Informatics and CS

Giving to Informatics and CS

Graduates sometimes inquire how to give back to the Informatics and CS program. Recently several local employers have expressed an interest in supporting the program. Here are some opportunities:

  • Cash Contributions: Tax deductible donations to the Informatics and CS department can be used in infinite ways to benefit the program, either left to the discretion of the department chair and dean, or by specifying a particular facet of the program that you wish to support.
  • Endowments: An endowment is a permanent, self-sustaining source of funding. Endowment assets are invested, and each year a portion of the value of the fund is paid out to support the fund’s purpose, and any earnings in excess of this distribution are used to build the fund’s market value. Thus, an endowment fund can grow and provide support for its designated purpose in perpetuity.
    • Endowed Professorships: Donors who fund endowed professorships support the program by guaranteeing critical support to the program’s best faculty. Professorship funds may be used to supplement the faculty member's salary and research-related expenses. The minimum amount for an Endowed Professorship is $250,000; however, donors can make payments over 3 to 5 years to reach the desired endowment level. Each endowed faculty appointment will bear the name of the donor or other honoree.
    • Endowed Chairs: Donors who fund endowed chairs ehhance the program by providing funding to support a complete faculty salary. This makes it possible for the department to hire critical faculty members that they might not otherwise have had funding to attract. Chair funds may be used to support the faculty member's salary and research-related expenses. The minimum amount for an Endowed Chair is $5,000,000; however, donors can make payments over 3 to 5 years to reach the desired endowment level. Each endowed faculty appointment will bear the name of the donor or other honoree.
  • Classroom Renovations: Donors can contribute funds to support all or part of the renovation of a classroom to assist us in better teaching our IT courses. Rapid changes in technology make it difficult for the university to revamp classrooms, and help is sorely needed maintain necessary technology levels in a modern classroom. Classrooms may then bear the name of the donor or other honorees.
  • Scholarships: Donations can be made to fund a scholarship supporting undergraduate or graduate students.
  • Equipment Donation: Many companies help the Informatics and CS program by donating new or used technology to the program. Networking classes benefit from such donations, and donations of technology could make it more feasible to better teach specialized topics like app development. Facilities for the development of online classes are a high priority for the College at this time.
  • Internships: Experiential learning is critically important to majors in Informatics and CS and CS. An internship not only supplements the education that a student receives in the classroom, but also increases their marketability upon graduation. There are two levels of internships at ISU, one level that provides students with an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a real world setting, and another level that provides advanced students exposure to concepts difficult to teach adequately in the classroom, such as requirements gathering, agile development, etc. For more information see Applied Informatics and CS.
  • Speaker series: Our ACM student organization welcomes speakers from the Informatics sector. Companies are invited to visit and discuss their organization's purpose, the technology that is currently in use, the skills and experience that students need to be qualified for employment at the company, etc. Some speakers elect to support the student organization by funding food for the meetings and/or by bringing promotional items to share with the students. Many classes also seek guest lecturers to reinforce course content.
  • Tech Expos and Professional Development: Opportunities abound for companies to sponsor and/or participate in tech expos or Professional Development Week.
  • Class Visits or Facilities Tours: Our Informatics classes welcome opportunities to visit local employers to witness the IT process in action. The opportunity to observe agile modeling sessions or actual requirements gathering, for example, can be very useful for students.
  • Trip Sponsorships: Our ACM Student Organization often arranges trips for our students so that they have an opportunity to network and learn. While we try to keep costs low, supplemental funding from community sponsors would make it possible to more students to participate.
  • Recruiting: Placement of our graduates is one of our top priorities. We urge companies to visit campus and recruit students from our Informatics majors. Industry feedback on our curriculum is always welcome. While it is not feasible to design a curriculum around an individual employer, we strive to ensure that our curriculum provides the skills and knowledge needed by our top recruiters.

If you are interested in making a donation, supporting an endowed professorship, or sponsoring a classroom, please contact Mark Arstein, the College of Business Director of Development, for details.

For questions about tech expos, Professional Development Week, internships, or recruiting, please contact John Ney, our Director of Professional Development.

You are also welcome to contact the department chair, Kevin Parker with any questions.

The Informatics and CS program strives to produce exceptionally well prepared graduates capable of making an immediate contribution to their employers. With assistance from program supporters, we can be even more successful at delivering on our high expectations!