Endowed Professorships Policy
Authority: Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management
Date Enacted or Revised: Revised January 16, 2013; December 14, 2015; August 2016; October 2017; August 2021
The McNeese State University Foundation provides endowed professorships according to University, McNeese Foundation, and Board of Regents guidelines. Endowments for professorships consist of private donations matched with state funds awarded by the Board of Regents. Endowed professorships are available to eligible faculty on a competitive basis provided funding is available and approved by the McNeese Foundation. Endowed professorships may be designated for a specific purpose, college, department, or discipline in accordance with the objectives of the donation as well as Board of Regents and Foundation criteria.
Use of endowed professorship funds support the McNeese State University mission by: 1) enhancing teaching and applied research activity, 2) supporting undergraduate research opportunities, and 3) sustaining the quality of academic programs through faculty and program development.
Eligibility for Endowed Professorship
Full-time McNeese faculty members, including those with administrative roles, may apply for professorships designated for their respective disciplines, departments, or colleges. First-time, full-time faculty are eligible to apply; continuing full-time faculty must be in good standing and must have achieved satisfactory ratings in all areas of the previous annual performance review.
After the Foundation approves the status of endowed professorship funding, the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management informs college deans to begin the selection process. The dean may appoint a committee comprised of faculty or appropriate personnel to receive proposals and make recommendations for recipients. In cases where endowed professorships have specific designations, the dean or provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management may appoint the endowed professor to support the objectives of the endowment and the University mission. The provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management, with approval of the vice president for University advancement, may designate professorships for specific initiatives provided the donor’s objectives are met.
Note: Chairpersons for endowed professorship committees should not hold meetings which conflict with Faculty Senate meetings (the first Wednesday of the month from 3:10-5:00 p.m.). In addition, prior to holding committee meetings to select recipients, endowed professorship committee chairs should document the process for selecting recipients and provide the documentation to the dean for review.
Endowed Professorship Proposal and Length of Term
To apply for an endowed professorship, a proposal describing the applicant’s planned activities must be submitted to the committee or dean by the designated date announced each year. The proposal must have a title and include goals and objectives that support the University mission and are appropriate for the department in which the professor resides (e.g., grant funding, publications, applied research, undergraduate research, teaching, industrial ties, and other academic and/or economic development activities).
A college may elect to award an endowed professorship to a recipient for one to three years; however, multi-year awarding of professorships remains contingent on available funds for each year of the award. In cases of multi-year awarding, annual proposals and reports are required for each year.
Selection of Endowed Professorship Recipients
Each committee receives and reviews proposals and makes recommendations to the dean. The dean ensures faculty criteria are met and forwards final recommendations to the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management for appointment. The provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management makes the appointment for specifically designated professorships.
If the selection committees determine that there are no qualified applicants, the dean and provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management may appoint an eligible faculty member to fulfill the objectives of the endowment.
Recipients may reapply for professorships when funding is available, provided all reporting requirements are met, the proposal objectives for previous awards are met, and the faculty member remains in good standing.
Endowed Professorship Reporting Requirements and Use of Funds
Endowed professorship funds may be used by faculty 1) to enhance teaching and applied research activity, 2) to support undergraduate research opportunities, or 3) to enhance the quality of academic programs and faculty development. Endowed professorship funds may not be designated for the general discretionary use of departments, colleges, or the campus.
Implementation of the Award
The following occurs for the implementation of the award:
- The recipient creates a projected budget for use of the funds.
- The budget is submitted to the college dean for approval.
- Once approved by the dean, the budget is submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management for final approval.
- An expense account is established for the endowed professor and funds are placed in the account for use by the endowed professor. A letter of appointment is sent to the recipient with all pertinent account and reporting information.
- Funds must be expended in accordance with state and University guidelines.
- The endowed professor submits a final report to the college dean for review. The report should include expenditures as well as appropriate evidence of scholarly activity and/or objectives accomplished.
- The dean forwards approved final reports to the Office of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management.
- Final reports are reviewed by the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management and archived by the Office of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management. Note: A review team may be appointed by the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management to evaluate progress of the recipient’s activities based on the goals and objectives of the professorship.
- Funds must be expended during the duration of the professorship and may not be held for future expenses not related to the goals of the professorship.
- Residual funds may be utilized for general faculty development that supports the mission of the University. Endowed professorship recipients who are reassigned duties or leave the University do not receive any endowed professorship funds remaining at the time of departure or reassignment.
- Endowed professors should participate in donor recognition activities. The Foundation provides information regarding such activities.
Level of Financial Support
The amount of funding per endowed professorship is determined each year by the Foundation Board of Directors according to investment performance and other fiscal factors.
Termination of Endowed Professorship
The University reserves the right to terminate the award if 1) the recipient’s actions are not appropriate as a representative of the University; 2) the recipient fails to fulfill the obligations of the professorship or fails to fulfill obligations in a timely manner; 3) the recipient suffers an incapacitating illness extending beyond one year; or 4) the recipient does not continue as a full-time faculty member at McNeese. The dean of the appropriate college will report cases involving possible termination of awards to the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management. Any vacancy created by an award termination will remain until the following year, and any unused money will be allocated for faculty development supporting the objectives of the endowment.
This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.