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Gala expenses not released

By Jeffrey Javier
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 21, 2005
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Foundation cites nonprofit status in request denial

The UA Foundation is not disclosing how much money it spent on the celebration that marked the end of the $1.2 billion Campaign Arizona fundraiser.

"We are a nonprofit organization, and we can't give out information on how much and who contributed to the gala," said Rodney Campbell, director of communications at the UA Foundation.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat is asking for disclosure of the finance records, but Campbell denied that request.

Mike Liburdi, an attorney of Perkins Coie Brown and Bain law firm who the Wildcat is seeking advice from, said he is unsure why a nonprofit group would not be allowed to release financial information.

"It doesn't sound right," Liburdi said. "Based on what I've found, they (501 (c)(3) nonprofits) have to

disclose their annual reports that they file with the IRS, that expenditure should be on the annual reports."

But it could be months until the organization actually files their spending reports, Liburdi said.

Campaign Arizona is a four-year fundraiser that generated money for projects like the Alumni Plaza and rescued the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences from the chopping block.

But UA Foundation officials said no money raised through the fundraiser was used to pay for the gala.

The black tie gala, which marked the end of the billion-dollar fundraiser, temporarily closed part of the UA Mall for construction two weeks ago.

There were 60 table sponsors who attended the gala who each paid $5,000 for each table at the event, totaling $300,000.

There were also three or four donors who contributed specifically to fund the gala, said Richard F. Imwalle, president of the UA Foundation.

"The total cost of the gala was underwritten by private donors, and no Campaign Arizona dollars were used to fund it," Imwalle said.

Individual colleges here at the UA also contributed money to the gala, but specific dollar amounts and what colleges contributed were not available.

"It varied among the colleges, but it was mostly from donors," Campbell said.

Campbell said the UA Foundation chose not to reveal information about those who donated to the gala and how much, per UA Foundation policy.

Campaign Arizona was the first of its kind in UA history, but not every part of the university is benefiting equally from the lump sum. Officials have said all students will be able to see and benefit from campaign dollars in areas like scholarships or improvements in facilities like the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center.

The ILC received $1 million from the campaign for a gift budget two years ago, said Barbara Hoffman, director of the Office of Student Computing Resources.

"The money has not been spent yet but the money will go towards something student related," for example, additional equipment like computers, Hoffman said.

The Alumni Plaza, which was a $5 million project, also received a majority of its funds from the campaign, said Diana Whitman, director of development for the Arizona Alumni Association.

Part of the $1.2 billion is also being distributed into 385 scholarships, Campbell said, but it is still unknown about how much each scholarship will be worth.

Much of Campaign Arizona funds came from alumni and private donors, comprising about 60 percent of all donations to the fundraiser. The other 40 percent came from private businesses and foundations, said Richard F. Imwalle, president of the UA Foundation.

Money for unrestricted use was only $10 million or 1 percent of the entire $1 billion goal, according to the financial bulletin.

Unrestricted dollars are important because they allow the university to distribute the money where it is needed, unlike designated dollars that go to a specified use, Campbell said.

But it is still up in the air on where the unrestricted dollars will go.

Because the money was brought in privately, the donors picked where they wanted their funds to go. The majority went to the college of the donor's choosing, usually a college that they graduated from or one with specific research they are interested in, Campbell said.

"That's just the way it is, there is no leveling out. Whatever gets their interest the most is where the money will go," Campbell said.

Jim Rogers of the James E. Rogers College of Law donated more than $100 million to his college, which raised a total $140 million through the campaign, said President Peter Likins.

Other colleges like the Eller College of Management and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received about $80 million and $60 million, respectively, according to the financial bulletin.

The College of Fine Arts received about $18 million, the College of Education received $8 million and the College of Humanities received $5 million, respectively, according to the financial bulletin.

While some colleges have considered the campaign to be over, others are still in need of more funds.

"We have raised $3 million through Campaign Arizona and we still need to raise $4.9 million. So the campaign hasn't ended for us," said Dennis Evans, associate dean of external affairs in the humanities administration.

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