W. Roman Petryshyn | Cultivating our legacy: Both a “Consortium of Directors of Ukrainian Studies” and a “Network of Fundraising Organizations Promoting University Endowments” are needed now to help protect and expand institutional endowments for Ukrainian studies at Canadian universities

Roman Petryshyn

Founding Director of Ukrainian Resource Development Centre, MacEwan University (1987–2015)


ROMAN PETRYSHYN is Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, where he is researching the reform of the university system in Ukraine. From 1987 to 2015 he was Director of the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC) at MacEwan University. He holds a PhD in the Sociology of Race and Ethnic Relations from the University of Bristol and a Diploma in Social Sciences from the University of Birmingham, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, ON). Dr. Petryshyn edited Changing Realities: Social Trends Among Ukrainian Canadians and has authored a number of articles on different themes in Ukrainian community and international development.



The celebration of the 40th anniversary of CIUS is an appropriate occasion to reflect on what has been achieved in Ukrainian studies. Throughout that time, Canadians of Ukrainian ethnicity remained involved in the Ukrainian community and created a variety of Ukrainian institutions, among which are ten centres of Ukrainian studies at universities across Canada.

Funding is central to every organization, as it defines the capacity and range of programs it can undertake. It is therefore vital that discussions about future planning of Ukrainian studies examine the nature and amount of funding that is available. It is useful to look at this subject historically, comparatively, and critically before planning future activities.

This paper will summarize information and draw on data recently collected in the three prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba that can inform us about trends relating to institutional endowments for Ukrainian studies (IEUS). The focus is on several key questions regarding the endowments that fund the core administrative finances of Ukrainian centres, institutes, and a college (i.e., excluding the costs of courses, curricula, library, or archives), namely:

a) What is the nature of the governance system overseeing IEUS, and what degree of influence do donors and community organizations have to protect their endowments at recipient universities?

b) How many IEUS exist at the four Canadian prairie universities in this study; how do they differ from one another, and what is their market value?

c) How much revenue do these endowments yield annually, and how many Ukrainian studies faculty and support staff positions receive guaranteed funding from IEUS?

d) Are the terms of agreement for IEUS being fully respected? How can donors be assured that their donations for Ukrainian studies will continue to be used for their stated purposes in generations to come?

e) How can a more positive climate for giving be built up within the Ukrainian-Canadian community?

f) Should a national network of individual donors and foundations be created to establish greater co-operation with Canadian universities and facilitate closer monitoring and promotion of IEUS?

g) What priorities should donors engage to help protect existing IEUS and raise funds for future endeavours?

We will look at the history and growth of the financial capacity of Ukrainian studies in the prairie region of Canada and identify some lessons learned that can benefit future donors. Answers to these questions were collected via published annual reports and two dozen interviews with selected, knowledgeable respondents over the past eight months in order to consolidate information from six centres at four Canadian prairie universities.

Historical Perspective

Over the past 125 years, Ukrainian Canadians have carried the bulk of financing the many organizational systems that have made up the “Ukrainian community”—or, more accurately, our community of communities. Anecdotally, we know that Ukrainians have financially sustained several major community structures that stabilize the community. These include multimillion-dollar financing for: (1) religious institutions, (2) community centres based on various ideologies, (3) credit unions, (4) dance and arts organizations, and (5) Ukrainian studies teaching, research, and publishing institutions at Canadian universities.

Of the foregoing five categories, the latter is the most recent, having sprung up in the 1960s and continued to the present. It is also the least coordinated one of the five mentioned at the national level. This is the case even though annual expenditures in Ukrainian studies are comparable with other categories that do have significant national coordination.

Since the 1950s, individual Ukrainians in Canada and the USA have donated sums of money to create endowments at universities that generate annual investment revenues used to finance projects and institutions in Ukrainian studies. To date, such institutions exist in seven cities of Canada, and at least three in the United States. In Canada these endowments can be found in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Victoria, London, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa. In the United States, institutional endowments in Ukrainian studies exist in Boston, New York, and Chicago.

Donated endowments have financially supported centres, institutes, and a college that teach, research, and publish about the religions, history, languages, literature, folklore, social sciences, and development of Ukrainians in North America and Ukraine. Prior to the creation of these endowments, Ukrainian-content courses were not taught at universities, despite the fact that Ukrainians had settled in North America since the 1880s.

