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Release: Immediate

UI business school offers course on 'Nonprofit Management'

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Business school can be profitable for people interested in working for charitable and nonprofit organizations, according to two faculty members at the University of Iowa who are teaching a course on managing such organizations during spring semester 1998.

Willard L. "Sandy" Boyd, professor of law at the UI and former president of the Field Museum in Chicago, and Jack B. Evans, president of the Hall Perrine Foundation of Cedar Rapids and an instructor in the UI College of Business Administration, are co-teaching "Perspectives in Nonprofit Management" this spring.

The course is one of a growing number at universities and colleges in the United States designed to hone the management, financial, and marketing skills of people who work for nonprofit organizations and agencies.

"So much of what we do in America, we do through nonprofit organizations," says Boyd, who also served as president of the UI from 1969 to 1981. "Churches, higher education, hospitals, healthcare organizations, cultural and social service agencies -- when you stop to think about the number of nonprofit organizations and how they touch our lives, it is astounding.

"We need people with good management skills to lead organizations in the nonprofit area just as we need people with good management skills to lead organizations in the for-profit area," Boyd says.

The graduate-level course, offered for the second time this spring through the UI's master of business administration (MBA) program, will meet once a week, beginning Monday, Jan 26 in the Pappajohn Business Administration Building. The class concludes Monday, May 4. Meeting time is 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

The course is designed as a broad-based introduction to issues involving nonprofit organizations, covering topics such as the role, nature and history of nonprofits; missions and constituencies; management; fundraising; finances; marketing and public relations; and others.

Evans, who was named president of the Hall Perrine Foundation in 1995 after a 23-year career in securities and investments, says the role of nonprofit organizations has taken on new emphasis as government spending on social services has tapered off.

"It has become increasingly important for nonprofits to manage their affairs and their finances more efficiently," Evans says. "We're trying to bring some of the for-profit management techniques to the nonprofit sector."

The UI course is based on one that Boyd developed at Northwestern University during his tenure as president of the Field Museum from 1981 to 1996. He returned to the UI in 1996, in part, to further efforts in nonprofit education.

He also co-teaches a course in the UI College of Law on legal issues involving nonprofits, and he teaches a course on the role of cultural arts organizations on the fine arts campus.

Gary Fethke, dean of the UI College of Business Administration, says Boyd's and Evans' experience in nonprofit management and in the private sector make the class unique.

"There aren't many programs that can offer students who are interested in careers in nonprofit organizations and practitioners currently in the field the kind of perspective that Sandy and Jack can," Fethke says. "Few programs can boast a former president of a major university and an internationally acclaimed museum teamed up with the director of a major charitable foundation."

Boyd says there is long-standing interest in nonprofit organizations at the UI and on other campuses in the United States.

"There is a sense of social responsibility on the part of students," Boyd says. "Even those who go to work in the for-profit sector feel that sense, either by volunteering their own time and resources or through their companies' contributions to charitable organizations."

Evans says managers of nonprofits generally have good business skills, but they haven't had the time or opportunity to develop them fully.

"The skills are there," he says. "They are just a little less refined in the nonprofit area than in the for-profit area."

Evans has been involved with the Hall Perrine Foundation for the past 15 years, serving on the organization's board of directors. Founded in 1953 by Cedar Rapids native Howard Hall, the foundation distributes funds annually to social and cultural groups in Linn County.

For more information about the class "Perspectives in Nonprofit Management," contact the UI School of Management at (319) 335-1039; or visit the program's website at