Originally created 01/12/04

Regents consider new guidelines on fund-raising organizations



ATHENS, Ga. -- The University System Board of Regents will listen to a national expert Wednesday as it considers placing new guidelines on private fund-raising organizations such as the UGA Foundation.

The controversy between University of Georgia President Michael Adams and the UGA Foundation has convinced some regents that more guidelines are needed.

Regent Martin NeSmith of Claxton said the regents may need to amend University System policies to emphasize that foundations of all state colleges and universities are not independent of their school or the University System.

"They're great foundations that do tremendous work," NeSmith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We just need to both understand what our roles are, and keep things like the Georgia situation from happening again."

Curt Simic, president and CEO of the Indiana University Foundation, will be the speaker at Wednesday's information session for foundation leaders of Georgia's public institutions. University presidents also are invited.

The IU Foundation is similar to the UGA Foundation. Each are private organizations, and each has a large number of board members.

Unlike Georgia, however, the IU Foundation does not control the Indiana University president's private compensation. UGA Foundation trustees decide how much the foundation should pay toward Adams' compensation.

Adams' pay has become a central issue for the foundation as it reviews its policies and practices. Currently, the foundation pays well over half his salary.

Simic said the arrangement at Indiana University allows foundation members to stay focused on raising money for the university.

UGA Foundation Chairwoman Lynda Courts, who has urged trustees to attend the meeting, said Chancellor Tom Meredith told her that the regents are trying to see how fund-raising organizations can "ideally work in sync" with the regents.

Said Meredith: "The question that's on the table is, 'Does the Board of Regents need to give more direction?"'

Courts said she will be out of the country and unable to attend the meeting.