We raised $2.5 million for the Johnson Annual Fund in fiscal year 2011 that ended June 30, 2011. The Annual Fund goal for FY2012 is $2.7 million. To put this amount in perspective, $2.5 million in unrestricted Annual Fund support has the current-year spending power of a fifty million dollar endowment. The impact of these Annual Fund gifts is extraordinary. Each year, the Annual Fund allows Dean Joe Thomas to strategically invest where the need is greatest. Here are a few examples of programs that recently received support from unrestricted gifts:
Johnson Leadership Fellows – An updated course requirement for all incoming two-year residential students, NBA 5700: Johnson Team Leadership, will provide experiential learning to build core leadership skills starting on day one. This course was restructured with input from the Johnson Leadership Task Force, which included alumni. The course focuses on team processes, project planning, problem analysis, and execution. Each student will lead a team of their peers and receiving extensive feedback from team members and second-year student Leadership Fellows.
We are adding staff in career services who come from industries that are of special interest to our students. These experienced professionals can put us in direct contact with employers in that sector and can advise students in the nuances of each industry.
We are taking creative approaches to addressing the challenging job market and have added additional career treks for students and have rented buses to transport students to more cities. We hired temporary help to contact employers who were not likely to recruit on campus but who were happy to post positions because of our outreach. Our Executive MBA students also need more career services now, and we are providing this.
We advanced two key elements of our strategic plan by launching the Emerging Markets Institute and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. Startup funds for these institutes come from unrestricted dollars.
Student case competitions provide invaluable learning opportunities for our students. We want to give more students the chance to participate in these competitions, and they need support from staff to help them prepare and funding to assist with travel expenses. The competitions enhance the skills of our students, and their presence at high profile events provides visibility for the school.
Alumni Affairs is another area that we need to expand, including having alumni offices in other parts of the world. In the meantime, we continue to offer programming for our non-U.S.-based alumni, who comprise an increasing proportion of our alumni community.