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University of Maryland Policy on Endowed Faculty Chairs and Professorships

Consolidated USM and UMD Policies and Procedures


(Approved by the President on June 15, 1999)

  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).
           A.   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.
           B.   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
       (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
  III.     Qualifications, Term of Title, and Selection Procedures
           A.   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
           B.   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.
           C.   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
       A.       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: $500,000
                The President shall review the policy every five years
                to ensure that the minimum endowment required for
                newly established chairs and professorships is
            B.  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.

            C.  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:
                A.   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
           B.   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:
           A.   Normally, endowment income shall not be permitted to
                    accumulate to more than five years of payout.
           B.   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
                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.

      A.   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.
       B.       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.