Dear Campus Colleagues:
I wanted to take just a moment and update you on Mansfield University’s status with one of its affiliates, the Mansfield Foundation.
Since its founding in 1974, the University and its students have benefitted from external support provided by the Foundation, which originates from Mansfield University’s many alumni, parents, corporations, foundations, and friends of Mansfield. Our campus community need not look further than the beautiful renovations to North Hall, which are the product of a collaborative University-Foundation fundraising campaign to preserve this historic campus landmark.
In recent years, different University presidents and their administrations have worked with the Foundation’s own leadership to address issues and disagreements between the parties. In 2019, Interim President Peter Fackler entered into a one-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Mansfield University and the Mansfield Foundation, renewing the affiliate relationship and initiating actions prescribed by an earlier consent decree. As the July 31 termination date of the current MOU approaches, and despite the University’s earnest efforts to incorporate meaningful terms that would allow for the University and the Foundation to continue to explore a more open and collaborative relationship, the parties have not reached an agreement.
As the president of Mansfield University, I am strong in my conviction that the University requires transparency, collaboration, and inclusion from all of its affiliate entities, and a strong university-foundation partnership is what propels donor giving among high-functioning foundations. Our University staff will continue to coordinate with and support the Foundation staff with any and all needs to sustain the flow of Foundation support to the University, based on donors’ established intent.
As the current MOU comes to an end on July 31, the University will evaluate the best direction for our advancement efforts. The University remains open to re-engaging in discussions regarding the aforementioned issues of inclusion and best practices to advance Mansfield University.
As always, alumni, partners and friends of Mansfield University can continue to support our students at give.mansfield.edu.
I will continue to update our campus community as meaningful progress is realized.
Charles E. Patterson, PhD
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania