Policy on Endowed Faculty Positions

Last update: 09/16/2019 - 3:30pm

Primary tabs

Enactment & Revisions

Enacted: 9/15/19

Policy Statement

Allocation and Review of Endowed Faculty Positions

I. Purpose of Endowed Faculty Positions 


The purpose of endowed faculty positions (dean, chair, professorship, fellowship, named scholar) is to recruit and retain faculty with outstanding scholarly records who will provide scholarship and leadership that enriches and strengthens their department or program, the college, and the university.  They are distinguished faculty positions that represent prestige, leadership, renown, and broad responsibility to the department or program, college, university, and to their discipline.


Faculty who receive this honor must continue to perform as exemplary scholars, excellent colleagues, and faculty in whose accomplishments the university and donor can rightfully take pride.


II. Allocation of Endowed Faculty Positions at the College Level


Each year (typically in fall term), the dean will solicit from CAS heads, directors, and faculty names of colleagues who would be strong candidates for endowed chairs, professorships, fellowships, and faculty scholar positions.  The CAS deans will consult that pool of recommendations as they consider the allocation of endowed positions by two means:

  1. Strategic Appointments for Recruitment and Retention

Available endowed faculty positions that are sufficiently funded may be offered strategically for recruitment and retention at the dean’s discretion and will not generally be used for open competition among current faculty.

  1. Appointment by Faculty Applications for Endowed Faculty Positions

Available endowed faculty positions that are sufficiently funded may be open for application.  The dean will announce an available position and invite applications from all faculty who are eligible for the position.  The dean’s announcement will specify any constraints particular to the position.


Faculty members interested in being a candidate for the position will submit a candidate’s statement and current CV to their head or director.  The head or director will add a letter of support.  If more than one faculty member from a unit submits an application, the head or director must rank the applications before submitting the application packets to the appropriate divisional dean.

  1. Criteria for Awarding Endowed Faculty Positions

In general, endowed faculty positions will be awarded to faculty members who have far exceeded the criteria for promotion and tenure or promotion to full professor, depending upon their current rank.  The divisional dean, in conjunction with the CAS dean, will also be guided by any additional criteria required by the University for awarding endowed faculty positions.


CAS criteria will include:

  • An outstanding record of productive and impactful research, publication, creative activity, and/or scholarly achievement appropriate to the discipline and areas of specialization, sufficiently consistent in quantity and quality to support a reasonable expectation of continued outstanding performance and contribution
  • A continuing record of exemplary academic and professional accomplishment in teaching and service
  • Significant contributions to institutional equity and inclusion
  • Achievement of a professional status at the national and international levels that will enhance the prominence of the University
  • Restrictions and criteria articulated in the gift agreement.
  1. Assessment and Appointment by the Dean
    1. Strategic Appointments: The deans (CAS dean, divisional dean, and often the other divisional deans) will review the CV and the recruitment or retention situation in consultation with the department head or program director, considering the criteria above.
    2. Application Appointments: The deans (CAS dean, divisional dean, and often the other divisional deans) will review the CV, candidate’s statement, teaching record, and head’s or director’s letter (and ranking, if relevant) in light of the criteria above.  The divisional dean may also consult with faculty members, other members of the CAS community, the provost, or the president, as appropriate, taking care to avoid conflicts of interest.  The divisional dean’s recommendation will be made to the CAS dean, who has the ultimate college responsibility and will make a recommendation to the provost.Final Approval

  E. Final Approval

The CAS dean submits a request to the provost to appoint or reappoint a faculty member to an endowed faculty position with a brief rationale. 

With initial approval from the provost, the dean’s office drafts an appointment letter following the Provost’s “Guidelines for Endowed Faculty Positions” and the donor language of the endowment.  With the provost’s approval, the offer letter is sent to the candidate.

  1. Term of Appointment

Unless the gift agreement specifies otherwise or other special circumstances obtain, appointments to endowed chairs or professorships will be for an initial term of six years, timed to align with regularly scheduled personnel reviews (which may mean that the initial period is shorter than six years).  Appointments for endowment faculty fellowships and faculty scholars will be for an initial period of one to three years.

  1. Vacant Endowed Faculty Positions

The dean may choose not to fill an endowed faculty position in order to allow the endowment earnings to increase; to retain the position for strategic recruitments and retentions; and/or to deploy the funds, when allowable in the gift agreement and with the approval of the provost, in ways that enhance the department or program and advance its academic mission.


Allocation of Endowed Faculty Positions at the Department Level


Some endowed positions are specifically tied to departments through their gift language.  Departments with one or more of these endowed positions shall establish policies to nominate their faculty members to the dean and provost for these positions when they become available.


These policies must be consistent with the policies outlined by the Office of the Provost and the College of Arts and Sciences, follow relevant specific endowment language, and be approved by the dean and provost.


III. Review of Endowed Positions


  1. Regular Review of Endowed Faculty Positions

Endowed faculty positions undergo regular review, aligned with major personnel reviews for six-year endowed appointments.  In these cases, the faculty member’s supervisor should conduct the regular six-year post-tenure review, following unit policies and the CBA.  Additionally, the head’s or director’s post-tenure review recommendation to the dean must include an explicit recommendation about renewal or non-renewal of the endowed faculty position.  This must address the criteria above and provide a clear rationale for the recommendation.

  1. Regular Review Process

Unless the gift agreement or other University, college, departmental policy provides for a different time frame, a different review process, does not allow renewal, all holders of endowed faculty positions will undergo periodic review as described below unless special circumstances pertain.

    1. Timing of Reviews: The review process will begin during the last year of an appointment.  Again, this should be timed with the six-year post-tenure review and conducted simultaneously.  For shorter appointments (one to three years) that do not align with post-tenure or other major pre-tenure reviews, the candidate will undergo a review in the final year of the appointment that addresses the criteria above.  Many of these shorter-appointment professorships do not allow renewal and so will not require review.
    2. Criteria for Reviews: The standards for review of an endowed faculty position will follow the UO “Guidelines for Endowed Faculty Positions,” the criteria above, and should exceed expectations set by the unit’s Promotion and Tenure and Merit Review policies.
    3. Process for Review: The deans will review each endowed faculty position independently, and the dean of the college will make recommendations about renewal and non-renewal to the provost.
    4. Term of Reappointment: Unless the gift agreement or University, college, or departmental policy specifies otherwise, reappointments will be for the same term as the initial appointment and will continue to be aligned with major personnel reviews.


IV. Positions Covered by this Document

The practices outlined in this document refer to “endowed faculty positions,” but this policy covers chairs, professorships, faculty fellowships, and faculty scholars without respect to whether the position is funded by an endowment.


V. Transitional Reviews

The transitional review process outlined here will begin in the 2019-2020 academic year.  In order to avoid an unmanageable number of reviews during the same year, CAS will conduct reviews in stages:

  1. All newly appointed endowed positions will undergo review in the last year of the appointment, timed in alignment with a major personnel review.  This may mean that the first appointment will be for a shorter period of time than is standard in order to align the two reviews; in this case, a reappointment after successful review would follow the standard time lines above.
  2. In recognition that many faculty members who now hold endowed positions have done so without review for longer than the review periods specified above, each current holder of an endowed position held for more than five years without review will undergo review during the next two years.  The dean will determine a schedule for completing this initial round of reviews.
  3. Any faculty member who has already been reappointed to an endowed position within the last six years will not undergo another endowed position review until sixth-year post-tenure review following their most recent endowed position appointment.