Sometime in February, the UCC Foundation’s proposal for renovations on Snyder Hall and other security measures will go before the state legislature. The main force behind the bill is Susan Taylor, the new Executive Director for the UCC Foundation. Taylor helped compose the grant plan that, pending acceptance, will affect both the future of Snyder Hall and UCC as a whole. Taylor brings in an estimated $9,000 to the Foundation every day, with an annual range of $1.5 to $5 million raised each year.
Taylor was recently promoted to her new position. Formerly overseeing only the grants, Taylor now works with the Foundation board directly, overseeing grants as well as the Foundation’s workings.
Taylor’s work is intertwined with many of the school’s previous and current projects. “Sometimes there are really small grants for a thousand or two [dollars] that I help with,” Taylor said. “Like for a little project like the Childcare Center’s literacy program, or something for the Fine Art program.” Taylor’s largest grant was the Title III Strengthening Institutions grant. The grant was for $2.25 million and was used in student retention efforts throughout the campus in 2013.
The UCC Foundation, started in 1970, according to the Foundation’s website, operates with its main objective being the building of grants and scholarships for the college. “It is a board of 39 members,” Taylor said. “The UCC Foundation is a separate, nonprofit entity, whose purpose is to support UCC.”
The Foundation raises funds each year, for student scholarships, capital projects, award grants for faculty and staff and charity. In 2010, the Foundation raised $2.3 million to help build the Danny Lang Teaching, Learning & Event Center, and later acquired grants to help build the Southern Oregon Wine Institute and the Health, Nursing & Science building currently being constructed on campus.
Their next project centers on the restoration of Snyder Hall, as well as general campus security. “We had a safety and security assessment done by a contractor in December,” Taylor said. “A lot of the things we want to do to make campus more safe and secure have to do with what that study says.”
Changes to campus security will include better lighting on the campus and parking lot at night, more guards on patrol and new locks for classrooms that are to be installed in the coming weeks. “That’s my number one priority right now,” Taylor said. “We have to feel safe . . . and the reality is not every feels safe here now.”
The recovery projects, which include the Snyder Hall restoration plans, are made up of nine different grants. Each grant was composed at the same time, and according to Taylor, will be dependent on each other for success.
“It’s been difficult to prepare several proposals all at once . . . including the renovation of Snyder Hall,” Taylor said. “We have one proposal to the state legislature that is for around $6 million, and that has to go before the legislature in February.” The short period between when the proposals were made and when legislation is due forced the Snyder Hall redesigns to be made quickly without much initial public input although public input is now being sought.
In order to present the recovery grants, Taylor first had to meet with Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission to show them her proposals. The group then approved her work and agreed to take the plans to the state in February, where Taylor believes there is a good chance they will be approved.
Along with the security requests, Taylor has also been working to acquire federal grants for the school’s restoration. “[I’m working with] Project SERV, or School Emergency Response to Violence,” Taylor said. “That’s another larger grant that is tied to our legislative process.”
Through all her efforts, Taylor hopes to help rebuild UCC into a safer campus students and faculty do not have to fear traveling to.
Anyone willing to inquire about UCC grants or scholarships can visit the UCC Foundation building located in the Technology Center. Anyone wishing to donate can also see their website at umpqua.edu/scholarships-donations.