why we need to show our respect to School Staff

Unless you live in Philly, you would never have heard this story. I'm not sure what barrier in terms of dollars it would take to push a story like this into a national light. Anyway, thank goodness for the internet. If you know what to monitor for, you can be notified.

By the way, don't discount the influence of the Dean in this donation. Take notice of Levy's participant role at Wharton. Mr. Levy knew the needs of the school. One of THE MOST important roles of a Dean of any school is to be a fundraiser. They can be an above average Dean and spectacular money magnet and they become like God's. I kid you not. A spectacular Dean who attracts moderate amounts of money will not usually last that long. It's sad but true.

I am not saying that Wharton's Dean is a bad Dean. I'm saying that he's doing a pretty good job with the dough. In this kind of scenario, you can be assured that Wharton's Dean will be around for awhile if we keep seeing donations going into Wharton. That's the way it works in the world of education.

You have to remember that educators don't get bonuses, commissions or stock options. The education system has a different currency to promote and reward. At times, you see that there is a currency of power where leveraging power is earned through the things that you can influence others to do with you and for you and how much money you bring into the institution. It's a harsh reality.

Understand that I am not writing this to put down Business School admin staff. Actually, I'm writing this to shed some light on what is a very difficult and stressful position. I've met many education executives and the number one quality that I find endearing about them is their ability remember that there is a greater purpose in what they do. So many admistrators really have to love what they do if they've been there for 5 years or more.

If you walk into any interview with an admissions director who has been with the school for more than 5 years... you MUST remember that they are absolutely passionate about their job and that they might have a lower tolerance for disrrespect in the form of poor preparation and passion on our part as applicants.

Always ...always show your respect to Alumn, students and administrators. Even the receptionist. They are families of sorts and we are being asked to be invited in. Again, I'll reiterate the point that they don't get financial bonuses to assist you and I. When they go out of their way for you, it's always a gift. They are always overworked. But when they see your genuine thankfulness, respectfulness and excitement.. it really does lift their spirits.

Thanks for reading,
Philadelphia Business Journal

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School said Monday(Sept 18, 2006) it has received a $5 million gift from alumnus Robert M. Levy and his wife, Diane v.S. Levy.

The donation consists of $2 million to establish the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Social Impact Fund; $2.75 million to provide supplemental funding to the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Endowed Fellowship Fund; and $250,000 for Penn's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

The social impact fund will provide seed and supplemental funding for student, faculty and institutional initiatives in areas such as social-impact management and business ethics, including summer internships for students working in the public and nonprofit sectors.

The Levy fellowship is for students with less than three years' work experience, women or underrepresented minorities. The gift will expand the fellowship to also support students who are interested in careers in the nonprofit sector and make it the second largest such fund at the Wharton School.

Levy is partner, chairman, and chief investment officer of Harris Associates LP, a Chicago money-management firm with $63.4 billion in assets. He received an MBA from Wharton in 1974 and is a Penn trustee and a member of the Wharton School Board of Overseers.


Blogger Swami G said...

Well said.
Both my parents are educators and I can vouch for the sentiment/passion that goes into a job like that.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Manish Ahluwalia said...

Well, I would rather say that education is the most precious gift anyone can offer. Since all universities and colleges are providing the same to us for some monetary help, it becomes our moral duty to show some respect. We have to feel honoured in getting knowledge from the staff of such great institutions who have built great careers and helped mankind in one way or the other.
Institutions cannot be run without adequate funds, if Wharton got some great funds, it has to be because of the respect it has in minds of its alumni. Such donations are small gestures of showing some gratitude to one's alma matter.

10:11 PM  

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