The information that follows is from a study that focuses on four universities in Western Canada, namely: the University of Alberta and MacEwan University in Edmonton, the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and the University of Manitoba.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind. Its purpose is to begin a dialogue among Canadian professionals in Ukrainian studies that could result in coordinated action enabling Ukrainian Canadians in the twenty-first century to develop a strategic plan that will serve to protect and expand IEUS. I will make two specific and interrelated recommendations for action at the end of the paper.

The capacity for institutional endowments in Ukrainian studies on Canadian campuses emerged in the context of the generation and circumstances of the donors

This report provides empirical evidence that endowments have proven to be central to the creation and development of Ukrainian studies at Western Canadian universities. The history of six centres in prairie Canada demonstrates that endowments for centres and institutes have been established in three periods, with three different sets of objectives. From the 1920s to the 1960s, donors focused on financing religiously based institutions. In the 1970s and 1980s, new Ukrainian institutions were endowed to enhance community participation in multiculturalism. Most recently, from the 1990s to the present, the gifting of endowments has been motivated largely by the desire to build Canada/Ukraine inter-university relations. This enables academics to study and promote the independence and sustainability of Ukraine as a democratic state and society that aspires to join the European Union.

The institutions that emerged in these three periods all continue to exist today and play their specific roles individually and simultaneously. However, each is structured differently, depending on its purpose, with different operating methods and different expected outcomes and products. Table 1 compares the governance models and community influence of the six institutions.

Table 1.

Comparison of Governance Models and Community Influence Supporting Ukrainian Studies at Six Western Canadian Institutions

Degree of Community Influence Mechanism for monitoring Investment with Community Foundation
St. Andrew’s College in Winnipeg (SAC) at the University of Manitoba



The College was created through provincial legislation, and since 1963 has had a signed land-lease agreement with the University of Manitoba. It has its own Board of Governors, drawn from the Sobor of the UOCC.  +++ Annual report to College donors.

The College contributes budget costs through fundraising, support of the UOCC and SUS, and its own foundation.

St. Andrew’s College Foundation has $5.9 million with the Shevchenko Foundation, which invests and manages the fund to produce annual revenues.
Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies (CUCS) at the University of Manitoba



University-approved agreement with St. Andrew’s College in 1981 established this jointly managed (unincorporated) centre. Of the ten members on the Policy Council, six are from the Ukrainian community. ++ Annual report submitted to Dean of Arts and to SAC. The Arts Faculty contributes to budget costs, along with CUCS endowment revenue. CUCS has $1.8 million in endowments. These funds are managed by the University of Manitoba Foundation under the authority of a Policy Council.
Kule Folklore Centre (KuFC) at the University of Alberta



University signed agreement establishing KuFC in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies. A Board of Directors draws 3 of its 8 members from the Ukrainian community. ++ An annual report is submitted to the Board of Directors and UofA Provost and Dean of Arts.

Both endowment revenues and the university contribute to budget costs.

Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre (casino-funded Society) are planning to set up a Designated Fund with the Shevchenko Foundation.
Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC) at MacEwan University



University president signed a 5-year agreement (2015–20) with president of the Ukrainian Foundation for College Education (UFCE) regarding its role in URDC projects. ++ URDC reports to MacEwan Provost; its Kule Chair reports to the Dean of Arts. Both endowment revenues and Arts Faculty contribute to budget costs. UFCE has $312,000 in a Designated Fund with the Shevchenko Foundation. Annual revenues are paid to UFCE, which directs the funds to URDC.
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta



General Faculties Council approved CIUS. +

·  2 continents

·  5 offices

· Press

CIUS Director reports to Dean of Arts. CIUS administrative matters are managed by the Faculty’s Arts Collaboration Enterprise (ACE). CIUS has the support of a community fundraising group called the Alberta Association for the Advancement of Ukrainian Studies (AAAUS). Has had intermittent support from casino-funded “liaison/ethnocultural” group called the Alberta Society for the Advancement of Ukrainian Studies (ASAUS does not have any endowments).

CFUS, Jacyk Family, and other foundations and major individual donors contribute to CIUS.

Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Heritage (PCUH) at St. Thomas More College (STM), federated with the University of Saskatchewan An academic unit of STM  + Director is a faculty member, appointed by and reporting to the Dean of STM. Some potential donors to PCUH are considering investing in the Shevchenko Foundation, directing revenues to benefit PCUH.

Host or partner universities have used different kinds of legal agreements to govern the Ukrainian centres associated with their organizational structures. As a result, the centres have varying degrees of autonomy, and endowments have been established for different subjects within Ukrainian studies (e.g., Ukrainian history, Ukrainian-Canadian studies, Ukrainian folklore, Ukrainian language, Ukraine; and theology) and different purposes (e.g., operating costs, student awards, publishing, etc.). Moreover, over time, the various centres/institutes in Ukrainian studies have developed different administrative models regarding: (a) how much community control is written into the legal agreements (high +++ or medium ++ or low +; see Table 1); (b) what kind of mechanisms are established to monitor those agreements; and (c) whether Ukrainian studies are supported by a community foundation.

Table 1 shows that St. Andrew’s College has negotiated the most comprehensive agreements of the six institutions examined in the Ukrainian studies field. The college was created by an act of the Manitoba government; it joined the University of Manitoba on terms similar to those that govern other confessional colleges (Anglican and Roman Catholic) and has a land lease as well as benefits from internal university financial and administrative structures.

Typically, other Ukrainian studies institutions were formed internally at their respective universities and have fewer written legal documents of incorporation. Their existence depends on resolutions of general faculty councils and/or decisions of university boards of governors. The remaining five institutions have been established in this way.

Three of the five institutions—CUCS, KuFC, and URDC—were created as internal constituents of their universities but are also supported by community fundraising groups that have established endowments to benefit their institutions. Two of these three community organizations (KuFC and URDC) are investing their endowments externally with the Shevchenko Foundation, rather than only with the university.

These community fundraising organizations have developed a working relationship with the recipient Ukrainian studies institutions but remain independent registered societies outside the university. This enables such community groups to familiarize themselves with the internal work priorities in Ukrainian studies, as well as to continue their fundraising efforts externally.

This model is emerging as the most effective way to ensure university autonomy in internal decision-making, while giving donors some involvement and influence in the evolution of Ukrainian studies, both locally and nationally. Currently, fundraising occurs in a shrinking pool of donors who have traditionally supported religiously based and multicultural Ukrainian institutions.

Table 2.

Summary of Endowments for “Pan-Ukrainian” and Ukrainian-Canadian Studies at Four Prairie Universities

St. Andrew’s College (Winnipeg) $5.7 million
Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies (Winnipeg) $1.8 million
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (Edmonton) $22.5 million (estimate) $2.5 million (estimate)
Kule Folklore Centre


$12.4 million
Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (Edmonton) $7.5 million
Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Heritage $1.9 million
Total $ 30.0 million $24.3 million
Grand total $54.3 million

This report examined only 6 of 15 Ukrainian centres in North America. The total values of endowments at six Ukrainian centres/institutes at four Western Canadian universities are presented below in two categories: 1) for studies on Ukraine and 2) for Ukrainian-Canadian studies.

The market value of endowments for research and other activities on Ukraine is estimated to be approximately $30 million in 2015. The market value of endowments for Ukrainian-Canadian studies is approximately $24.3 million.

The total market value in 2015 of endowments at the six centres is approximately (at least) $54.3 million. More detailed research, using annual financial reports, is necessary to establish precise figures.

Table 3.

Estimated Annual Expenditures of Six Ukrainian Studies Organizations in 2015–16

Institution Estimated Budget Expenditures in 2015–16
St. Andrew’s College $1,200,000
Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies $200,000
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies $1,500,000 *
Kule Folklore Centre $621,000 *
Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre $264,000
Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Heritage $56,000
Total $3,880,000

* includes costs of salaries paid from university general funds, as per agreements in place

Summary data indicate that expenditures at the six Ukrainian studies centres/institutes in 2015 were approximately $3.8 million. The majority of these funds were spent at the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta.

Table 4.

