Objective 3 – Resources: ensure a robust and more diversified revenue stream to support pursuit of School’s mission
Context: The School’s dependence on tuition for revenue is a constraint on its ability to meet objectives and to adapt to developments in the external environment while remaining competitive. There is a need to reduce dependency on tuition revenue and to increase and diversify revenue sources to accomplish our mission. Some alternative sources of revenue, such as executive education and sponsored programs, can be used to subsidize other activities of the School, making a Fletcher education more affordable for our degree students.
Strategy: In order to reduce its dependence on tuition, the School will cultivate high-potential individual and institutional donors, expand its executive education offerings, and more actively seek opportunities for sponsored research in areas where we have expertise and that are consistent with our commitment to academic objectivity.
Dean Stravidis discusses executive education programs in the strategic plan:
Approaches and Action Items:
1. The School will seek alignment of Fletcher’s vision with philanthropic interests, develop targets and organize activities and outreach to cultivate high potential donors.
a. The School will leverage existing relationships and develop strategies to expand relationships with non-alumni donors as a top priority. Over the past year the Dean has led fundraising efforts by actively conducting outreach to prospective donors. The Dean and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations will continue this effort.
b. The School will set strategic priorities for the upcoming capital campaign. The capital campaign that ran from 2002 to 2009 raised $100M for the School. We anticipate that the next campaign will raise a somewhat larger sum in support of our priorities and the implementation of many action items in this plan. Fundraising priorities for the campaign will be as follows:
• Scholarship aid for all students, especially students from Africa and other developing regions;
• Endowed professorships in critical functional areas and regions (see Objective 1); and
• Long-term funding for existing and new research centers (see Objective 2).
2. The School will seek to expand its executive education offerings, drawing on our strength as the most fully multidisciplinary school of international affairs.
a. Fletcher will continue to seize targeted opportunities while assessing the costs and benefits of a major expansion into executive education. Each new program will be followed by an after-the-fact assessment that looks at: i) the quality and distinctiveness of the curriculum, ii) the extent to which it draws on faculty strengths, iii) the replicability of the program for future use, iv) the revenue-generating potential in the short and longer terms and v) the extent to which the program serves other Fletcher goals, such as the visibility of the School.
b. As a market leader in ‘hybrid’ models of education via the GMAP program, the School will explore options for building executive education programs that rely heavily on digital technology.
c. Fletcher will consider launching small scale continuing education programs for alumni and other working professionals. Drawing on the expertise of existing faculty, these “refresher programs” can be offered at night, on weekends, or through videoconferencing at relatively low cost. They will not only generate revenue but also help keep alumni and other friends of Fletcher connected to the School.
3. The School will leverage physical plant upgrades and expansions for fundraising, particularly the upcoming availability of facilities in Barnum Hall. Barnum Hall is expected to become available for shared occupancy within five years.
4. The School will more actively pursue sponsored research and programs.
a. The School will seek more private sector (e.g., corporate, private equity, financial institutions) sponsorship of programs, centers and events. A working group convened by the Dean will be tasked with mapping thematic areas to sponsorship opportunities with prospective donors. To ensure transparency and integrity of the institution’s research, the School will develop a policy on funding of academic research. This will be done by fall 2015.
b. The School will engage with Tufts University to obtain support for grant writing and administration for foundation and government grants. If University support is deemed insufficient, the School will develop more in-house grant-seeking, grant-writing and grant administration capacity to support faculty research. In addition to helping the School diversify its revenue stream, these efforts will support Objective 2.
5. The School will more actively seek opportunities to increase the number of high-quality students paying full tuition, particularly in the LLM, MA, GMAP and MIB programs, which are most likely to attract students sponsored by third parties, such as governments, corporations and other organizations.