HLS goes for the gold

BY ADINA LEVINE

Despite the University’s announcement last week of a projected $3.7 billion capital campaign, Harvard Law School continues its $400 million capital campaign that it began in June. Though the University’s total might include both the Law School and Business School’s capital campaign, Dean Kagan asserts that this will not affect the Law School effort which has so far raised $193 million.

“We and the business school are operating on different timing than the University,” explained Kagan. “Both of us are sort of in the midst and the University hasn’t started. Whether they end up including our total in their total is their decision. What we do is unaffected by that decision. Our goal is our goal. Whatever we raise, we keep.”

The Law School’s capital campaign is expected to be a five-year project set to end in 2008. The University’s campaign, on the other hand, will be launched later this year and is estimated to last between seven and ten years, according to The Crimson. The Law School’s earlier pace is a benefit, according to Kagan.

“It’s just as good or better this way,” asserted Kagan. “Basically there’s a clear field on which to raise money.”

The difference in timing between the University’s campaign and the Law School’s is reflective of the time lag from the last campaign. The University’s last campaign ended in 1999 and raised $2.6 billion. The Law School’s most recent campaign sought to raise $150 million and it ended in the early nineties when the Law School exceeded its estimates at a total of $183 million, the largest campaign in the history of legal education at the time, according to Michael Armini, Director of Communications.

“We were off schedule in that one too,” observed Kagan. “We didn’t want to wait for the University campaign because our previous campaign had been earlier.”

“I think we’re getting to a point where there’s about one campaign each decade,” asserted Armini. “That’s becoming more and more commonplace.”

The $400 million figure is also the highest amount that any graduate school has ever raised, according to Armini.

“No graduate school has ever raised more than $400 million,” explained Armini. “It is the largest campaign in the history of legal education. It’s very ambitious but I think it can be accomplished.”

The Business School has also attempted to break records in its initiation of a $500 million capital campaign. Though the Law School’s strategic plan developed by the faculty was estimated to cost about $700 million in long term commitments, the Development office determined the $400 million by looking to what was realistic.

“The campaign will have gifts that range from very small amounts all the way to the multimillion dollar gifts,” asserted Armini. “We need a range of gifts in order to succeed. The recent graduate who can only give $100 – that person is valued just as much.”

The University has received many significant gifts so far. Joy Covey gave a million dollars that will be shared between the Law School, receiving $600,000 and the Business School. Oneida Indian nation gave $3 million for an endowed professorship in Native American law. The Boston law firm Hale and Dorr donated $3 million for a professorship in Intellectual Property.

“I think actually if you have a strategic plan in place, people are plenty energized about it,” stated Armini. “We’re able to go to the alumni with something very tangible and that makes it work. We’re very optimistic.”

The ‘strategic plan’ was devised by the faculty to include three major goals that would be the focus of the campaign, as opposed to the previous campaign that focused on library renovations, according to Armini. The first major goal includes the revamping of the Law School facilities for a new student center, an underground parking garage and a revamped Hemenway gym.

“These are the school’s most important priorities,” Kagan opined. “It’s a long term project but we hope to get it underway. We’re not going to lay the first brick for three or four years.”

Approximately $100 million has been allotted for facility renovations.

“It will actually cost more than that,” Kagan said. “This is only for the next five years.”

The second place the money will go is for scholarships and increased financial aid.

“One of the big reasons to have a campaign is to put money in the endowments for scholarship funds so we have as much money as we can to give financial aid to students who need it,” asserted Kagan. “We have the best program in the country, but we can be even more generous than we are.”

Finally, the administration is committed to increasing the size of the faculty. The strategic plan sets out the goal of the campaign of fifteen additional faculty members in ten years.

“We need to decrease the faculty-student ratio,” explained Kagan. “We want more small group experiences, and more one-on-ones.”

Administration officials are fully confident that the $400 million will be raised, and even surpassed.

“We wanted really to have an ambitious goal and stretch ourself but also one that we thought we could meet,” asserted Kagan. “We looked at what we raised in the past, set a number which we can accomplish but which it will be difficult to accomplish, trying to get every dollar you can.”

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