Collat School of Business Dean Starts Faculty/Staff Campaign

An inspired leader seeks to inspire others to give.

Eric JackwEric P. Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Charles and Patsy Collat School of Business, is leading The Campaign for UAB—and his school—by example. He made a significant initial gift to establish a faculty/staff campaign in the school. Jack says he was inspired by the generosity of Patsy and Charles Collat and their gift to name the school.

“What the Collats have done to support the school is transformational,” Jack says. “Their gift will be placed into an endowment that will forever provide support for programs, scholarships, faculty positions, staff, and other strategic priorities that will transform the school’s reputation as a leader in innovative and entrepreneurial business education.”

Jack adds that in order to fully realize the transformation, the next challenging step is to “enhance our facilities and technology through a new building that will house the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Collat School of Business. Traditionally, brick and mortar projects (e.g., the building) present more significant challenges to motivate donors to contribute than do student scholarships or gifts for medical support from grateful patients. First, we will need to get the support and approval from the UA Board of Trustees.” Then, with an estimated construction cost of approximately $45 to $50 million, the school will probably need to raise at least $25 million.

“Clearly, this will be a significant challenge,” Jack says. “As the leader, I must earn the right to ask donors and others to contribute,” he continues. “Also, to set the example, I must demonstrate that I am prepared to put my own personal funds toward this cause. Therefore, I and my wife, Ave, who is an instructor in accounting and finance here at the school, plan to donate $100,000 over the five-year campaign.”

Jack hopes to have 100 percent participation of all Collat School of Business faculty and staff toward the goal. “With this schoolwide support, we can have tremendous leverage going to donors and asking them to join our faculty and staff in this quest to raise funds to construct a new building.

“Individuals can and should continue to support things they are passionate about in this campaign. I would like our faculty and staff to focus their campaign contributions (or at least a portion of it) toward our number-one priority—the building.”

“We are thrilled and grateful to Dr. Jack for always leading by example,” says Shirley Salloway Kahn, Ph.D., vice president for development, alumni, and external relations. “It would be wonderful for UAB to have 100 percent faculty and staff participation in the campaign. Thanks to Dr. Jack and the Collat School of Business for setting a wonderful example that I know our other schools and units across campus will want to emulate.”