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$100K Challenge for MIS Innovation

Giving Back

After 18 years in the MIS BBA Program, I decided that I wanted to leave something behind when I retire, something that would help fulfill a need in the program and recognize my parents, Ouita and Roy Patton.  

The Need

Electives have historically been the MIS BBA Program venue for trying out new trends from the marketplace. New electives let us test the waters to see if a new class is needed for the curriculum or if content needs to be added to existing classes. Electives equal innovation. Since the dot com bust, the program has faced many challenges tied to enrollment. As in industry, resources follow product numbers. Although we have seen growth (from the bottom of 140 MIS majors in 2005 to almost 300 majors today), the university has also seen some fairly drastic cutbacks. The combined result is that the number of MIS electives has fallen dramatically.

Students in a classroom raising hands.

The Opportunity

How to solve this elective challenge? With the Ouita and Roy Patton Endowed Lecture Series for MIS Innovation. The goal is to generate funds enough to support one lecturer to teach one new elective per academic year – beyond electives supported by normal budget lines. To do this, we need a base of at least $250,000. That’s a lot of money, but there is already momentum. From friends and family, I have already raised $30,000, and I am optimistic about raising another $20,000 from personal connections. And here is the GREAT news! Dean Gilligan has agreed that if we can raise $100,000 in gifts and pledges, he will match that with $100,000 from the McCombs gift. We have ONE YEAR to raise the $100K, but it can be in the form of pledges payable over time, up to a limit of five years. 

Give Now

As an alumnus, you will be hearing more about the Our Turn campaign, an effort to re-engage McCombs alumni across the world. As a faculty ambassador of this campaign, I hope to get you all involved with the Our Turn campaign. My efforts to leave a legacy at MIS fall exactly in line with this effort to increase the number of alumni giving back to the McCombs Schools of Business. If 100 alums give $1,000, we will raise $100,000 and get the $100,000 match. Add the $50K from Patton family and friends to equal the $250K we need to enable this innovative solution to our elective problem.

Will you give?

Go to the Giving Link. In the special information textbox, you will see Ouita and Roy Patton Endowed Lecture Series for MIS Innovation. If you give $200 for five years, payable at $50 a quarter, that’s $1,000! If you give $250 a quarter for one year, that’s $1,000, for five years, that’s $5,000!  Help us create the Ouita and Roy Patton Endowed Lecture Series for MIS Innovation; invest in the future of the MIS BBA Program.

-Article by Senior Lecturer Elota Patton