Advancement Council

About the Council

The CHSS Advancement Council, initiated Fall Quarter 2009, aids the College in fulfilling its mission and goals. The Council consists of leaders in the local and regional communities who share a love of the humanities and social sciences and a profound interest in furthering CHSS initiatives and programs.  Council members assist the College in many ways, but primarily through student support and advocacy, fundraising outreach and by collaboration with the Dean’s Office on special projects.  Membership on the Council is at the invitation of the Dean for renewable three-year terms of service.

Council members should expect

- to have unique access to College expertise and research

- to enjoy networking opportunities with students, faculty, fellow alumni and supporters and University leadership facilitated by both CHSS and the WWU Foundation

- to stay current on CHSS and WWU news and accomplishments via monthly emails

- to actively participate in advancement and outreach activities including recruitment of new Council members

- to enhance the public’s understanding of the important role the humanities and social sciences play in developing a robust economy, civically engaged citizens, and healthy, happy communities

- to help us communicate to CHSS alumni and friends the need for private philanthropy to support excellence throughout the College

- to make an annual financial contribution to CHSS at the Dean’s Circle level

- to attend two scheduled Council meetings per year

- to provide assistance in promoting the role and importance of liberal arts education and in evaluating opportunities and challenges thereto pertaining

The Advancement Council works closely with the Dean and staff to identify and attract individual, corporate and foundation partnerships that will lead to resources and opportunities that will benefit students, faculty and the University community.  Through activities such as mentoring, guest lecturing, scholarships, internships, research partnerships, and community engagement, the members of the Council have a tremendous impact on many lives and play an important role in promoting higher education.

Areas of Focus

Our goal is to grow the Council to include at least 25 outstanding alumni and/or supporters of Western Washington University and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences so that we may establish subcommittees such as:

The Executive Committee would focus on Council operations and provide administrative leadership. Made up of the Dean, Associate Dean, Council President and Foundation Gift Officer, this committee’s initial goal would be to implement the Council’s committee structure, review the Council operations, and bring matters to the full Council at general meetings. The Executive Committee would meet periodically between general meetings to discuss future initiatives, review the work done by the other committees and plan for general meetings.

The Development Committee would be responsible for assisting the College in raising private support from individuals, corporations and foundations through targeted and strategic major gift fundraising activities. The committee would focus on raising support for student aid (scholarships, fellowships and summer research stipends), facility, equipment and technology upgrades, programmatic support for students and faculty to enhance the learning experience and the Dean’s Fund for Excellence which gives the college discretionary dollars to support emerging priorities and needs.

The Community and Government Relations Committee would work primarily to advocate on behalf of Western and the College for strong government support on the local, state and federal level. The committee would also work to expand the College’s community outreach effort to enhance the College’s visibility and reputation among prospective talented students, potential employers of student interns and graduates and potential funders for private support.  Some coordination with WWU’s External Relations area would be required.

The Alumni Relations Committee would be responsible for increasing alumni involvement with the life of the College and departments through potential alumni events, activities and targeted annual fund appeals. The Committee would work closely with the Western Alumni Association and the Western Foundation’s Annual Fund staffs in order to maximize their efforts and the support they can provide.

The Student Support Committee would work to find ways to increase the College's student diversity, increase alumni and student mentoring and seek business and industry student internship opportunities. The members might work with Western’s Admissions Office, the Alumni Association and the Career Services Center staffs in order to maximize their efforts and the support they can provide.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Fund for Excellence

Maintained as a discretionary fund that the College can use to support a broad range of faculty and student initiatives, the Dean’s Fund for Excellence is an important resource in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  The Dean’s Fund, in many ways, facilitates educational experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible to our students.  Support for interdisciplinary scholarships, materials associated with study abroad initiatives, funding for student travel to important regional and national events, and assistance to faculty endeavoring to develop innovative and unusual curricula are all ways the Dean’s Fund has been used in past.  Funding examples include:

  • Support for the CHSS Advancement Council Scholarship
  • Support for faculty travel to Kenya to develop international service learning curriculum
  • Student support to attend a luncheon talk by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
  • Funding for student travel to present research at national conferences
  • Co-sponsorship of the WWU Pre-Med Club
  • Partial funding for the Western Washington University Children’s Literature Conference
  • Student and faculty travel to Thailand to establish an international tsunami museum
  • Materials and travel subvention for student and faculty travel to Ghana for an academic program and coursework
  • Partial funding of the NW Regional History Day Competition
  • Partial funding of the Fairhaven Festival of Scholarship
  • Support for the WWU Linguistics in Education Workshop
  • Funding assistance for the Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference
  • Kleinknecht Outstanding Teacher Award
  • Speaker support for “Western Reads”
  • Support of the CHSS “Dean’s Lecture Series”

Our goal is to build the Dean’s Fund for Excellence to a level where we might be able to fund larger initiatives and support program development in a more substantial way.  Acquisition of specialized equipment and materials are certainly one aspect of this, but to be able to fund student assistantships and to provide faculty fellowships that might enhance our programs on a larger scale would also be extremely beneficial.  In short, the Dean’s Fund for Excellence is intended to fund, foster, and support excellence as it pertains to the mission of the College.  As a strong liberal arts education prepares our graduates broadly while providing specific and focused disciplinary expertise, the Dean’s Fund supports academic engagement at all levels, creating educational and professional opportunities that would otherwise not exist or be feasible given current economic and budgetary realities.