Summary of Endowment Sources of Funding for Academic and Non-Academic Staffing in Ukrainian Studies at Four Western Canadian Universities (FTE)

Centre/Institute Academic Faculty Support Staff
  Endowment revenues University funds Endowment revenues University funds
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, U of A 3.5 2.0 1.0 4.0
Kule Folklore Centre, U of A 2.0 (+0.5**) 2.0
URDC, MacEwan University 1.0 1.0
Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Heritage, U of S 0.3 0.2
St. Andrew’s College, U of M 2.0 5.5
Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies, U of M 3.0 0.5 0.2 0.8
Total by column 9.8 5.0 9.7 4.8
Total Academic faculty – 14.8
Total Support Staff – 14.5

* Full-time equivalency for one position equals four full courses (or eight one-semester courses)

** 0.5 position is for French Canadian studies managed by KuFC

Academic and Non-Academic Staff in Winnipeg and Edmonton

Number of full-time equivalent (FTE*) positions funded by university (base) funds and revenues from institutional endowments at Ukrainian institutions in four prairie universities. Contracted faculty are not included in this list of endowed positions.

The summary indicates that a total of 14.8 academic positions in Winnipeg and Edmonton are secured by endowment and negotiated agreements. There are also 14.5 ongoing support positions in Ukrainian studies.

Altogether the total is just over 29 positions in the four universities of Prairie Canada.

Table 5.

Comparison of Winnipeg and Edmonton – Ukrainian Studies Academic and Support Staff, 2015–16

Academic Staff                            Support Staff

Endowment University Endowment University Total
St. Andrew’s 2.0 5.5 7.5
CUCS 3.0* 0.5** 0.2 0.8 4.5
Total 5.0 0.5** 5.7 0.8 12.0
CIUS 3.5 2.0 1.0 4.0 10.5
KuFC 2.5 2.0 4.5
URDC 1.0 1.0 2.0
Total 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.0 17.0

(NB* Approximately 3 FTEs are funded by the CUCS endowment and student tuitions for courses. The courses are taught by qualified academic sessional lecturers specializing in Ukrainian studies.

**The Faculty of Arts provides funding for a 0.5 academic director.

When we compare the two endowed centres in Winnipeg with the three endowed centres in Edmonton (taking permanent and contract staff into consideration), the distribution of academic and support staff is similar in both cities. Funds allow for 17.0 full-time equivalency (FTE) positions in Edmonton and 12.0 in Winnipeg.

As for academic staff conducting teaching, research, and publishing work in Ukrainian studies, there are similar numbers in Winnipeg (5.5) and Edmonton (8.5). However, a greater number of academic positions exist in Winnipeg on a part-time basis than in Edmonton.

In support staff, Winnipeg has 6.5 positions, while Edmonton has 8.5. The University of Alberta provides somewhat more financial support for support staff than does the University of Manitoba.

The total number of people working in Ukrainian studies in 2015–16 was 12.0 in Winnipeg and 17.0 in Edmonton. This includes faculty sessional lecturers paid by endowments and departmental budgets.

Challenges with the “Corporate University”

Universities have become more corporatized in the last two decades. Today’s corporate university structure has made administrative processes more centralized and put more control into the hands of administrators than of faculty members. One consequence is that major changes have weakened the administrative authority and structure of Ukrainian centres and institutes.

  • Constant Administrative Restructuring
  • Corporatization of University Structures
  • Recapitalization of Endowments
  • Institutional Memory Is Inadequate
  • The Danger of Endowed Positions in Ukrainian Studies Being Changed to Other Disciplines
  • Little Co-operation on Financial Matters Among Ukrainian Centres
  • Defining Whose Role It Is to Promote and Raise New Endowments

The internal organizational structure of universities is in perpetual change.

Administrative structures at universities change continually with circumstances in programs, growth in the number and types of students, and the amount of financing provided by public and private sources. With decreasing numbers of students, Ukrainian studies lose out and have less access to senior decisionmakers at universities.

Corporate fundraising has become the central mechanism for university fundraising. The relationship between Ukrainian studies professors and university endowments is no longer available as the principal way for universities to raise funds for Ukrainian studies. Where Ukrainian studies have not been made a priority by the corporate university, it is unlikely that the centralized fundraisers will raise money for Ukrainian studies. Instead, they tend to target Ukrainian studies donors for general university needs.

Some universities have eliminated the process of recapitalization. Unless endowment agreements specifically include clauses on recapitalization from revenues, universities may refuse to carry out this function.

