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Institutional Advancement at the University of Kansas


Coordinated efforts on behalf of the University are vital to successful advancement initiatives. The policies and practices discussed in this document are intended to enhance coordination and to facilitate communication to alumni and friends of the University of a shared message and vision. Inquiries pertaining to policies or recommended practices should be directed to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of the Lawrence Campus or the Executive Vice Chancellor of the Medical Center Campuses.

Applies to: 

The University of Kansas, Lawrence and Medical Center Campuses

Medical Center, Kansas City
Table of Contents: 
Policy Statement: 


Institutional advancement at the University of Kansas is initiated largely through the efforts of the KU Alumni Association, the Kansas University Endowment Association, and the Office of Public Affairs, including Government Relations, on the Lawrence campus and the Office of External Affairs at the medical center campus. Advancement is central to the mission of each of these entities, which share information about the University – the achievements of its students, faculty, alumni and programs, as well as its needs in the form of budgetary, programmatic and philanthropic support. Advancement also occurs in many ways as a natural consequence of academic life at the institution and the manner in which alumni and friends of the University express their loyalty and concerns. In addition, the visibility of intercollegiate athletics, the performing arts, and other campus events contributes to advancement.

The KU Alumni Association and KU Endowment have internal policies on advancement functions they perform. There are also institutional policies that focus on advancement activities. Because of the role the KU Alumni Association and KU Endowment play in advancement, most institutional policies on advancement emphasize the relationship of University units to these two organizations. The primary policies are identified below. There are, of course, many standard procedures that are not defined by policy but are institutionally in practice. Please refer to the Institutional Advancement Practices and Guidelines.

  1. Alumni Records Policy: The KU Alumni Association is the official custodian of University biographical records of graduates, former students, and friends. The KU Alumni Association maintains records to enable the University to communicate with its alumni and friends. The records also exist for fundraising and archival purposes. To help ensure timeliness and accuracy of records, information received via correspondence with alumni regarding address, career, and family changes must be forwarded to the KU Alumni Association, unless otherwise directed by the individual concerned. As part of its custodial responsibilities, the KU Alumni Association provides support services to administrators of schools/college and other units authorized to engage in advancement activities. (See University policy regarding Maintenance of Alumni Records, which includes an initial list of authorized administrators and the procedures for assigning other administrators and/or alumni representatives.)
  2. University Fundraising: All fundraising activities on behalf of the University must be reviewed and endorsed by the appropriate University administrators, i.e., chairs, deans, vice provosts, vice chancellors, and their respective Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor or Executive Vice Chancellor prior to consideration by the Chancellor. Activities approved by the Chancellor are submitted to KU Endowment for feasibility review. (See policy on University Fundraising.)
  3. Policy on Uses of Donated Funds: KU Endowment will utilize donated funds for the benefit of the University in accordance with donor requirements and governmental regulations, based upon appropriate University recommendations for such use. KU Endowment will prepare a Fund Administration Agreement describing the use of the funds. The use of KU Endowment assets to benefit an individual in a personal manner is prohibited. KU Endowment may also solicit and administer funds for the benefit of tax-exempt entities, which are separate from, but related to the University, at the request of the University. (See The KU Endowment Fund Administration and Use Handbook.)
  4. Communications Policy: The Office of Public Affairs coordinates key internal and external communications, including media contacts, the University’s Web home page, news releases, press conferences, publications and promotional initiatives, on behalf of the University. When appropriate, Public Affairs coordinates with KU Endowment and the KU Alumni Association to disseminate information about University advancement. For more detailed guidance, see the University’s Media Guidelines and Practices, which cover interaction with media and general protocols on official spokespersons, press conferences, news releases, resources for media and making the campus available to media. Individual units may develop internal policies to coordinate with Public Affairs.
  5. Government Relations Policy: Legislative contacts received by individual University faculty or staff should be reported to Government Relations so that institutional responses can be coordinated. Advancement of the University through budgetary and other legislative contacts can be most successful if efforts are properly planned and coordinated. When requested to do so, faculty and staff are encouraged to provide expert testimony on proposed legislation before legislative bodies and to make every effort to accommodate such requests. As the University’s Media Guidelines and Practices note, legislators often do not distinguish between KU faculty and staff testimony and the University’s official position on issues. For that reason, KU administrators, faculty and staff should always consult with Government Relations before providing opinions, letters or testimony to the Legislature or legislative committees. In accordance with Board of Regents policy Chapter II, Section F, Article 1, “Interaction with the Legislature and Other State Agencies,” such requests are to be reported by Government Relations staff to the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board.
  6. Policy on Advisory Boards for Advancement Purposes: Any University unit or officially recognized campus organization wishing to establish an advisory board for purposes of advancement shall obtain approval for the formation of such a board from their respective Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor or Executive Vice Chancellor after having conferred with the appropriate unit head and vice provost/vice chancellor. Permission should be obtained prior to contacting potential candidates for membership. Existing boards wishing to expand their membership should confer with the presidents of KU Endowment, the KU Alumni Association or Medical Center Alumni Associations.

