The College of Liberal Arts (COLA) awards endowed chairs, professorships, and fellowships as a means of recognizing excellence in research and teaching. It also awards endowments as an incentive to recruit faculty members to the University and as a means of retaining outstanding faculty. Based on donor criteria, some endowments are designated for faculty in specific departments and may be assigned by the Dean to be managed by those departments, although authority for final approval of appointments and renewals remains with the Dean and Provost. Other endowments have award criteria that span multiple fields or departments and are available to faculty across the college. Holders of endowed academic positions are stewards of the endowment for a defined period of time and are subject to periodic evaluation to ensure continued excellence in all areas. Endowed chairs and professorships are intended to have holders; however, unfilled chairs and professorships may be used to support faculty fellows, according to the purpose of the endowment. Faculty may also be appointed as a fellow supported by funds available from a filled endowed chair and professorship.
Endowed Chair: Endowed chairs are supported by major endowments and recognize faculty with very high levels of scholarly achievement. While appointed to an endowed chair, the holder is expected to maintain a higher than average level of scholarly productivity, and to be a recognized leader in their area of research or scholarship. Chair holders are also expected to build and support departmental and university programs, support students, mentor junior faculty, and contribute positively to the teaching and service missions of the University.
Endowed Professorships: Endowed professorships are intended to recognize faculty for high levels of scholarly achievement. An endowed professor is expected to sustain a productive research program, publications, support students, mentor junior faculty, and contribute to the teaching and service missions of the University.
Faculty Fellowships: Endowed faculty fellowships are intended to recognize successful faculty members as their careers progress and to support scholarly work that contributes to their development as prominent scholars. These are intended for faculty at any academic rank whose productivity and promise are strong.
Stewardship: Every endowment holder and fellow is expected to be a good steward of their endowment resources. This includes the productive and strategic use of resources as well as annual reporting to donors on their achievements in research, teaching, and service and use of endowment-related resources.
Selection Criteria for Endowed Positions In addition to donor-specified criteria, which must always be honored, all holders and fellows of endowed positions are expected to meet the highest standards of achievement in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service.
Each department should have an endowment nominations committee. Members of the endowment nomination committee are not required to hold an endowed chair or professorship, should rotate regularly, and should be broadly representative of the department. The Dean and Department Chairs also have the authority to nominate holders and fellows as part of time-sensitive retention and recruiting efforts that cannot go through the annual nomination process. Such appointments should be reported along with all other appointments on an annual basis. Criteria for department-assigned and college-assigned endowments, and a list of current holders will be posted on a COLA website.
Selection Process for Department-Nominated Endowments
Each spring or summer, departmental endowment nominations committee will communicate to the Dean and then make public all unfilled chairs and professorships available for the following academic year. Information to be shared will include endowment criteria and the anticipated payout to the holder. Faculty will have the opportunity to nominate members of the department or to make self-nominations. Faculty currently holding endowed awards can be considered for newly available awards and are free to self-nominate for newly available awards. With rare exceptions, however, a faculty member will be asked to relinquish one endowed position prior to accepting another. At the discretion of the Department Chair and with approval of the Dean, some unfilled chairs and professorships may also be used to enhance current or planned external faculty searches. When departmentally-managed chairs become vacant through resignations, retirements or non-renewals, the Dean will determine whether the endowed position will remain in the current department or revert to the college.
Nominations will be evaluated for fit with specific endowment criteria relative and the standards of excellence for any endowed appointment. A summary of this evaluation will be submitted to the chair of the department. At least two of the strongest nominees for each available endowment should be recommended to the Dean for final review and selection. The full list of nominees for each position should also be reported. The nominations committee should ensure that recommendations are based on the stated criteria of scholarly excellence, and that all deserving faculty are fully considered, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other protected identity. In addition to excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service, the nominations committee may consider whether awarding an endowment will enhance the diversity of the educational experience in the College of Liberal Arts. The Dean will consult with the Chair before finalizing appointments.
Recommendations submitted from the committee and department chair to the Dean shall contain the following documentation:
1) a letter from the chair summarizing the qualifications for each nominee recommended
2) the CV of each nominee recommended
3) an assessment made by the nominations committee outlining each recommended nominee’s contributions in research, teaching, and service
4) a list of all nominees considered. In addition, the committee’s statement should include a summary of how the pool of candidates was solicited and how recommendations were determined.
Selection Process for College-Assigned Endowments
Each spring, the college will convene an endowment nominations committee and will make public all chairs and professorships newly available for the following academic year. At the Dean’s discretion, some unfilled chairs and professorships may also be used to enhance current or planned external faculty recruitment efforts. Information provided to the committee will consist of endowment criteria and proposed annual payouts to the holder. Faculty will have the opportunity to nominate colleagues or make self-nominations. Nominations will be evaluated by the college committee. At least two nominees for each endowment will be recommended to the Dean for final review and selection. The nominations committee should ensure that recommendations are based on the stated criteria of scholarly excellence, and that all deserving faculty are fully considered, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other protected identity. In addition to excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service, the nominations committee may consider whether awarding an endowment will enhance the diversity of the educational experience in the College of Liberal Arts.
Nominations submitted to the Dean shall contain the following documentation:
1) a letter from the committee chair or representative summarizing the qualifications for each recommended nominee
2) the CV of each nominee
3) an assessment made by the nominations committee outlining the top nominees’ (up to five of the strongest nominees) contributions in research, teaching, and service
4) a list of all nominees considered. The Dean will consult with the chair of a selected candidate’s department before finalizing any appointment.
