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University takes US leaf

THE University of Western Australia is taking a leaf from the US universities’ book to try and raise $13 million for the construction of its new business school.

Alinta chairman Tony Howarth, who has agreed to head the fund raising campaign, said the philanthropic tradition in the US had helped the top American universities dominate the ranks of those judged world’s best.

“I detect among my colleagues a growing recognition of the importance of philanthropy to help fund higher education in Australia,” he said.

“There is a growing commitment by business to ‘give back’ to the universities that nurtured them.”

At this stage the campaign council consists of Mr Howarth, UWA business school dean Dr Paul McLeod and UWA graduate school of management director Professor Geoffrey Soutar.

“We’re still very much in the planning stage,” Mr Howarth said.

The council aims to identify key individuals for support including alumni in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York who will be invited to become volunteer members of campaign “cells”.

These “cells” will be used to gather information, build relationships and enlist individual and corporate support.

Professor Soutar said the campaign would fund the new business school that would finally bring the GSM and the School of Economics and Commerce together in the same building.

The GSM’s building on Myer Street, Nedlands is quite new, yet the school has already outgrown it.

It is understood the new business school building will take up part of the university’s agriculture faculty’s land facing Royal Perth Yacht Club.

“The GSM and the Business School have brought their collective efforts together with UWA to ensure that significant outcomes from the project can be achieved for the benefit of business education in WA,” Professor Soutar said.

“It is envisaged the fundraising campaign will also develop opportunities to support endowed chairs, extra scholarships, research projects and expanded services for students and alumni.”

The committee has addressed the GSM’s alumni to try and seek its support.

Alumni president Brian Leedman said that support would be forthcoming.

“We’re working with the GSM to assist them in reaching the alumni to raise their awareness of the new building and seek their support in contributing to the building fund,” he said.

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