Summer 2022 - 89095 - PA 388L - Advanced Topics in Management

Perspectives on Philanthrpy

Instructor: Kenneth L. Gladish, Ph.D.

Retired President & CEO ‐‐The Seton Foundations

Office Hours by Appointment   512-694-9797



At least since the founding of the United States, a central feature of the American Republic has been a supposedly “non‐political” sphere in which some of the public’s business is accomplished. This sphere has been variously called the “third sector,” the “non‐profit sector,” the “independent sector,” and/or “civil society.” This course is principally devoted to surveying the roots, character, dimensions, problems and achievements of this sphere as it relates to the rise and practice of an American PHILANTHROPIC TRADITION. In the context of such an approach, the course also explores the relationship of American philanthropy to three other sectors which are present in the American experience: the sectors of government, business, and the family, which may be likewise categorized as the political, the economic and the household sectors. Central to the conduct of the course is a focus on the question of the degree to which the third sector has defined and shaped the ongoing history of the American political regime as it has evolved over time.

The course takes place over five summer weeks, meeting each Monday and Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. On any given evening we may conclude our time together earlier. Classroom activity is framed around a number of approaches each evening. Most class sessions will usually begin with the introduction of and dialogue with a key leader from the non-profit sector in Central Texas. With them, we will explore perspectives on their experience as leaders in the sector and the themes of our class. This will last about an hour, after which we will have a brief class break. When the class reconvenes, we will first review and discuss our guests’ participation and comments. This will last about between 30 and 45 minutes. Then we will have about a 20-30 MINUTE  for a refreshment /personal break. During most classes, the instructor will introduce the topic of the night with brief perspectives on the key question for the evening. This will take about thirty minutes. Starting with the second class session small teams of 2 students will guide class attention and discussion to the lessons to be derived from assigned readings for the night.  We have reserved an hour for such activity. The format used for student lesson review is up to students, though a brief assignment description will be made available by the instructor. We will conclude each night with a brief excursion into literary reflections on the idea and practice of generosity and concluding comments from the instructor

The course will be supported by readings compiled from a wide range of books, journals, private papers and studies, with materials related to each class session. These will be available on the UT Canvas System  In addition, two course texts will provide support for and required readings related to the course: The Non Profit Sector: A Research Handbook (Yale University Press: New Haven / 2006 ); The State of Nonprofit America (Brookings Institution Press: Washington D.C. / 2012). Students may  purchase these texts for use and reference during the course. Please note that these texts are both available digitally and free thru the UT LIBRARY Catalog.


Individual student performance will be measured by assessing general class presence and participation in discussion (30 %); participation in leading discussion of one of the assigned evening readings ( 15% ); completion of a personal “philanthropic autobiography“ ( 15 %) ; and writing an 8‐10 page essay on the current role of philanthropy in American society (40 %). These papers may focus on one of the ten major class subjects, or may select a contemporary problem in which American philanthropy is making a significant investment/effort. As this is the first time the course has been offered digitally the instructor reserves the privilege of changing both assignment structure and grading discipline as our time together progresses.

Instruction Mode