Selection Process for Prospective Members of the Faculty or Retention Efforts
The appointment of an endowed professorship or chair may be a component of a recruitment process. The Dean, in consultation with the relevant department chair, will review available endowments to determine whether a current recruitment or retention effort would benefit from use of an endowed chair, professorship or fellowship. This will often occur when the competing institution is offering an endowed position or the targeted recruit currently holds an endowed position. The same criteria used for current members of the faculty should be considered in making endowed awards to a new recruit. All elements of a department’s hiring dossier will be required along with information provided by the chair of the department on the criteria of the endowment.
Departments intending to hire a new faculty member into an endowed position must submit all elements of the hiring dossier including the following information to the Dean:
1) a letter from the department chair summarizing the nominee’s qualifications and how they meet the criteria of the endowment
2) the CV of the nominee
3) an assessment made by the nomination committee outlining the nominee’s contributions in research, teaching, and service. In addition, the committee’s statement should include a summary of the rationale for using the endowment for a newly recruited faculty member and how the pool of candidates for the faculty search was developed.
Periodic Review of Endowment Holders
Periodic reviews of endowment holders are held every six years and are aligned with a faculty member’s Comprehensive Periodic Review (CPR). The holder or fellow of an endowment shall supply the CPR committee with information addressing how the endowment has been used relative to its criteria outlined in the letter of appointment. Annual letters to the donor describing use of the endowment will be useful for this review.
The CPR committee shall consider whether the endowment holder has upheld the standard of performance consistent with the appointment as an endowment holder and whether the holder should be continued in the endowment or if another action should be taken. Other actions may include: informing the holder that their performance must improve along with a timeframe for improvement; changing the level of resources available to the holder; moving the holder to another, more suitable endowment; or not renewing the holder’s appointment to the endowed position. Recommendations for non-renewal should be made in cases where the faculty member is no longer meeting the stated standards of excellence in teaching, research and service, or no longer satisfying stated donor criteria.
The CPR committee shall prepare a report with their assessment and recommendations for review by the department’s governance committee, the college’s endowment nominations committee, and the Dean. The department governance committee and chair shall provide a one-page letter with their recommendation and justification to either continue the faculty member in the endowment, or an action other than continuing the holder in the endowment. The departmental recommendation shall be reviewed by the college’s endowment nominations committee, which shall make its own recommendation to the Dean for final review and approval by the Provost.
Supplemental Review of Endowment Holders
If another faculty performance review, such as annual merit review or other reviews based on conduct and/or performance, indicates that an endowment holder’s performance may be inconsistent with the expectations of the endowment and/or of the institution, the Dean may conduct a supplemental endowment holder review. In the case of egregious conduct inconsistent with the expectations of the endowment and/or of the institution, the endowment holder will be reviewed immediately. The Dean may choose to either continue the holder in the endowment, outline steps for improved performance, downgrade the holder to another more appropriate endowment, or remove the holder from the endowment.
Distribution and Balances
Based on individual endowment criteria, the general use of endowment distributions is to support the research, teaching, and service responsibilities of holders and fellows. Some examples of this include travel, equipment, materials, salary support, and other related expenses. The distribution amount given to endowment holders is based on the annual payout of individual endowments and is determined at the time of appointment as a holder or fellow. Unless restricted by the donor criteria, endowment income can be used to support a fraction of the holder’s salary. Per university policy, no more than 50% of a holder’s salary can be paid from an endowment and will generally be limited to ;ess than 25%. When consistent with the endowment criteria, up to 25% of an endowment’s annual payout can be used for programmatic support.
Endowment Funding & Summer Salaries During the Holder’s Final Year
Faculty holders of endowed funds may without any additional process request a single month of summer salary in their final year of an endowed appointment (final year of appointment includes the year prior to an expected retirement, resignation, or non-renewal). Requests for summer salary in excess of one month in the final year must be reviewed and approved by the Dean, and should be submitted through the faculty member’s department chair by no later than May of the year preceding the beginning of their final year (e.g., if the final appointment year begins September 1, 2020 and ends on August 31, 2021, the request would be due by May 1, 2020). Requests for summer salary in excess of one month in the final year must include a detailed research plan and comprehensive expense budget for the associated activities in the final year. The plan should include a statement on how the activities will directly benefit and impact the objectives of the endowment in compliance with the donor’s guidelines and expectations. All requests must first obtain the support of the faculty member’s department chair, and then must be reviewed and approved by the Dean. Faculty members who do not submit their request by the due date may forfeit their opportunity to request summer salary payments in excess of one month in their final year.
Endowment distributions are meant to support faculty members in the yearly execution of their work and should not be accumulated over long periods. However, there are often good reasons to allow balances to accumulate from one year to the next as holders and fellows may need to invest more than one year’s distribution for certain expenses. Holders and fellows are not allowed to carry forth more than two years of accumulated balances without a plan for using those balances in the near future and Dean’s office approval. In no case can more than three years of distribution balances be held as accumulated balances. Balances in excess of these allowed carry-forward amounts will be moved to a Dean’s reserve sub-account to be used in a manner consistent with the gift agreement. Special considerations may be granted by the Dean to extend the carryover balance timeline to chair holders also holding administrative appointments within the college. Once a holder, fellow, or professorship appointment concludes, the faculty member will have up to one additional year to spend down any remaining carryover balances from the endowment; unspent balances remaining following the one-year period will be returned to the funding source. Requests to exceed the one-year period must be submitted to the Dean in writing, and must include a clear plan for when the funds will be fully expended.
Reporting and Transparency
The college will make available annually a report that summarizes the number of endowed chairs, professorships, and fellowships. This report will provide the number of endowed positions by type for both allocated and available positions. The distributions of allocated positions and endowed dollars across departments and recipients will also be reported.