Investing in SPAA

The School is undertaking several initiatives to expand the educational choices and professional development opportunities for students seeking entry to mid-level and upper-level careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. We deeply appreciate financial support for the following initiatives and are willing to meet to discuss any other ideas you have.

  1. Merit and Needs-based Scholarships: Scholarships attract highly- promising and motivated students, especially from traditionally underrepresented groups. There is a need to deepen and expand the existing level of support in which various MPA scholarships ($4000-$6,000 maximum) have been the norm. For larger gift givers seeking to establish a named or endowed scholarship, the Director can meet with you and University Advancement to discuss a path forward that meets your wishes.
  2. Support for Professional Engagement: There is also a demonstrated need to advance the School’s community partnerships and professional engagement among faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the larger community. SPAA faculty received a significant internal grant to expand these options for students and the West Michigan community through the Center for Excellence in Research and Public Service (CERPs), which is an existing SPAA quasi-endowment. This category also allows you to broaden opportunities for students and faculty to remain active at local, regional, national, and international conferences.
  3. Endowed Professorships: Shrinking state support and declining enrollment in higher education have adversely impacted the resources available to faculty to conduct research focused on advancing theoretical knowledge and the application of best practices. The best way to counteract this long-term reduction in financial support for public universities is to help endow specific faculty positions. Endowment may allow you to name the position and direct the research and teaching focus expected of an individual who would eventually fill that position. For example, SPAA's new Graduate Certificate in Tribal Governance could use support to endow a position such as the "Three Fires Confederacy Endowed Chair in tribal Governance." Endowments The support of this nature can have an elevated profile and recognition for the giver(s), the program, and the School.

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