Matching contributions won’t continue

June 2000


Matching contributions won’t continue

UT-Battelle will not continue to match employee contributions to higher education with corporate funds. Communications and Community Outreach Director Billy Stair made the announcement to staff on May 17.

Officials for the new contractor instead referred to an annual $1.25 million commitment to education, development and cultural programs in the region.

“UT-Battelle management has examined this issue closely for several weeks, attempting to determine whether we can afford to fund the matching gifts program and also undertake our other important initiatives in education and economic development for the Oak Ridge region,” Stair said. “After careful consideration, we have determined that we will be unable to continue the matching gifts program.”

Stair cited several issues in the decision. The matching gifts program existed when there was one corporate contractor in Oak Ridge—Lockheed Martin. Funds for the matching gifts program were supplied by that corporation’s headquarters and did not come from a fixed management fee, which would have been the case with UT-Battelle. ORNL’s annual matching funding requirements in recent years ran up to $280,000.

“UT-Battelle was formed as a partnership founded solely for the purpose of managing Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Any community-related initiatives we undertake will be funded from the management fee awarded UT-Battelle from the Department of Energy,” Stair said. “UT-Battelle has committed approximately $1.25 million annually from its management fee for a variety of initiatives designed to support the region’s educational, cultural and economic development programs. Of this total, UT-Battelle has committed roughly $600,000 annually to economic development initiatives and about $400,000 to efforts we hope will strengthen math and science programs and education and economic initiatives.

“Requests from a multitude of other area civic and cultural projects leave UT-Battelle without the resources available from our management fee to continue the matching gifts program.

“We regret that we are unable to continue the matching gifts program. Our hope is that by committing some $6.3 million in targeted investments over the next five years, we can make a lasting improvement in areas of comparable importance to the citizens of the Oak Ridge region,” Stair said.