Friday, September 4, 2009
The New York Times reports that at least one school, the City College of San Francisco, is offering donors a chance to sponsor academic classes. School officials view this as a way of restoring courses that have been eliminated due to budget cuts. When the plan was first conceived, donors would have had naming rights. However, board members at the school scotched that idea for fear of ridiculous or humiliating results: tobacco companies sponsoring health courses, for example.
I say City College's board was too timid! Here at University of North Carolina we recently opened the gleaming Fed Ex Global Education Center. This gave me the idea, which I only mostly-jokingly shared during a faculty meeting, that we search for a corporate sponsor for our new law school building, the construction of which has been held up by the financial crisis. By way of example, I suggested The Church's Fried Chicken UNC School of Law.
I confess it did not occur to me to move corporate sponsorship down to the level of the classroom, but I like it! How about "Nonprofit Law, brought to you by H & R Block." We could have a faculty committee to weed out anything too unseemly. This could be the answer. This could be the future.