OLC Building Faculty Endowment Fund

Feb 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 13-3: Sustaining Our Future, Tribal College News

When Thomas Shortbull became president of Oglala Lakota College (OLC) in 1995, the college didn’t have a faculty endowment fund.  At that time, OLC had $1.1 million in non-scholarship endowment funds and $351,628 in scholarship endowments.

Due to the pressing need for new college facilities on the Pine Ridge Reservation and Rapid City, SD, OLC first focused on its Rebuilding the Lakota Nation Through Education Campaign, which resulted in $7 million in facilities construction. OLC’s remaining construction needs will be addressed through the American Indian College Fund’s Capital Campaign.

In December 1999, OLC embarked on Phase III of its Rebuilding the Lakota Nation Through Education Campaign by establishing a goal of $10 million in a faculty endowment fund by 2004 and $20 million by 2009. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a $500,000 challenge grant with the requirement that OLC raise $1.5 million to endow faculty positions in OLC’s Lakota Studies Department. OLC has raised $911,522 and will need to raise the remaining $588,478 by 2003.  Last month, OLC received a $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation in support of the NEH challenge.

With the NEH challenge, OLC has created two Lakota Studies Faculty Endowments: the William Horn Cloud Lakota Language Faculty Endowment and the Gerald One Feather Lakota Studies Faculty Endowment Fund. By 2004 Oglala Lakota College will utilize 6% of the return on investments to support faculty salaries.  The college hopes to add 10-15 more faculty positions.

“Creating a faculty endowment fund is the only way to maintain a quality academic environment to meet the needs of the Oglala Nation and our students,” Shortbull said. As of November 2001, OLC had $665,648 in its scholarship endowment, $1.2 million in a facilities maintenance endowment, and $5.1 million in its faculty endowment.

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