Congratulations, President Shalala. You’ve eclipsed the $1 billion barrier in fundraising as part of the school’s ambitious Momentum campaign, 18 months in advance. Pat yourself on the back; you spearheaded it.
The fruits of your labor? Well, there are tons of very happy medical students (and prospective ones), medical professors and medical researchers. There will also be a beautifully redesigned medical campus. That accounts for about $700 million. 70 percent.
Is it fair? There isn’t much evidence saying it isn’t. Noah Bierman correctly pointed out in his Miami Herald story that “Medical schools usually attract more donations than other areas because former patients and people looking for cures to diseases tend to put their money there.” Yes, it would seem a selfish act to accuse the University of putting too much money toward such a noble cause. But would it be unwarranted to ask why more money won’t be allocated to other areas of need (read: the College of Arts & Sciences and the new Student Activites Center)?
President Shalala, now is your chance to put your money (or, donors’ money) where your mouth is. You said yourself in Bierman’s article: “We’re telling a story about excellence, about going from being very good to extraordinary.” We couldn’t agree more.
But when you say, “We should keep going,” aiming at an additional $250 million in the next 18 months, students on the Coral Gables campus may be left wondering whether “we” means “we, the Miller School of Medicine,” or “we, the University of Miami.”
And everyone knows that a University needs its students’ support to keep the momentum going.
We hope you’re listening.