UE Receives Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2021
The University of Evansville (UE) has received a grant of $5 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. through the competitive Phase 3 of its initiative, Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities. The grant will support the establishment of a shared, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with a single set of standardized business practices.
UE is one of 16 Indiana colleges and universities that will be supported by funding in the final phase of Charting the Future, an initiative designed to help colleges and universities in Indiana assess and prioritize the most significant challenges and opportunities they face as higher education institutions and develop strategies to address them.
Over the span of several months, UE collaborated with three other institutions to request the grant. Those institutions included Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; North Central College in Naperville, Illinois; and Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. Valparaiso also received a $5 million from Lilly Endowment through the Charting the Future initiative. That grant will fund Valparaiso’s participation in the collaboration.
Through the collaboration, the four institutions will form an independent, non-profit organization called the College and University Sustainability Project (CUSP) to house the collaborative effort toward providing efficient and effective non-academic services. Once significant progress has been achieved, the intention is to enable additional institutions to join CUSP and achieve similar efficiency and effectiveness.
Concepts and initiatives for the grant were established by a steering committee of members from each of the four institutions. In addition to the four presidents, it was comprised of chief financial officers, chief information officers, and other key administrators.
“The University of Evansville is very grateful to Lilly Endowment for its generous grant and commitment to supporting higher education,” said Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, president of UE. “Technology is an ever-evolving industry that directly impacts our University, and this grant will provide remarkable opportunities and expand our capabilities for modernization among core information systems.”
“Indiana’s colleges and universities face myriad challenges as they work to fulfill their educational missions while adapting to growing financial pressures, rapid demographic and technological changes, and evolving needs and demands of students,” said Ted Maple, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “We are pleased with the creative and collaborative approaches the colleges and universities are taking to address these challenges and seize opportunities to better serve their students, institutions, communities and the state of Indiana.”
Lilly Endowment launched the three-phased Charting the Future initiative in 2019 to help leaders of the state’s 38 colleges and universities engage in thoughtful discernment about the future of their institutions and to advance strategic planning and implementation efforts to address key challenges and opportunities. Collaboration was encouraged, especially in the third phase of Charting the Future, and several schools proposed collaborative programs and strategies. Through three phases of grantmaking, Lilly Endowment awarded more than $138 million to the schools.
Through earlier rounds of the initiative, all 38 schools received planning grants, which were approved in December 2019, and implementation grants approved in June and September 2020. The implementation grants funded strategies to improve efforts to prepare students for successful futures and strengthen the schools’ long-term institutional vitality.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.