West Virginia University

Photo Credit: Connor Murphy | Daily Texan Staff

I attended my first Red River Rivalry game in October of last year. After the Longhorns’ unexpected victory, while wandering the state fairgrounds, for every excited UT fan I saw, I also saw an OU fan upset by the Longhorns’ unexpected victory, and far too many of them were both angry and drunk — a potent combination enabled by the alcohol readily available at the Cotton Bowl. I expected bickering from students, but, when I saw heated exchanges between alums in their ’30s and ’40s, I knew that alcohol had to be the culprit.

Consequently, I’m less than thrilled about the University’s recent decision to sell beer and wine at sporting events. Alcohol brings out the worst in people, and fans are no exception.

According to findings from a study by Harvard School of Public Health on college drinking, published in 2001 (making it a little bit outdated, but still worthwhile), 53 percent of sports fans usually engage in binge drinking. This makes them more susceptible to committing or being the victim of alcohol-fueled crimes. Sure, many students binge drink before the game or sneak flasks into the stadium already. But selling alcohol on the premise both allows them more access to alcohol and condones their drinking in public. 

Granted, not everyone drinks at games. But those who don’t drink are also affected by alcohol-related problems. The aforementioned study, which surveyed more than 14,000 college students at 119 nationally representative four-year colleges in 39 states, found that students at schools where at least 40 percent of the survey respondents described themselves as fans were more likely to fall prey to the secondhand effects of others’ binge drinking, such as disruption of sleep, property damage and verbal abuse. 

Some universities, such as West Virginia University, have, however, successfully decreased the number of game-day alcohol related incidents by implementing alcohol sales at sporting events. 

According to West Virginia University Police statistics in the Daily Texan, their University saw a 35 percent decrease in the number of game day alcohol-related incidents after authorizing the sale of alcohol at sporting events. But WVU doesn’t allow fans to leave the stadium and come back by showing their ticket stub, which Longhorn fans can do Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.  By implementing this policy, WVU  has more control over how much alcohol their fans consume as compared to UT, since UT has no such policy restricting fans from returning to their tailgate during the game. 

Since our University lacks such a policy, there should be more precautionary measures by police to help monitor fan behavior. Sadly, according to UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey, UTPD will not increase the number of police patrols for games but will closely monitor sporting events for increases or decreases in safety issues. Like UTPD, the Austin Police Department hasn’t planned any changes in game-day patrols. 

“It’s not going to change the way we do business,” APD senior police officer Veneza Bremmer told KVUE.

According to Athletic Director Steve Patterson, the decision was made to “enhance the fan experience” rather than to generate more revenue. My question to Patterson, assuming I really believed his claim, would be, “which fans’ experience is he aiming to enhance:” the fans who genuinely care about the successes and failures of our athletic teams or those that show up just as an excuse to tailgate and binge drink? 

Johnson is a journalism junior from DeSoto.

More than a hundred part-time student employees work regular shifts at the UT Call Center where they reach out to potential donors including alumni, parents of current students and friends of the university as part of UT’s Annual Giving.  

Photo Credit: Yamel Thompson | Daily Texan Staff

After being admitted into the McCombs School of Business, finance senior Brittany Maki received a scholarship endowed by well known alumnus Joe Jamail. Years later, Maki is a student employee at UT’s call center, which is part of the Annual Giving program that collects small gifts from alumni, parents of current students and friends of the University.

Annual Giving, which employs more than 100 students as part-time employees, is part of a three-pronged structure of development at the University. The other two parts are a central University infrastructure and individual college-level efforts, which together field a team of about 300 full-time employees. Through the three fundraising channels, the development team has helped raise $2.08 billion in private support for the University in the last six years.

“I saw the impact of what previous callers had done here,” Maki said during one of her shifts at the call center. “My dad was adamant about me staying home in Houston. The scholarship was enough to come here. Now, I see it every single day with my classmates who have also received scholarships.”

These broad fundraising efforts, from Maki’s scholarship to alumni returning as development officers, are typically headed by a vice president for development — a position that has been vacant at the University for the past four years following the departure of Richard B. Eason. Currently, Julie Hooper, associate vice president for development, has taken the reins of the office. The UT System recently implemented a pay incentive plan for President William Powers Jr. that would give him a still-undertermined bonus on top of his $624,350 base salary if he hires a vice president for development, among other goals.

Unlike some other universities, UT staffs its development efforts with state employees. Meanwhile, fellow Big 12 institutions including the University of Oklahoma and West Virginia University raise private gifts through large external foundations. The UT System has a similar foundation, the University of Texas Foundation, which operates alongside the internal fundraising efforts. 

Central development is made up by 129 employees while the others make up the individual development offices of each college, school and unit that work with central development and Annual Giving to meet specific fundraising goals.

