Endowed Chairs and Professorships Guidelines

Updated June 2017

The College of Humanities and Sciences uses private endowment resources to support the work of its faculty in the pursuit of excellence in scholarly efforts that may not otherwise be possible. As part of these ongoing efforts, endowed chairs and professorships are used to attract, recruit, reward, and retain outstanding faculty who have distinguished themselves through their teaching, research, scholarship, service, creativity, and innovations.

All endowed Chairs and Professorships in the College of Humanities and Sciences shall follow these guidelines:

Types of Endowed Appointments

The University recognizes the following appointment categories for private endowed support: Endowed Chair, Endowed Commonwealth Professorship, and Endowed Professorship.

Appointment Criteria

All appointments must be consistent with University Policy, Section 3.2, “The appointee of an Endowed Chair must be a Full Professor, while appointees to Professorships must be at least an Associate Professor. Exceptions to these academic rank requirements may be recommended by the Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences.” Exceptions include endowments established for career development open to any academic rank. All appointees must have outstanding achievement in areas of research, scholarship, teaching, service in their field or other areas consistent with the intent of the endowed position, goals of the College and University, and whose contributions are recognized nationally (and internationally, if deemed appropriate). Appointees must also have a track record of commitment to students and / or trainees, and participation in College and University affairs.

Terms of Appointment

The holder must have a full time appointment in the department where the professorship or chair is housed. The committee will make its nomination based on (a) prior achievement and (b) clear potential for future achievement. The holder will maintain a record of outstanding achievement appropriate to the discipline as a teacher, scholar or practitioner, and exemplary professional citizenship. The letter of appointment must outline the expected performance criteria upon which the formal regular reviews will focus (see below). The term of appointment is for five years and is renewable indefinitely following formal review in the fall semester of every fifth year. Upon changes in employment status, and/or retirement, the appointment terminates.

Appointment Approval Process


Nomination may be made by self-nomination, by the department chair, or by any faculty member in the College. University Policy, Section 3.0, requires that the Dean will “work with the department chair and appoint a search committee or use existing standing school/department search committees if appropriate” for the selection. In the College of Humanities and Sciences, a standing committee known as the College Endowed Review Committee will perform this function, reviewing candidates and selecting one candidate for nomination. The Dean will make the appointment following completion of the approval process.

Nomination Portfolio

Each portfolio shall contain a University Cover Memo with signature page, a copy of the Endowment Agreement/Will or other documentation that created the endowment, the nominee’s curriculum vitae, a career narrative from the nominee, and at least four letters of recommendation or evaluation of the nominee from internal (at least two) and external (at least two) evaluators. This portfolio is forwarded to the College’s Office of Faculty Affairs, and on to the College Endowed Review Committee. The Standing Committee submits a letter of recommendation to the Dean. The Dean’s recommendation and portfolio are forwarded to the Provost Office, University Committee, and the President of the University.

Review and Reappointment

Appointees to endowed Chairs/Professorships shall be reviewed formally every five years in the fall semester of the fifth year, per the University Policy on Private Support for Endowed Chairs and Professorships Section 3.4, by the College Endowed Review Committee, using information contained in the appointee’s annual assessments and any other materials that the committee may see fit to request. The committee may renew the appointment for another five years or recommend to the Dean that a process be initiated to replace the appointee in the endowed position.

Revocation of an Endowed Appointment

An endowed appointment can be revoked at any time in cases of personal or professional misconduct, or as a result of conduct inconsistent with the intent of the endowment and/or institution. Failure to adhere to expected standards for research, scholarly work, teaching, service, or clinical practice can result in revocation of the endowed appointment following regular formal review.

Annual Reporting

Incumbents of endowed positions should receive feedback concerning their performance with respect to endowment criteria during their Annual Performance Review.