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April 18, 2003
Beautiful Minds
By Jennifer Shutt Bowie

Ohio University's Bicentennial Campaign seeks to raise $200 million in time for our bicentennial in 2004. Our top priority in the campaign is an investment in endowed chairs and named professorships. These donor-supported faculty positions provide, in perpetuity, valuable tools to attract and retain premier faculty teachers and researchers - forever influencing the quality education our students receive.

"Endowed faculty positions attract exceptional talent to classrooms and laboratories ... their reputations and capabilities attract students who want to study in a special environment," says Ohio University President Robert Glidden. "They benefit the entire University community."

Investing in the future

Tuition and state dollars can't support the programs that make Ohio University truly distinctive - programs like Residential Learning Communities, the Edison Biotechnology Institute and the George V. Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs. High standards are expensive.

Ohio University must ensure a margin of excellence in an increasingly competitive higher education market and safeguard its future. Private philanthropy will make the critical difference as we strive to provide intellectual leadership and cutting-edge research.

Competing for talent

A university is only as good as its faculty. Those bright minds occupy classrooms and laboratories, sharing their knowledge with tomorrow's leaders, making discoveries to ensure that our tomorrow is a better place.

Universities are in fierce competition for talent, not only in the state, but also throughout the nation. Talented faculty in all fields - from finance to physics, classics to chemical engineering - are in high demand. During the Bicentennial Campaign, Ohio University will increase its ability to compete for this talent by establishing endowed chairs and named professorships.

"With gifts committed to named professorships, I could reward younger faculty who are doing excellent work," says Chair of the Department of Industrial Technology and Loehr Professor of Engineering Jim Fales. "Professorships provide a level of prestige and recognition for a job well done that is encouraging to the faculty. I believe it's an honor and an incentive to work even harder to do more to promote the department, the Russ College and the University."

Ohio University currently has commitments to support 19 chairs and 27 professorships, 46 total. Our esteemed peer institutions, such as the Universities of North Carolina and Virginia, each support hundreds of these valuable positions.

During the Bicentennial Campaign, it is our top priority to raise $70 million for endowed chairs and named professorships. About $56 million will be set aside to establish 28 new endowed chairs at an average of $2 million each to serve at least half of the University's 56 academic departments. Another $14 million will endow one named professorship at $250,000 or more in each department.

Endowing a faculty position

Endowments established to support chairs and professorships will provide funds, in perpetuity, for a salary supplement (no more than 50 percent of funds made available from the endowment will be used to supplement the individual's salary), as well as funds to be used at the scholar's discretion for research, travel to conferences and symposia, professional development and other expenses related to scholarship. As a testament to the University's belief in these endowed positions, we will provide the faculty line to support the remainder of the individual's salary as well as his or her benefits.

These endowed faculty positions are the most important investment you can make in the future of Ohio University. Meet the University's current endowed chairs and named professors by visiting http://www.ohiou.edu/campaign/chairs.html.

Jennifer Shutt Bowie, BSJ '94 and MSC '99, is director of development communication for Ohio University

 

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