This experience teaches donors that they would be wise to include a written clause on recapitalization in their endowment agreement if they wish the practice of recapitalization to be applied. Practice has shown that donors might best be advised to choose 20 percent as the portion of annual revenue that should be returned to capital to continually enhance the capital fund.

The number of staff and the authority of offices for university advancement (fundraising) have been growing in administrative authority but, arguably, not in their understanding of the field of Ukrainian studies. As university staff is constantly changing, verbal or undocumented decisions can easily be forgotten when personnel change. Even documented decisions can be forgotten, misconstrued, or intentionally overwritten.

Corporate memory of endowments for Ukrainian studies is relatively poorly documented, both at the universities and in the Ukrainian centres themselves. Even signed agreements get lost, and documents from years ago have been misplaced at universities. On the other hand, donors may have signed documents while still alive, but such documents are not necessarily passed on to family members. Moreover, typically copies of such agreements have not been given to community organizations. Unsurprisingly, there is no central depository for endowment agreements (or copies) in Ukrainian studies.

Problems arise with regard to earned revenues when there is little corporate memory of the donors’ wishes. Unless some agency or program is made responsible to remember the purpose of endowments, the donors’ families or their proxies will become disconnected from the annual reports and unable to assess the university’s use of earned revenues based on their donations.

I believe there is an urgent need to compile and maintain a central data bank of agreements (signed in the past by donors with university and community foundations), as well as duplicate annual investment reports released by donors to their proxies, to ensure that their donations for Ukrainian studies will continue to be used for their stated purpose for generations to come.

University foundations vary their policies over time and do not always honour the terms of endowment agreements in the long term. Consequently, there is a danger that some endowed positions in Ukrainian studies may be diverted to other disciplines.

For example, teaching positions in Ukrainian studies depend on sufficient student enrolment in courses. The tendency to require larger and larger numbers of students for classes has negatively impacted minority interests such as classics, as well as Ukrainian studies. If student numbers are not sufficient, the university reserves the right to reassign faculty members to courses other than those with Ukrainian content. Thus, specialists in Ukrainian studies may end up teaching general history or cultural studies in classes unrelated to the original terms of the corresponding endowment. In this way, the university retains its permanent faculty member; however, the terms of reference signed by the donor (i.e., specifically supporting Ukrainian- content courses) may be disregarded.

To make matters worse, there is little sharing of information on financial details among the universities and their Ukrainian centres.

Lack of a formal coordination agreement among directors of Ukrainian studies to meet, share, and discuss endowments has meant that there is little communication and less planning than would be possible if they co-operated. It has also meant that no formal meetings or planning between directors in Ukrainian studies and all the Ukrainian community foundations have taken place. This gap has weakened the message from the universities to community donors about the need for new endowments in Ukrainian studies.

Since ten Ukrainian centres and institutes in Canada have already set up their founding endowments, a coordinated plan could negotiate that further donations might be invested with a community foundation, where disbursed earned revenues are higher than the 3.5 percent generally offered by universities. It is also possible to imagine a negotiation whereby community foundations would provide some matching funds for new endowments in order to keep new endowment funds under the investment control of Ukrainian institutions.

Whose role is it to promote and raise new endowments?

IEUS have previously been raised by community leaders and faculty members who championed specific fields. Major donations have rarely (if ever) been sourced successfully by the staff of development or advancement offices at Canadian universities.

In the past, the driving motivation for fundraising has been the community’s traditional need for affirmative action in academic work because of the destruction and oppression of Ukrainian scholars in Ukraine over several generations. Scholarly work in Ukrainian studies is central to understanding and honouring the donor’s identity (i.e., Ukrainian history, language, literature, and folklore content). This model of fundraising for Ukrainian studies resonated within the ethnic community, which was devoted to protecting its Ukrainian identity.

Nowadays, the recent independence of Ukraine has posed a different set of economic and scholarly needs and opportunities. Ukrainian scholarly work has been enriched with opportunities for academic exchange in all disciplines (e.g., agriculture, medicine, law, and engineering). Universities in Ukraine are seeking to adopt Western program standards, with appropriate pedagogy in a wide range of specialized fields of study.

