Education Funding

Harvard, Fonda Drop Plans For Center on Gender Studies

By Michelle Galley — February 12, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Harvard University’s graduate school of education has announced plans to scrap a new center for gender studies that was to be underwritten by a multimillion-dollar gift from the actress and social activist Jane Fonda.

In fall 2001, Ms. Fonda pledged $12.5 million to the university, which would have been the largest personal gift ever to the education school. A large portion of the $6.5 million she gave at that time will be returned, said Margaret R. Haas, a spokeswoman for the school.

The choice to end the project and discontinue the gift “was a mutual decision, and the predominant factor is the downturn in the economy,” said Ms. Haas, who declined to disclose exactly how much the school would return.

Ms. Fonda had reportedly complained that the university was taking too long to establish the center and appoint a chair, criticisms that Harvard disputes. She could not be reached for comment.

Stock Troubles

Plans for a $2.5 million endowed chair have also been discontinued, Ms. Haas said. That position was to have been financed with interest generated from stock investments made with Ms. Fonda’s initial contribution. But the stock did not perform as well as expected, and thus did not generate enough income, according to Ms. Haas.

In addition, the value of Ms. Fonda’s personal stocks, which according to newspaper reports were heavily invested in AOL/Time Warner, have decreased significantly with the downturn in the stock market. Because of the state of her personal finances, Ms. Fonda was not financially able to satisfy all the terms of her donation, Ms. Haas said.

A portion of Ms. Fonda’s initial gift will be used to subsidize research on gender in education, Ms. Haas said. That research project will eventually be used to design curricula focusing on gender equity in K-12 classrooms.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Teaching Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: How Can We Help Students Feel Connected to School?
Get strategies for your struggles with student engagement. Bring questions for our expert panel. Help students recover the joy of learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding What America Spends on K-12: The Latest Federal Snapshot
About 93 percent of K-12 spending came from state and local sources in 2019-20—but more-recent year totals will reflect federal relief aid.
2 min read
Education Funding Opinion How You Can Avoid Missing Out on COVID Relief Money
We’re losing the race against the clock to spend ESSER funds, but there are solutions.
Erin Covington
3 min read
Illustration of cash dangling from line and hand trying to grasp it.
F.Sheehan/Education Week (Images: Getty)
Education Funding K-12 Infrastructure Is Broken. Here's Biden's Newest Plan to Help Fix It
School districts will, among other things, be able to apply for $500 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants for HVAC improvements.
2 min read
Image of an excavator in front of a school building.
Education Funding Less Funding, Less Representation: What a Historic Undercount of Latinos Means for Schools
Experts point to wide-ranging implications, including how much federal funding schools with large Latino populations will get.
3 min read
Classroom with Latino boy.