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Section IX: External Relations

Policy Number: IX-6.00(A)

University of Maryland Policy on Endowed Faculty Chairs and Professorships

(Approved by the President )

The University encourages the establishment of faculty chairs and professorships through endowments created by private gifts as a way to supplement departmental support for outstanding University faculty. This policy sets forth the principles and procedures that shall guide the establishment and activationof such faculty endowments. Responsibility for authorizing and administering endowed chairs and professorships lie s with the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (the "Senior Vice President").

I. Purpose of the Faculty Endowment

Traditionally, faculty chairs and professorships are established as a means to honor and support the work of faculty pursuing scholarly activity in a particular field. An endowment also may be established to offer the administrative head of a component of the University an additional source of funds to support the activities of that unit (an "administrative" chair or professorship).

  1. An endowed chair or professorship is generally intended to provide special recognition to the faculty member to whom the title is awarded. It is held for a specific term, and during that time, interest revenue ("payout funds") from the endowment is used by the University to supplement departmental support of the faculty member's teaching, research, and public service activities. These payout funds may be used for part of the base salary, or for a salary supplement, subject to approval by the Senior Vice President. In addition, they may be used for graduate assistant stipends, secretarial assistance, travel expenses, research support, and for such other purposes as may be reasonably related to the purpose of the endowment. Following consultation with the appropriate campus administrator or council and consistent with the gift terms, the President may approve a proposal from the current holder of a chair or professorship to allocate a portion of the payout funds for support of the academic endeavors of the department or campus for a specified period.
  2. An endowed administrative chair or professorship is held ex officio by a University administrator, e.g., a Department Chair, the Director of an academic program or an organized research unit, a Dean, the Senior Vice President, or the President. Payout funds shall be used to support the teaching, research, and service activities of the department, research unit, school, college, or the University generally.

II. Designated Titles

It is the prerogative of the University to designate the title of a chair or professorship, which will generally use the following format:

(Name selected in consultation with benefactor) Chair in (field)

(Name selected in consultation with benefactor)

Professorship in (field)

An alternative title may be established by the University following consultation with the benefactor and the Senior Vice President.

III. Qualifications, Term of Title, and Selection Procedures

  1. The holder of a professorship or chair must normally be a tenured, full-time member of the University faculty at the rank of Professor but may also be held by a non-tenured Professor of the Practice, a distinguished visiting faculty member, or an especially promising junior faculty member, if stipulated by the endowment agreement. Administrative chairs and professorships are normally held by University faculty holding tenured or tenure-track appointments.
  2. The award of a chair or professorship should normally be for a fixed term, generally five years, rather than an indefinite length, and the term may be renewed. The chair or professorship can be renewed for successive five-year terms as long as the holder of the chair or professorship continues to fulfill the high expectations for the chair or professorship. A chair or professorship held by a junior faculty member or by visiting faculty should normally not exceed five years total. Administrative chairs and professorships are held ex officio and are normally held by tenured/tenure-track faculty.
  3. The award of a chair or professorship shall be made by the President upon recommendation of the Senior Vice President and the Dean of the appropriate school or college. The recommendation shall include a statement of the qualifications of the candidate and a proposed term. In all regards, the recommendation shall be consistent with the conditions and purposes of the endowment agreement. In the event the award of a chair or professorship is to coincide with an offer of appointment to the Faculty, the appointment shall have followed University search procedures.

IV. Minimum Funding Levels and Source of Funds

  1. Funds to establish a chair or professorship are to be provided by gift of an endowment specific to the proposal, or from an identified University endowment fund appropriate for this purpose. The following minimum endowments are required:Chair: $1,500,000 Professorship: $500,000The President shall review the policy every five years to ensure that the minimum endowment required for newly established chairs and professorships is appropriate.
  2. A "term" chair or "term" professorship is one established for a limited duration only. It shall be supported by an expendable grant of not less than five percent (5%) of the above minimum required endowment per year for a minimum term of five years.
  3. If a chair or professorship is to be funded from undesignated endowment funds, the full amount of the required endowment must be separated from the undesignated funds and moved to a separate account specifically designated for the proposed chair or professorship and maintained there for the duration of its existence.

