Indiana Daily Student

Grad student fellowships promised during bicentennial fundraising push will be created, IU says

The IU’s Bicentennial Campaign fundraiser raised nearly $3.9 billion for students, faculty and programs through donor contributions after its launch in September 2015. Funds from the campaign will come into university possession over a period of time, according to an analysis done by the Office of Finance for the Bloomington campus.

IU raised more than $56 million during the capital campaign specifically to fund 225 graduate fellowships, according to an analysis done by the Office of Finance for the Bloomington campus. 

In January, the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition tweeted that the university had set aside $46 million dollars for graduate fellowships but members had not seen new fellowships in their departments during the 2020-2021 school year.

David Daleke, vice provost for graduate education and health sciences, said graduate fellowships are funds provided to students to pursue graduate study. Daleke said the fundraising effort was aimed at raising money specifically, not just a general fund that was designated for fellowships.

Related: [Graduate student says he was forced to choose between IU advisory committee, workers coalition]

Graduate Workers Coalition organizer Cole Nelson said his knowledge of the $46 million came from a meeting with Daleke from more thanover a year ago.

IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said most of the time, donors designate how the money they donated to the IU Foundation is spent by the university. For example, Carney said, it is illegal for the university to use money donated for Kelley School of Business for the Jacobs School of Music.

“We have to not just respect the donor intent,” Carney said. “We have to follow the donor intent and make sure that it goes to what they intended it to be given to.” 

Nelson said Daleke told the graduate student workers much of the fundraising from philanthropy is designated for specific uses. Nelson said the graduate students were made aware of restrictions on funding uses but in the sense that a portion of the funds would go to specific expenses. 

Peter Cho, Ph.D. candidate and Graduate Workers Coalition member, said he hasn’t seen any of the money raised for IU’s graduate students during the bicentennial go to any graduate students. 

Related: [Grad student workers disagree with the IU on a big issue: How much is their work worth?]

“Supposedly there's a chunk of that that's supposed to be for graduate students,” Cho said. “From what I've seen, I haven't really seen that money.” 

Carney said the university is working on raising individual support mechanisms and will do more as the money is brought in. 

The Office of Finance report said the university receives endowment funds raised during the campaign over a period of time. Daleke said not all money committed in the capital campaign were cash funds deposited in an endowment for the foundation. He said a donor could have promised future funding as a part of their estate. Daleke said because the money was promised as future funding during the bicentennial campaign, it was counted in the total amount of money raised.

“It's not an across the board thing that we suddenly have all this money that we can push into it,” Carney said.

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