University of Miami alum donates $2 million to support engineering and computer science

Dinesh Paliwal and his wife, ILA, are giving back to his alma mater, the University of Miami, by donating $2 million to the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC). The donation will endow the deanship of the college and create scholarships.

“It was something we had been thinking about for a while,” Dinesh said.

Dinesh, a native of Agra, India, graduated from Miami on a full scholarship in 1983 with a master’s degree in applied science and engineering. In 1985, he earned his MBA in finance and paid for his tuition by teaching as a graduate assistant in the physics department.

“I think he got the full commute to come and study, and he understood that if he hadn’t had that full commute he wouldn’t be here, so I think it’s very important to pay the following to people who truly deserve it,” ILA said.

The Paliwals’ donation will go primarily to the endowment of the current Dean, Beena Sukumaran. This is the first filled position at the CEC. To staff a position, a donor gives money to a dean, chair, or professor they wish to support, and the money is used to fund academic initiatives such as research or the development of learning programs. . The position is usually named in honor of the donor, and this title is permanent.

According to Dinesh, about two-thirds of the $2 million donation will go to the endowed deanship. For endowments, David Creamer, senior vice president of finance and business services at Miami, said donation agreements typically spell out specific guidelines that deans must follow, but the Paliwals’ donation was flexible.

Photo by Alice Momany | The Miami Student

“Much of it is at the dean’s discretion,” Creamer said. “Some of that will enhance what might be compensated for the Dean in a future period, but it’s mostly for their professional development and other priorities they might have.”

Dinesh said the idea to endow the deanship came after Sukumaran took office in 2020. In 2018, the Paliwals endowed a position of chair of innovation, currently held by Arthur Carvalho, at the Farmer School of Business (FSB). Sukumara mentioned to Dinesh that the FSB had many staffed positions, but the CEC had none.

“I spoke to Miami Board Chair Mary Schell and Mary was like, ‘First of all, that’s great, but I think you should put your money to work for the university. That means you should challenge the university,” Dinesh said.

Dinesh agreed and assessed how CEC could improve with his gift.

“I said absolutely,” Dinesh said. “It’s not ‘give it and forget’, I want [CEC] to bring complementary and future-oriented curricula to the University of Miami.

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Some of the areas the Paliwals hope to see the CEC branch in include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology.

The remaining funds will go to scholarships based on financial need, with a preference for female engineers. Both will be named in honor of the Paliwals.

“The university didn’t want us to name too many details, ultimately it’s up to the admissions committee, but we said [financially] needy and meritorious women are our preference [for scholarships]”Dinesh said.

The donation is part of Miami’s Match the Promise initiative which provides scholarships to students who meet criteria based on need, merit or diversity.

Will Landman, a senior engineering management graduate, appreciates the Paliwals’ gift and looks forward to the advancement of programs within the CEC.

“I think giving back is very important to help the program continue to grow and for current students to have the same opportunity. [to grow]“, Landman said.

Landman said the Paliwals’ donation illustrates the graduates’ strong relationships within the CEC.

“I think it’s great, especially to be an international student and to rely on scholarships to be able to bring [tuition] at a reasonable cost,” Landman said. “And being able to have a large network of alumni who can donate and provide student scholarships is extremely important.”

Kelton French, a computer science major, agreed with Landman that it’s encouraging to see graduates who care about the success of current students.

« Elders [that] worrying about furthering our education is really nice and somewhat comforting to know that there are other people out there who want you to succeed,” French said.

French said the Paliwals’ donation inspires him and hopes he can one day give back to the CEC.

“I think people did it for me, so why not help others?” said French.

Creamer said the $2 million is split evenly into six annual installments. The first tranche has already been allocated.

The Paliwals’ donation also supports Miami’s fundraising campaign, For love. For honor. For those who will. The campaign aims to raise $1 billion to expand the university’s endowment. The endowment will create educational programs and fund scholarships for students.

Creamer said the purpose of the university’s endowment is to benefit current students, just as the Paliwals’ donation intends to do.

“It came through the generosity of the Paliwal family, and the important part of the gift is that they feel they have received the benefits in their life, and they want to share it with other students,” Creamer said. .

Although the donation has six installments, Dinesh believes the work will not be complete by then. Ten years from now, the Paliwals hope their donation will support undergraduate students prepared for the job market, generate more revenue in Miami and improve CEC rankings.

“It depends a lot on the university, and they do a great job in general,” Dinesh said. “It’s a small part of the success the university is going to have.”


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