Law School Foundation Makes Strategic Move to Join UConn Foundation

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Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

3 min read

Q. What has been decided regarding the UConn Law School Foundation?
A. Following more than a year of careful deliberation and analysis, the UConn Law School Foundation Board of Trustees made the strategic decision to transfer assets and operations to the UConn Foundation. The UConn Foundation’s Board of Directors approved this transfer, which is expected to be effective as of June 30, 2017.

Q. Why was this decision made?
A. This decision was not made lightly. Since 1974, the UConn Law School Foundation has been grateful for the long tradition of strong support and commitment from its alumni and benefactors. However, new operational and compliance obligations have significantly increased the burden on the Law School Foundation’s current Trustees, volunteers, and staff. Meeting these obligations not only would have distracted Trustees from their primary mission to help grow the law school endowment, but would also have necessitated increasing staff to a level that would consume an unreasonable portion of funds. The Law School Foundation determined that maintaining a separate existence was neither cost-effective nor in the best interest of growing its endowment and enhancing its relationship with alumni and donors.

Q. I’ve made gifts to the Law School Foundation. How does this change impact me?
A. Nothing will change for UConn School of Law donors. These administrative and operational changes will have no effect whatsoever on the dedication of funds to the School of Law. All transferred funds will continue to be controlled per donor intent and designation.

Q. How does this change benefit me as a donor?
A. With enhanced administrative oversight provided by the UConn Foundation, donors will now receive more robust reporting of investment returns and a better illustration of the beneficial impact of distributions; reporting that the Law School Foundation was historically unable to provide for donors.

Q. How does this change impact me as an alumnus/alumna?
A. Individual contact with alumni will continue as it has for the last 25 years. It’s important to recognize the positive track record already in place with the UConn Foundation. All of the Law School Foundation’s development efforts have been carried out by UConn Foundation employees, and the staff knows from this experience that those employees have always served the School of Law’s interests in their communication with law alumni. In fact, with a deeper alumni engagement staff, alumni will benefit from enhanced communications. Additionally, the UConn Foundation will hire, at its expense, a Director of Alumni Relations whose office will be at the School of Law and will work directly with the Dean and staff on alumni matters.

Q. How does this change benefit the School of Law?
A. There are several measurable benefits to this decision. First, the School of Law will be able to make better use of the tremendous volunteer support of its alumni and Board of Trustees. Frequently, those volunteers have had to focus on governance functions of the Law School Foundation rather than fundraising.

Second, with the Law School Foundation’s assets now part of the UConn Foundation’s larger, sound endowment investment strategy, the potential to grow the School of Law endowment is greater than could previously be achieved given the scale of those assets in isolation. As the School of Law looks ahead to its centennial in 2021, this is an important opportunity to bring the school’s endowment up to the level of its peers.

Last, the School of Law team will be able to draw upon the staff and support of the larger alumni relations, development, and communications teams at the UConn Foundation.

Q. Who do I contact with any additional questions?
A. You may contact Ron Fleury, Senior Director of Development, at (860) 570-5270.

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