V. Activation and Funding Commitments

Before a faculty member may be appointed to a chair or professorship, there must exist a legally irrevocable commitment (e.g., a charitable remainder trust, a charitable gift annuity, an estate note) from a donor to provide the full minimum amount of the funds set forth above to establish the endowment. An appointment may be made to the chair or professorship when:

  1. The donor has agreed to provide the full amount of the endowment within a five-year period and the administrative unit in which the chair or professorship is located and/or another source has agreed to provide funds to the holder of the chair or professorship equivalent to the endowment payout until such time that the endowment level is sufficient to provide those funds; or
  2. The donor has provided at least one half of the required endowment funding with a written irrevocable commitment to provide the remaining funding according to a specific and accepted timetable.

A faculty member may be appointed to a "term" chair or a "term" professorship when the donor has made an irrevocable commitment to provide not less than five percent (5%) of the minimum required endowment for a chair or professorship per year for a minimum term of at least five years.

VI. Changed Conditions and Alternate Use of Endowment

Evolution in the academic objectives and organization and in the research, teaching, and service emphases are part of the normal life of a university. The scope of permissible activity under Regents' policy and applicable law is also characterized by occasional change. For this reason, it may rarely occur that the payout funds of an endowment should best be used to support a different area of research, teaching, or service than originally intended or that administrative restrictions contained in a gift instrument reasonably need to be amended. The Senior Vice President should therefore ensure that absent unusual circumstances, the gift instrument contains the donor's recognition and permission for alternate use of the endowment and payout funds. The Office of General Counsel will develop appropriate language to accomplish this purpose.

VII. Unawarded Chairs and Professorships

The President (or designee) shall review endowed chairs or professorships that remain vacant for a period of three consecutive years to ensure that the University is meeting its obligation to fulfill the terms of the gift, including the expenditure of endowment revenues in support of the donor's intent. The following guidelines shall be observed:

  1. Normally, endowment income shall not be permitted to accumulate to more than five years of payout.
  2. In the event an established, fully-funded chair or professorship has remained vacant for three years or more, or should the accumulated income from the chair exceed five years of payout, the Senior Vice President shall ascertain the reason and take appropriate corrective action consistent with the terms of the gift instrument or the administrative allocation. Such action may include:
    1. Implementing a new expenditure plan designed to fill the chair or professorship or to utilize the payout funds fully.
    2. Seeking authorization of the President to reallocate the endowment's payout funds to an alternative purpose consistent with the existing terms of the gift.
    3. Seeking authorization of the President and concurrence of the donor to redesignate the purpose of the chair or professorship.
    4. Seeking authorization from the President, with the concurrence of the donor if available, to add the accumulated unspent payout funds to the fund principal in conjunction with a new expenditure plan.
    5. Redesignating the purpose of the chair or endowment in a manner authorized by the President and prescribed by law.

VIII. Retirement of an Endowed Chair or Professorship

The activation and continuation of an endowed chair or professorship is contingent on completion of funding. When the endowment has not reached full funding, either by the end of the specified pledge period or at the maturity of a deferred gift or bequest, it shall be reviewed by the President. The review will include alternative uses for the payout established by the gift or allocation instrument and discussions with the donor.

  1. Subject to the donor's approval, the President may retire an endowed chair or professorship when:
    1. The subject area ceases to be consistent with the University's mission and the academic plan of the campus or any restrictions in the gift instrument may no longer, in the University's opinion, be legally applied by it.
    2. It has remained vacant for a period of three years and the President, after consultation with the respective Department Chair and Dean and the Senior Vice President, determines there is no reasonable - likelihood of making the award.
  2. When a chair or professorship endowed through a gift is retired, the payout funds shall be reallocated to an alternative purpose that may be stated in the gift instrument or as may be subsequently specified by the donor in consultation with the President. If the donor is deceased and has not specified an alternative purpose, the payout funds shall be reallocated to such purposes as may be permitted by law. In such instance, attention shall be given to using the payout funds in a manner most closely approximating the donor's objectives.