“We are what I call a hybrid so we’re both centralized and decentralized,” Hooper said. “All of the 33 college, school and unit development offices have a relationship with our office, and I meet with them regularly on either a quarterly [or] monthly basis.”

Powers credits former UT President Peter Flawn for establishing the philanthropic philosophy the University follows today. Flawn oversaw the 1983 Centennial Commission, which recommended financing the University’s operations through private gifts. In 1983, state appropriations made up 45 percent of UT’s operating budget and private gifts made up 6 percent. Today, state appropriations make up 13 percent of the budget and private gifts make up 9 percent.

Today, the University has 100 frontline fundraisers who actively develop relationships with prospective donors and are assisted by administrative and research support staff, Hooper said.

Typically, the older the college or school, the larger the endowment. The one exception is the Jackson School of Geosciences, which is a much newer school but has the largest endowment.

The Cockrell School of Engineering, which has the second-largest endowment with $407 million, is one of the oldest colleges on campus and has thousands of alumni. 

But even with a large alumni base, the Cockrell School does not receive all of engineering alumni’s donations to the University. Nearly 12 percent of engineering alumni give to various programs across the University, but only 5 percent of engineering alumni give back to the Cockrell School, according to engineering development figures.

Development officers and UT’s call center share a database of potential donors coordinated by central development. 

“We try really hard to be what I call donor-centered so that we’re thinking about the donor first and foremost and that we’re treating our donors with respect and trying very hard to have what I call a coordinated approach,” Hooper said.

The database has proved essential to colleges and schools with smaller endowments or alumni bases, such as the School of Social Work, which has a $13 million endowment.

Laura Wells, development director for the school, said 75 percent of the School of Social Work’s most recent endowments were created by alumni, former employees or individuals who were impacted by social work, but that this is not enough to reach the school’s fundraising goal.

“To reach our big goal, we have had to reach outside our current donor base,” Wells said. “[Including] people who are University alumni but are not primarily School of Social Work alumni.”

In the last six years, 84 percent of gifts to the University have been for less than $1,000. Beyond small gifts, the University’s president is easily identified as development’s most prominent employee with a calendar continuously filled with fundraising responsibilities, as well as a salary structure that rewards him a bonus for hitting certain fundraising goals.

Powers, who acknowledges he is the face of University fundraising, takes the lead role in larger fundraising efforts and said he believes it is important to raise money for efforts that fall in line with strategic goals of the University, including new programs and buildings.

Powers said he works to keep alumni who may be prospective donors involved in University life by traveling across the state, around the country and internationally to meet with former Longhorns and friends of the University.

“There is a whole ecosystem that does that — deans and development officers,” Powers said. “One thing I’m very proud of is that the process works on a much more cooperative way.”

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— West Virginia University has hired Randy Mazey as head baseball coach.

WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck announced Mazey’s appointment Wednesday in a news release.

Mazey replaces Greg Van Zant, whose contract wasn’t renewed.

Mazey has served as an assistant coach at TCU for six seasons. He previously was the head coach at East Carolina and Charleston Southern.

Mazey also played for two seasons in Cleveland’s minor league system.

His career record as a head coach is 186-159-2.

This past week, West Virginia University was officially accepted into the Big 12 Conference. The Mountaineers were voted in unanimously during a teleconference call involving the Big 12’s Board of Directors on Friday morning and are expected to leave the Big East Conference and become a full member in Big 12 athletics starting July 1, 2012. The move to add West Virginia resulted from the anticipated departure of the University of Missouri from the Big 12. The admission process for West Virginia was first put on hold because of a late push by the University of Louisville and Senator Mitch McConnell, who desired acceptance into the Big 12. Texas A&M will be starting play in the Southeastern Conference next summer as well.

West Virginia was a founding member of the Big East during its inception in 1991. Its football program has the most FBS victories without ever having won a national championship and has made it to two BCS bowl games. Its other various athletics, such as the men’s and women’s basketball teams, have also had success over the last few years.

“The addition of West Virginia, while expanding the reach of the Big 12, brings an impressive institution with esteemed academics and a proud athletic tradition into the conference,” said Burns Hargis, the chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors. “This is another step in building a strong foundation for the future of the Big 12.“

Though both the Big 12 and West Virginia have agreed to July 1 as the day that West Virginia officially joins the conference, the Big East has bylaws requiring a 27-month waiting period before the teams can leave the conference. The departures of Syracuse and Pittsburgh from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference have been delayed by these laws.

However, James Clements, President for West Virginia University, does not seem too concerned about the laws.
“Our intent is clearly July 1 we’ll be a member of the Big 12,” Clements said on Friday. “We’re in discussions with the Big East regarding how we make that happen.”

Though this movement may have caused a bit of drama over the last week between the conferences, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin may have summed up the feelings of the West Virginia University community best when he told the Associated Press, “It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer.”