These new circumstances raise questions about the future direction of Ukrainian studies in Canada. Should fundraising for Ukrainian studies shift its current focus on the humanities to include other fields in addition to questions of identity? Whose role is it to decide on priorities and locate the financial resources for such a change?

What should be done to protect and grow IEUS?

The foregoing cases outline some of the current challenges facing fundraisers for new Ukrainian studies endowments. The original trust relations between donors from various Ukrainian communities and Ukrainian professors, which were key to fundraising for Ukrainian studies and facilitated giving, have deteriorated.

A new kind of relationship has to be created. It could become a relationship between a community of fundraisers and the corporatized university—one that would ensure corporate memory, monitor and compare the financial management of endowments, avoid administrative pitfalls, and take advantage of investment opportunities when they emerge.

Let us examine two interlocking proposals for strengthening the financial capacity of Ukrainian studies at the universities and fundraisers in the Ukrainian Canadian community.

One proposal is to establish a “Consortium of Directors in Ukrainian Studies.” The other is to strengthen the relationship between “town and gown” by linking existing fundraising organizations to create a new national network of fundraising organizations that promotes IEUS.

Two Steps Toward the Creation of a Working Relationship Between Town and Gown

A) Establish a “Consortium of Directors of Ukrainian Studies”

B) Create a National “Network of Fundraising Organizations Promoting IEUS”

Establishing a “Consortium of Directors of Ukrainian Studies”

A formal “Consortium of Directors of Ukrainian Studies” should be established through a partnership agreement. The partnership can be signed on the basis of mutually agreed principles of co-operation and joint interests. The political objective underlying the creation of such a consortium would be to share knowledge about existing IEUS in Canada and to create new ones.

The way to build greater capacity is to look after harmony and order inside the Ukrainian donor community. No one group (Catholic, Orthodox, nationalist, newcomers, established generations, etc.) should have a monopoly over a national endowment oversight process. The same is true of the centres/institutes/colleges in Ukrainian studies. Respecting the principles of unity and diversity will strengthen the capacity of Ukrainian studies and increase donations from the national Ukrainian-Canadian community.

Annual revenues from IEUS investments, although fluctuating with market conditions, have generally provided a stable source of funding. More than sixty years have passed since the first endowments for Ukrainian studies were created. It is time that our Ukrainian studies centres coordinate their efforts to study and better understand their situation, as well as to learn how challenges have been overcome and which others still exist. Most importantly, research is needed to develop a strategy to assure donors that their endowment contributions are secure, that revenues are funding intended purposes, and that academia will continue to attract new donors and grow Ukrainian studies in the future.

Once established, the “Consortium of Directors of Ukrainian Studies” should initiate and endorse joint activities to collect and share information about available matching dollar programs and research grants available at universities, including revenues from small endowments. This information should be shared among the Ukrainian centres and provided to all Ukrainian-Canadian community foundations on a regular basis.

Creating a National “Network of Fundraising Organizations for Promoting IEUS”

Given that existing IEUS in Ukrainian studies are likely the largest investments ever made for the development of Ukrainian culture in Canada, an institutionalized national program needs to be created to oversee the well-being of these investments.

As only donors or their proxies have the right to receive financial reports on their gifted investments, individual donors and organizational fundraisers need to create a program to monitor investments on behalf of those donors no longer able to do so. The initiative for a Network of Fundraising Organizations can be led by two of our established foundations that have a national mandate and the capacity to undertake such a community-development project.

Two foundations well-suited for the task are the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies (CFUS) and the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko (Shevchenko Foundation). The former has a mandate to foster Ukrainian studies across Canada, while the latter has the infrastructure to undertake the development of such an initiative. Together, these two national foundations can also engage the co-operation of a variety of existing local and family foundations that have demonstrated their commitment to expanding IEUS at Canadian universities.

Both CFUS and the Shevchenko Foundation have a policy on Ukrainian higher education, and both have invested donor endowments in Ukrainian studies. Together, along with local community foundations, they are capable of harnessing expertise (e.g., in law, accounting, investment, and donor relations) that would allow them to create a national network and enable them to assist donors, new and old, across Canada.

