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Vice President, Development Programs
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: Oct. 10, 2002

UI Honors Contributors And Recipients Of Endowed Faculty Positions

Increasing the number of endowed faculty positions funded by private gifts is crucial to the University of Iowa's ability to continually improve teaching, research and service to the state, speakers told a gathering of nearly 200 UI contributors and faculty recently.

UI officials and other speakers at the inaugural Named Deanships, Chairs and Professorships Recognition Luncheon, held in the Levitt Center for University Advancement, stressed that increasing the level of private, endowed faculty support is essential if the UI is to achieve its strategic objectives.

Shrinking state and university budgets have contributed to growing concerns in the UI community about faculty "brain drain" at one of Iowa's outstanding state institutions. According to UI Provost Jon Whitmore, the University of Iowa has lost more than $45 million from its general-education operating budget over the last two years in response to an eight percent reduction in state appropriations. These reductions forced the UI to eliminate 100 faculty positions in 2001-2002.

Establishing endowed faculty positions -- in the form of deanships, chairs and professorships -- is one key to combating such cuts, the UI speakers suggested.

"Academic excellence is our overarching goal, and collective excellence depends on individual excellence," said UI Interim President Willard L. Boyd during his opening remarks. "These endowed positions help assure the greatness of our university in the future."

The event recognized not only the contributors who established named faculty funds, but also many of the distinguished faculty members who hold these positions.

Nancy Hauserman, a 1976 graduate of the Iowa Law School who is associate dean of the undergraduate program at the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, was one of the luncheon's speakers. Hauserman holds the Williams Teaching Professorship. She said in her address that endowed positions were "gold stars" of recognition for faculty members who will go on to make a difference in countless students' lives.

"When donors create these positions, they're not just creating one gold star," Hauserman said. "They're creating a constellation of gold stars: our students."

The UI's first endowed faculty positions were established in 1971 by Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver of Muscatine, Iowa, who included endowments for distinguished professors in their philanthropic plans. Today, the UI has 252 named faculty positions and seeks to create at least 100 before the end of its $850 million fund-raising campaign in 2005. Since the campaign began, 66 have been created.

Ross D. Christensen -- an Iowa graduate who is an orthodontist in Waterloo, Iowa and a UI contributor of a named professorship -- also spoke at the luncheon.

"It is the donor who gains the most from making gifts like this," Christensen said. "It gives us the privilege of knowing that we graduated from a great university and knowing that we have played a small part in upholding that reputation."

A named deanship requires an endowment of $2 million or more. This position provides flexible resources for a dean to meet special needs in his or her college.

A named chair is the highest honor the university can bestow on a faculty member and requires an endowment of $1.5 million or more.

A named professorship -- which recognizes a distinguished faculty member and provides an annual amount in partial support of salary or teaching, research and scholarship expenses -- requires an endowment of $500,000 or more.

The UI Foundation is acknowledged by the UI as a preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. UI Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at