President Fitts announces $1 billion fundraising campaign

Brandi Doyal, Print News Editor

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President Michael Fitts unveiled a fundraising campaign on Tuesday that will eventually raise at least $1 billion for the endowment. As the market for higher education continues to become more competitive, it has become clear that Tulane University’s endowment is significantly less than many of its peer institutions.

According to Emory University’s and Vanderbilt University’s websites, both colleges have endowments of approximately $5 billion. Tulane has worked to address this discrepancy by announcing this campaign, which would double the current endowment.

In a meeting with the NOLA.com | The Times–Picayune editorial staff, Fitts said the fundraising began before he even arrived at Tulane. He said last year the university raised $126 million and for this campaign to be successful the university must raise at least $100 million every year.

One of the primary goals of the fundraising campaign will be to increase the amount of scholarships and financial aid for Tulane students. A recent study on trends in college pricing published by the College Board in late 2014 revealed that the cost of higher education is on the rise.

The report states between 2013-14 and 2014-15, average published tuition and fee prices increased by 3.7 percent at private nonprofit four-year institutions.

While the campaign is still in the quiet phase, more details will be revealed to the public within the next two years. Fitts said he believes the need for this fundraising campaign is evident when we look at the trends of cost in higher education.

“In this world of global academic competition, we need to increase our financial resources,” Fitts said. “This will enable us to continue to engage in the world-renowned teaching, research and public service for which Tulane is known.”