The University of Chicago likes to give undergraduate- and graduate students the illusion that they have a say in how the organization is run, so they grant us audience with members of the board of trustees every once in a while. Next week, I will attend a luncheon with Paul Yovovich, president, co-founder and principal of Lake Capital, at which event I hope to ask him a truncated version of the question below:
Based on my work with intercollegiate organizations and personal experience visiting my friends at other top-tier colleges around the country, I’ve noticed that the University of Chicago gives comparatively little institutional support for its students’ entrepreneurial endeavors. Given that UChicago attracts ambitious, talented students from around the world, that it is in the university’s interest to attract more of these students, and concomitant to recent efforts to rebrand UChicago as a vital, engaging, supportive, and fun place to spend one’s undergraduate years, might the university consider extending some of its considerable resources toward material support of this small but influential group of students? Might the creation of a fund bridge the perceived gap between the finance-oriented economics majors, the research-oriented physical and biological science majors, and other academic/intellectual cohorts on campus? Wouldn’t this align all of these groups’ interests and provide a potential source of revenue and good publicity for the university?
All the sarcastic commentary contained within the first sentence of this post aside, Paul is a good guy. I had the pleasure of talking with him about private equity and the nature thereof when I was in high school. I’ll revisit this post if/when I have the opportunity to ask him about increasing institutional support of enterprising students.