Lilly Endowment Announces $108 Million Higher Education Initiative

Lilly Endowment Announces $108 Million Higher Education Initiative

The Lilly Endowment has announced the launch of a $108 million initiative to help colleges and universities in Indiana develop strategies aimed at strengthening their relevance and sustainability.

Charting the Future for Indiana's Colleges and Universities will consist of three phases focused on key challenges facing higher education institutions in the state: a decline in enrollment; competition from job training programs and the expansion of less expensive online learning opportunities; and changes in federal funding policies. To that end, the endowment will encourage higher education leaders in the state to explore collaborative strategies with other colleges and universities as well as with business, government, and nonprofit organizations.

To date, the endowment has awarded planning grants totaling nearly $6.2 million to all eligible two- and four-year colleges and universities in the state. In phase two of the initiative, it will give colleges and universities the opportunity to apply for implementation grants of $1 million, $2.5 million, or $5 million, based on enrollment. In phase three, the endowment will set aside up to $40 million to be awarded on an invitational basis in support of large-scale proposals that address compelling challenges or opportunities requiring funding in excess of the amount institutions have received through phase two.

"We are encouraging Indiana's higher education leaders to be bold and imaginative in developing creative and collaborative strategies to strengthen their institutions and further their educational missions more effectively," said Ted Maple, the endowment's vice president for education. "We are impressed with the dedication of Indiana's higher education leaders to face head on their challenges and embrace their opportunities to build brighter futures for their students and colleges and universities."