Hancher Advisory Committee

Fiscal Year 2005-2006 Report



Committee Chair(s):  Barbara Thomas and Laura Savage


Committee Members: 

Faculty: David Holmes, Susan Lagos Lavenz, James Torner

Students: Suzanne Droste, Kim Kullmer, Edward Rice, Laura Savage, Kara Westercamp, Yun Zhou

Staff: Robert Hopper, Margaret LeMay, Barbara Thomas

Hancher Guild: Peggy Scholz

Administrative Liaisons: Judy Hurtig, Chuck Swanson


Committee Charge:

1)                  Advise the Director in formulating and reviewing general policies for events presented to the University community and others;

2)                  Advise the Director in the selection of events to provide a balanced program of music, theater, dance, and the other performing arts, and advise on the presentation of these events in campus auditoria best suited to meet technical requirements, to insurance financial success, and to satisfy the intended audience;

3)                  Advise on the public reaction to the cultural and entertainment programs offered at Hancher Auditorium, the educational aspect of these programs, the promotional techniques supporting them, and the financial success of the various series and individual programs.


Meeting Dates:

In an effort to accommodate everyone’s schedules, we alternated meeting times from 8 am to 2 pm.

Friday, October 14 at 2 pm

Friday, December 2 at 8 am

Friday, February 3 at 2 pm

Friday, April 7 at 8 am

A social event for Hancher committee members was held on February 1st. Committee members saw Shen Wei Dance Arts and gathered in the café beforehand.



Throughout the year, we discussed many topics including:

·  Hancher budget (including expenses, income, sponsorship, etc.)

·  GEF funding cuts

·  Hancher Website with suggestions on improving Hancher’s online ticket purchasing services

·  Provided feedback on a letter targeted to Hancher Visionaries for support of the Joffrey’s appearance in the 35th anniversary season

·  Provided input on Joffrey’s Iowa tour in summer 2007 (public announcement of the series, visibility for the Iowa West Foundation, etc.)

·  Discussed the 2006-07 season

·  Stressed the importance of using the 35th anniversary season as a way to increase visibility, launch a campaign for more support for Hancher and its programs, etc.

·  Met with Pat Hanick, the UIF Director of Development responsible for Hancher fundraising



Final Conclusions:

The committee is greatly concerned with Hancher’s GEF funding cuts and the likelihood that these will continue over the next few years. We highly encourage Chuck and Judy to be vocal about their need for these University funds and to utilize the support of this committee and other supporters where they see fit to get that point across to University administrators.


In addition, the committee strongly feels that the 35th anniversary season provides the perfect vehicle for Hancher to launch some form of a fundraising initiative, whether it is to raise endowed funds, operating funds, or funds needed for capital improvements. We felt that these recommendations were listened to but we highly doubt that they would be acted upon by Hancher staff.


We had hoped that committee members would commit to taking on a specific task that would help the organization. With everyone’s busy schedules (especially in the heavy times of the semester) this didn’t happen and was an unrealistic expectation.


Recommendations to the Senate:

The committee’s charge should formally include serving as advocates for Hancher Auditorium. The best use of this committee’s time is to provide feedback that makes a difference to the bottom line, whether it is ticket fee suggestions or assistance with Hancher’s fundraising initiatives.