Endowed chairs and professorships are among the most important resources any university can have in assembling and maintaining a distinguished faculty. Such positions provide honor and recognition for the men and women who hold them, but they also provide something more important -- a stable, dependable source of income for special teaching and research materials, library acquisitions, salary supplements, and travel assistance.
Competition for the best available teachers and researchers is even more acute than for the promising students, in part because Penn State must also compete with private industry and the public sector for potential faculty. Such competition is traditionally keen in fields where the University, private business, and government most closely interface, such as engineering, business, sciences, and health care fields. In recent years, competition for the most talented teachers and researchers in the liberal arts had intensified as well. The additional support and recognition that accompanies an endowed chair or professorship often makes the difference in Penn State's ability to recruit a distinguished scholar, or retain that scholar in the face of lures form other institutions and potential employers.
Gift of $2,000,000
Usually awarded to the most senior scholar-teachers, a faculty chair endowment may be created with a minimum commitment of $2 million.
A chair allows a professor to be not only appropriately rewarded financially for his or her achievements, it also provides the faculty member with the resources to continue important research and programs. Income from the endowment may also provide funds for graduate assistant salaries, secretarial assistance, course development, essential equipment, and scholarly travel.
The granting of a chair helps ensure that a department retains a professor who is esteemed as a mentor by other faculty members and students, who often directs important programs, and who contributes significantly to the University's mission, providing guidance, stability, and inspiration to colleagues and students alike.
Gift of $1,000,000
The income from an endowed professorship, created with a minimum commitment of $1 million, supplements the professor's salary and offers resources necessary to pursue new lines of research or innovative teaching methods. This commitment means that the faculty member will be less vulnerable to "raids" from other universities, thus helping to ensure the stability of important programs, the furthering of exciting research, and effective mentoring of colleagues and students. Income from an endowment may also be directed to fund such needs as graduate assistant stipends, support staff, and travel expenses.
Early Career Professorship
Gift of $500,000
Critical for providing financial support to and encouraging the development of young faculty, the Career Development Professorship is new at Penn State. A gift of $500,000 or more creates this professorship which may be awarded to a full-time Penn State professor at the beginning of his or her career or to a visiting faculty member for a three-year period.
An excellent tool for recruiting the most promising faculty, the career development professorship supplements departmental support of outstanding young University faculty.
The career development professorship offers early recognition for outstanding accomplishments and provides income for salary supplementation, research expenses, education and travel expenses, graduate assistants' salaries, and support services for the holder or the holder's program. In addition, because it is awarded for a designated period, this professorship revitalizes the faculty of colleges and campuses by allowing deans and campus executive officers the opportunity to continually recruit rising academic stars.