Francie Ostrower, Ph.D.

Professor of Public Affairs and Fine Arts, Senior Fellow

Email: fostrower@mail.utexas.edu

Francie Ostrower, Ph.D. is Professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Department of Theatre and Dance, Director of the Portfolio Program in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Fellow in the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. Prior to joining the University of Texas in 2008, she was Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy. Prior to that, she was a sociology faculty member at Harvard University. Dr. Ostrower received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University, where she also served as Associate Director of the Program on Nonprofit Organizations.
 
Dr. Ostrower is the author of books on Trustees of Culture and Why the Wealthy Give, which received awards from ARNOVA and Independent Sector, and co-author of Race, Ethnicity and Participation in the Arts. Among her articles and monographs are Attitudes and Practices Concerning Effective Philanthropy (recipient of Independent Sector's 2006 Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize); Nonprofit Governance in the United States; The Reality Underneath the Buzz of Partnerships; The Diversity of Cultural Participation and a co-authored chapter on governance in The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook.
 
Dr. Ostrower is President-Elect of the Association for Research on Voluntary and Nonprofit Action (ARNOVA) and in recent years, has served on the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly board, the Aspen Institute's Community Foundation Initiative advisory committee, the National Endowment for the Arts 2012 SPPA Working Group, and as Vice President for Publications and board member of ARNOVA.
 
Professor Ostrower is also an Urban Institute Affiliated Scholar.

 

In the News

Los Angeles Times - 09/14/2012 MOCA's board: Deep pockets aren't a cure-all

The wealthy group with five billionaires couldn't prevent the museum's budget from being cut or keep the forced resignation of Paul Schimmel from erupting in controversy. Read full article >

National Endowment for the Arts - 05/30/2012 For the First Time in its History, the National Endowment for the Arts Awards Grants for Arts Research

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Francie Ostrower a grant through The University of Texas at Austin for her study: "Diversity on Cultural Boards: Implications for Organizational Value and Impact." Learn more >

Aspen Institute - 02/21/2012 Sunsetting: A Framework for Foundation Life As Well As Death

A new paper by Francie Ostrower discussing how sunsetting offers a distinct approach to philanthropy with certain benefits and characteristics. Download the paper >

 

Aspen Institute - 02/21/2012 Foundation Sunset: A Decision-Making Guide

Francie Ostrower discusses the major issues that donors, trustees, and staff confront when considering or implementing a sunset plan. Download the paper >

LBJ School of Public Affairs News - 08/29/2011 LBJ School and Fine Arts Professor Francie Ostrower Elected President of ARNOVA

The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) has elected LBJ School and Fine Arts Professor Francie Ostrower as President Elect for 2011.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly - 10/01/2010 Moving Governance Research Forward: A Contingency-Based Framework and Data Application

The purpose of this article is to present an initial framework for understanding nonprofit board governance and then, using findings from the Urban Institute National Survey of Nonprofit Governance, explore relationships between variables presented in the framework. The framework is based on a recent review of the literature and highlights the ways in which internal organizational characteristics, board attributes, and the external environment influence board roles and responsibilities. In brief, our results confirm the importance of developing a more systematic body of knowledge about relationships between specific elements of context and board practices. The results suggest that the proposed contingency-based framework is a useful beginning point for future research.

Download Article

The Daily Beast - 09/23/2010 The $100 Million Status Symbol

Professor Francie Ostrower comments on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg's $100 million gift.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy - 05/21/2009 Foundation Life Spans: a Vexing Issue

Francie Ostrower discusses how the issues donors face in deciding whether to set up a foundation in perpetuity or for a limited life are not black and white.

Presentations

07/27/2014 - Montreal, Canada

"Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Boards" -  Panel presentation (Economy and Culture) at the 18th International Conference of the Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI).

04/10/2014 - Bloomington, Indiana

"Diversity on Cultural Boards" - Invited talk at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University at Bloomington.

07/14/2013 - Liege, Belgium

Presentation (with Melissa Stone). “Governing Boards and Organizational Environments: Growing Complexities, Shifting Frameworks” - 4th EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise, University of Liege.

02/07/2013 - New York, NY

Panelist. “The Fundamental Role of States in Governance Issues” - 2013 Charities Regulation Policy Conference, Columbia Law School, Columbia University.

11/15/2012 - Indianapolis, IN

“Diversity in Nonprofit Cultural Organizations” - Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) annual conference.

09/22/2011 - Atlanta, Georgia

Presented on "Nonprofit Boards: What a National Survey Tells Us," at the BoardSource Leadership Forum.

04/14/2011 - Los Angeles, CA

“Foundation Sunset as a Philanthropic Strategy" - University of Southern California, Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy, School of Policy, Planning and Development.

04/08/2011 - College Station, TX

“Nonprofit Boards: What Do We Know and How Can it Help?” - Opening plenary presentation at the Texas A&M University Bush School of Government & Public Service Nonprofit Management Forum.

12/02/2010 - Washington, DC

Spoke at "Foundation Spend Down: Strategies, Lessons and Options," co-sponsored by Aspen Institute, Philanthropy Roundtable, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.