In my opinion, the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies should lead the co-operative initiative because this activity corresponds to the bulk of CFUS’s central mandate and purpose. Certainly, the Shevchenko Foundation also has endowments in this field; unlike CFUS, however, IEUS are a minority portion of the range of activities carried out by the Shevchenko Foundation. Finally, other foundations raising funds for institutional endowments in Ukrainian studies are of a regional character and do not manage funds from across Canada.

The Network could carry out a program of activities such as the following:

Proposed Activities of the Network of Fundraising Organizations Promoting IEUS

  • Ensure that legal proxies from donors are arranged.
  • Compile and maintain a central data bank of duplicate donor-signed agreements (signed in the past by donors with university and community foundations), as well as duplicate annual university investment reports released by donors to their proxies;
  • Offer advice to new donors for ideas and wording of new agreements;
  • Propose to new donors that CFUS and the Shevchenko Foundation co-sign all new agreements and hold the donors’ proxies in perpetuity;
  • Partner with regional foundations to assist them in their work with local IEUS and ensure their participation in national projects and meetings;
  • Compare investment portfolios and revenue performance of IEUS at different universities;
  • Establish an inter-university network among donors in specific cities/regions (e.g., Edmonton) where Ukrainian studies are offered at more than one university;
  • Offer major donors membership in the “Network of Fundraising Organizations Promoting IEUS” and the right to participate in national conferences and seminars concerning IEUS;
  • Provide necessary foundation staff time and sufficient funds to carry out, on a biennial basis, summary financial reports and workshop programs;
  • Ensure that endowment revenues paying for university teaching positions respect the terms of endowment with regard to teaching Ukrainian studies courses; and
  • Arrange regular meetings between the Consortium of Directors and the Network of Fundraising Organizations.

As generations change in Ukrainian studies, a national Network of Fundraising Organizations can provide continuous oversight of IEUS that is rooted in Canadian law. The process of national oversight will require the capacity to use the court system, deal with university regulations, understand investment strategies, and collaborate with and respect diversity within the Ukrainian Canadian community, as well as other professional skills.

The Network could also:

  • provide greater insight into the comparative financial performance of IEUS;
  • build a much-needed bridge between universities and Ukrainian-Canadian fundraising organizations;
  • empower donors or their proxies to increase their influence with university offices of advancement;
  • stimulate trust relationships with new donors and open a continuous dialogue between fundraising organizations and employees at Ukrainian centres; and
  • facilitate greater corporate memory and exchange of information on IEUS among the Ukrainian centres themselves.

Finally, I recommend that Ukrainian-Canadian foundations themselves consider, either singly or jointly, whether they wish to establish their own matching dollar programs for Ukrainian studies at universities; for example, a program of matching endowment gifts, such as $1 for every $5 donated, would stimulate donations. It is also conceivable that a program of community foundations “co-matching with universities” could be established. All of this, of course, requires strategic planning.

Strategic Planning

Achieving community oversight requires bringing the full diversity of Ukrainian-Canadian organizations into a common effort. Creating a “community of communities” would facilitate the emergence of a collective (i.e., federated consortium) perspective. The effectiveness of the oversight program and strategizing requires drawing upon all the resources that can be gathered together in Canada, along with whatever help can be obtained from Ukraine.

This new relationship can be achieved by establishing a more complete dialogue among three categories: the Consortium of Directors of Ukrainian Studies, Ukrainian community foundations, and individuals who donate to endowments in Ukrainian studies. New attention and a greater amount of time and money should be spent in bringing endowment specialists and volunteers from the Ukrainian community together. The new “Kule Legacy Monitoring Program” created in June 2016 by the Shevchenko Foundation is a good first-step example of this approach. The Shevchenko Foundation will oversee 14 endowments set up by Peter and Doris Kule at four Canadian universities.

In their favour, community foundations continue to be community-controlled and have smaller administrative fees than do universities. For example, the Shevchenko Foundation charges a smaller administrative fee (up to 0.5 percent vs 1.0 percent). Moreover, unlike university investments, the Shevchenko Foundation has paid out returns of more than 6 percent when market conditions are suitable.

Greater co-operation within the Ukrainian-Canadian community will open new possibilities for growing IEUS in Canada. The need is evident, and this possibility deserves the attention of leaders in both the Ukrainian-Canadian community and academia. Future fundraising requires that the academy and community refresh and strengthen their relationship, which has proved so successful in the past.