Thursday, April 05, 2007

Charity for Harvard

I wonder if deductible donations to Harvard University support activities such as the following event recently (e-mail message, April 5, 2007) publicized and sponsored by the Harvard Alumni Association:
Harvard in Asia by Corporate Private Jet

Accompanied by Barry Bloom, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.
March 20-April 11, 2008
$54,950 per person based on double occupancy (limited to 33 participants)

In a wide-sweeping, 23-day expedition aboard a specially-configured private jet, you'll travel with Harvard faculty and enjoy personalized entree into the cultural wonders of Asia. At each stop-China, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Siberia, Mongolia, the Gobi Desert, South Korea, and Japan-local Harvard alumni, faculty, and distinguished guests will share insiders' views, highlighting the diplomatic feats, archaeological discoveries, and significant influence of Harvard's engagement with the region. From Shanghai to Kyoto and all points in between, enjoy luxurious accommodations, festive banquets featuring local delicacies, and traditional cultural performances.

Joining this exclusive group for the latter part of the tour will be Barry Bloom, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, and a widely-recognized authority on infectious diseases, vaccines, and international health.

Since this event is apparently sponsored by the Harvard Alumni Association (rather than Harvard University), I suppose that the answer to my question (see top of page) is that, no, technically speaking, your tax-deductible donations (if any) do not subsidize this $54,950 adventure. In any event, it's only fair, isn't it, to offer such travel opportunities to (selected) underpaid Harvard faculty members? Otherwise they wouldn't accept positions at Harvard, would they? (My checkbook is now at my side. I am reaching for my pen ....)

For more details see Asia By Corporate Private Jet

N.B. Oh, yes, I forgot: there is a "single supplement" of $8,000. So this trip is mite more expensive than I might have led you to believe. But there is this consolation: if you go on this junket ... er, expedition ..., you will undoubtedly be doing good by personally witnessing, e.g., infectious diseases.