Subject: Schulich Engineering Students Society - budget cuts and the alumni|
From: "Bill Howell. Hussar. Alberta. Canada" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2018 14:13:29 -0700
To: "Jiani Deng. President. Engineering Students Soc. Uof Calgary"
Jiani Deng - It's embarrassing how long it's taken me to get back to you, following the ESS Presidents' Dinner last 11Oct2018. October has been a brutal month, but I have a bit of a break today (between storms).
At that time you had given a presentation that mentioned a ~70? k$ cut from ~250 k$ of [university, faculty] support for ESS activities. This was also discussed with you during your tour with alumni of the ESS offices and meeting with other ESS executive. I think that you did a very good analysis of the situation, with a key question being something to the effect : Would alumni support only be on the order of a few [hundred, thousand] dollars, or could it make up a significant portion of the "lost budget"?
My guess is that the answer will depend on the timeframe (one-time help might be much easier than permanent on-going support), and a small number of exceptional donors to cover a chunk, but complemented by many smaller donations. I am NOT in the "exceptional donor" category - see my donations from last year below, which were slightly higher than my normal 2 k$/yr target now that I am retired.
Note that I've constantly had to manage brutal budget cuts with severe impacts on my personnel in the government, and lived through [cuts, shutdowns, mergers, etc] in companies. So it's a bit hard for me to see a 25% cut as a big deal - sometimes adapting may be the best for the future. The original quarter of a million $ gift budget itself it beyond my imagination - we got bills for damage. I can't remember too many donations except what we could scrounge for specified purposes from companies.
Now that I am looking at this, there is no way of ensuring "good" placements of funding for scholarships etc, nor for that manner any charitable donation. To some extent one must trust the [individuals, societies] involved in the selection process. Comments during the dinner suggest that the ESS might actually provide a [healthy, critical] input to such decisions if they relate to [projects, research] but of course for student life.
For me, help for a ~25% budget cut for the ESS would come from a 100-200$ range for "education", by cutting back on scholarship donations. So how about if I just say 150$ as a starting point, for a one-time donation (ongoing I would have to think about in light of other donation priorities), assuming that alumni support for the 70 k$ gets underway. But you would need 700 donors like that to make up the difference....
Mr. Bill Howell
P.O. Box 299, Hussar, Alberta, T0J1S0
member - International Neural Network Society (INNS), IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE-CIS),
Association of Professional Engineers and Geo-scientists of Alberta (APEGA)
IJCNN2019 Budapest, Publications and Sponsors & Exhibits Chair, https://www.ijcnn.org/organizing-committee
WCCI2018 Rio de Janeiro : Publicity committee, mass emails http://www.ecomp.poli.br/~wcci2018/committees/
Retired: Science Research Manager (SE-REM-01) at Natural Resources Canada, CanmetMINING, Ottawa
My own focus for Charities
I am a modest donator - I worked the latter part of my career in the federal government and have a reasonable pre-retirement pension, but no big winnings from [investments, businesses, big responsibilities].
Year foreign climate political science local software education total
2017 100 480 0 533 885 64 809 2,871
Psychology and sociology are notably absent - but I don't have a good enough [awareness of, comfort for] these areas.
Also, this budget is highly at risk, as has happened this year, because of heavy family health and job support requirements (YES - mostly due to aging!!).