Building Facult y Strength and capacit y
Creating Endowed Positions and Funds at Penn State A great education begins with great educators: inspiring teachers and
groundbreaking researchers who want to make a difference in the lives of Penn State students and in the larger world. Decades after graduation, our alumni still remember the dedicated professors who helped them to understand a difficult subject or find a path to personal and professional success. Those life-changing conversations continue to take place at Penn State every day as our faculty members share their passion for knowledge and their commitment to service with our students. The University’s scholars and scientists are also leading the way in addressing urgent national and global issues, from homeland security to sustainable energy, and our reputation as an institution depends upon their achievements. One of the most important and widely recognized measures of academic quality is the National Research Council’s ranking of doctoral programs. The research productivity of faculty is a critical factor in determining this ranking, and the most recent survey, which evaluated programs in 62 disciplines at 212 institutions nationwide, placed Penn State at or near the top in more than two dozen fields. The University’s core programs in the sciences all made dramatic leaps since the last such survey in 1995, and the Eberly College of Science as a whole is now among the top ten nationwide, just behind such elite institutions as Harvard and M.I.T. Other programs across the University, from anthropology to kinesiology, have been ranked among the best of their kind—a recognition that Penn State is home to some of the most productive and successful researchers in the world. These faculty members also bring extraordinary insight and enthusiasm to our classrooms, engaging the University’s undergraduates in new discoveries as they unfold and preparing the next generation of academic leaders through our graduate programs. Many of our most dynamic teachers and scholars—the stars who are earning international awards and acclaim for our programs and creating exciting new learning opportunities for our students—would not be at Penn State today, however, without philanthropic support.
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Endowed faculty positions and funds allow Penn State to compete not only with other universities but also with business, industry, and government for leading scholars and scientists. A named position is a prestigious honor, and the resources that are made available to the recipient are even more important. By providing additional funds for research projects and course development, endowed positions and funds allow top faculty to take their scholarship to the next level, integrate discovery and education in new ways, and create the kinds of vibrant academic programs that draw interest and engagement from students and attention and recognition from the larger world. The University is currently able to offer endowed positions to just 9 percent of our tenured and tenure-track faculty members, however, and we are able to support graduate students—the future faculty who invigorate our academic community—at a lower level than any of our Big Ten peers. Faculty support is a top priority in For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, and with the help of our alumni and friends, we can recruit and retain the very best teachers and researchers—leaders who will shape our shared future at the same time that they help our students to discover their own potential to succeed.
Faculty Support The purpose of an endowed faculty position is not to provide a salary supplement, but to seed the kind of innovations in education and research that will have an impact well beyond an individual faculty member’s own career; these funds can reshape the opportunities that we offer to our students and the role that we play in countless fields and disciplines. Dean’s/Chancellor’s Chair $5,000,000* The endowment of a dean’s or chancellor’s chair represents a landmark commitment to Penn State, ensuring that the most visible and important position within a college or campus will continue to be held by distinguished and talented leader-educators. Department Head Chair $3,000,000* This gift provides flexible support for departmental leadership in the form of strategic investments in such areas as graduate student stipends, faculty recruitment, research expenses, equipment purchases, and other resources that dramatically improve departmental excellence. Faculty Chair $2,000,000 Typically conferred upon the most distinguished scholar-teachers, the endowment of a chair provides a professor with resources to continue promising research and programs, helping departments to attract or retain top faculty who are esteemed as mentors, direct important initiatives, and contribute significantly to the University’s mission. Professorship $1,000,000 An endowed professorship offers resources necessary to pursue new lines of research or innovative teaching methods, ensuring the stability and strength of our academic programs and allowing Penn State to encourage new levels of achievement among its most promising faculty. Early Career Professorship $500,000 The early career professorship offers recognition and support for outstanding young University faculty. It is designed to rotate every three years to new recipients in the first ten years of their careers, and it offers deans and campus executives the opportunity to recruit and retain rising academic stars. Most faculty endowments may be established with an estate or deferred gifts; those marked with an * must be created with an outright gift.
Through the Faculty endowment challenge, donors can create early career professorships for $334,000, earning a 1:2 match from the University to reach the required endowment level. This match is available until June 30, 2014, or until the $5 million pool of matching funds has been assigned.
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graduate Fellowships and awards Graduate endowments, which may be designated for students in a specific college, not only allow us to recruit the very best young scholars and scientists and prepare them for their own academic careers; they also help to create the kind of stimulating educational environment that draws exceptional faculty to the University. Top graduate students reinvigorate and challenge their mentors and help to accelerate the pace of discovery, and they also serve as role models for the undergraduates whose education they enhance. Graduate Fellowship $250,000 Graduate fellowships allow departments to recruit the most talented students from around the globe, regardless of their financial circumstances. Covering tuition and basic living expenses, fellowships ensure that graduate students remain focused on their studies instead of the cost of education. Distinguished Graduate Fellowship $250,000 Awarded to outstanding applicants from across the University, these fellowships are among some of the most competitive forms of aid available to Penn Stateâ€™s graduate students. While the same minimum endowment levels apply, Distinguished Graduate Fellowships double the impact of privately endowed funds by partnering endowment returns with permanently allocated University resources. This program will exist only until each unit has established the number of Distinguished Graduate Fellowships allocated to it by the Graduate School. Graduate Scholarships & Research Awards $50,000 These funds can enhance an emerging scholarâ€™s Penn State experience and future career by supplementing other financial aid awards, encouraging individual academic projects, supporting travel for research and professional conferences, and recognizing achievements that have meaning to the donor and to the wider world.
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During the last two campaigns, Penn State alumni and friends created more than 300 faculty-related endowments at the University, and the scholars and scientists who have benefited from these funds are extraordinary individuals who are recognized around the world as leaders in their fields and recognized on Penn State’s campuses as caring teachers and mentors. Through For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, we aim to secure $271 million in new support for faculty, to ensure that our students can continue to study with the finest educators and researchers. Gifts to create faculty endowments will help us to reach that goal and keep our institution vibrant and strong for future generations of Penn Staters. For more information, please contact: Rodney P. Kirsch Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations 814-863-4826 email@example.com
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“As President of the University, I am honored to lead an academic community that includes past—and, I believe, future—winners of Nobel Prizes and MacArthur Genius Awards, individuals who have earned every kind of honor that academia offers. What is most remarkable about Penn State’s faculty, though, is not just their achievements, but how eager our scientists and scholars are to share their knowledge: with students, with each other, and with the world. Penn State would not be the institution that it is today without the past support of alumni and friends, which has allowed us to bring some of the best minds from around the globe to our University and support their efforts as researchers and educators. I hope that you will consider building our faculty’s strength still further by creating your own endowment at Penn State.” —President Rodney A. Erickson
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