    Advancement is defined to include fundraising or activities related to the organization of “friends” groups. The term “board” means any formal group to be established by the unit or organization for purposes of advancement.

    This policy does not apply to professional groups organized for purposes of providing consultation on topics such as curriculum, recruitment, research or program development.


Lawrence Campus
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Medical Center Campus
Executive Vice Chancellor of the Medical Center

Approved by: 
Approved on: 
Friday, February 18, 1994
Effective on: 
Friday, February 18, 1994
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

The KU Alumni Association: The KU Alumni Association was established in 1883 “for the purpose of fostering a spirit of loyalty, friendship, commitment and communication among graduates, former students, current students, parents, faculty, staff and all other interested friends of the University of Kansas.” As an independent, non‑profit corporation, it is a tax-exempt organization as authorized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The KU Alumni Association is charged with promoting the general welfare and the educational interests of the University. Its Board of Directors establishes policies regarding the property, management, affairs, and activities of the KU Alumni Association. The Chancellor of the University has designated the KU Alumni Association as the official custodian of alumni records and the keeper of University traditions.

KU Endowment: KU Endowment was founded in 1891 as a private, non‑profit corporation to encourage, receive, manage and administer gifts to benefit the University of Kansas, its students, faculty and staff. KU Endowment is a tax-exempt organization as authorized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to KU Endowment are fully deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law under the Internal Revenue Code Section 170(b)(1)(a)(IV). University fundraising priorities are set by the University’s administration and communicated to KU Endowment’s Executive Committee by the Chancellor. KU Endowment is governed by a Board of Trustees, which, through its staff, initiates and coordinates fundraising activities on behalf of the University. KU Endowment is the official custodian of donor gift records and has fiduciary responsibility for assuring adherence to gift guidelines agreed upon by donors.

The Office of Public Affairs: The Office of Public Affairs is responsible for the development and release of information about the University to the news media, serving as the central point of contact for queries from the news media and other external groups. Public Affairs also has responsibility for the University’s Web home page and the development and production of a wide array of multimedia publications and other forms of communication that disseminate information about the University, its programs, faculty, staff and students. The Public Relations staff works closely with staff members from the Alumni and Endowment associations when appropriate.

Government Relations: Planning and coordinating institutional communication with federal, state, and local agencies is the responsibility of Government Relations staff. Advancement of the University is promoted through contact with the Office of the Governor, members of Congress, members of the Kansas Legislature and state and federal executive agencies. Government Relations staff members regularly interact with legislative agencies, committees and staff. Official contacts with these public bodies should always be coordinated by Government Relations, as it is responsible for coordinating formal visits of elected and senior government officials. Government Relations staff work closely with Public Affairs on communications that represent the University to the public.

KU Medical Center Office of External Affairs: The medical center’s Vice Chancellor for External Affairs serves as chief advancement officer for the University of Kansas Medical Center. The Vice Chancellor for External Affairs shall also serve as the university’s chief liaison to the Advancement Board of the University of Kansas Medical Center and University of Kansas Hospital. The Office of External Affairs oversees government affairs, media relations, communications, community affairs and alumni associations for the medical center and its schools of medicine, nursing, allied health and graduate school programs.

fundraising, donations
Change History: 

06/29/2017: Fixed broken links. 

04/02/2015: Fixed broken links to Board of Regents Policy Manual.

12/17/2014: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.

10/30/2014: Fixed broken links, policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

03/28/2014: Changed holdover references to "University Communications" to "Public Affairs" within the Definitions section.

11/29/2013: Changed references to "University Communications" and "University Relations" to "Public Affairs" to reflect organizational changes.

05/15/2008: Updated.

03/2003: Updated.

04/2000: Updated.

08/1996: Updated.

02/18/1994: Approved by Chancellor Gene A. Budig.

Financial Categories: 
Operational Categories: 
Outreach & Solicitation

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