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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 2 - Faculty and Academics
Publication Date: January 18, 2006
Responsible Executive: VP for Academic Affairs

2.41 Endowed Chairs, Professorships and Faculty Fellowships

The following policy guidelines apply to the appointment, evaluation, and reappointment of faculty to endowed positions as well as the budgetary processes associated with such positions and are subject to the Regents' Rules and Regulations referencing this topic. The three principal categories of endowments used in support of faculty scholars at The University of Texas at San Antonio are (1) endowed chairs, (2) endowed professorships, and (3) endowed faculty fellowships.

Endowed chairs and professorships are usually considered to be the equivalent of a rank above full professor and are to be conferred only upon faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained high level of accomplishment. Appointments are intended to empower the appointee to make significant additional contributions to his or her field and to the university. Endowed faculty fellowships may be awarded to qualified persons of any academic rank, irrespective of tenure status, in accordance with the selection process defined below.

The donative instrument may specify the academic field of study from which an appointee must be selected. If the field is not specified, the provost may specify the field or, if the field is specified, the provost may specify a subfield. Subject to the terms of the donative instrument, the provost may specify a new field or subfield for a vacant position.

Appointment to an endowed position is separate from appointment to the faculty. However, searches for appointees normally will be conducted in parallel with searches for new appointees to the faculty. In special cases, and with the approval of the president and provost, endowed positions may be reserved for current members of the faculty or used to secure special opportunity hires outside of the normal selection process defined below.

  1. Selection Criteria

    Search and screen committees shall be used to recommend candidates for appointment to endowed professorships and chairs. Committees will be appointed by the provost and shall include at least three UTSA full professors with knowledge of the academic field from which candidates will be drawn. The committee may also have a minority of non-UTSA members who have knowledge of the field. The Vice President for External Relations (VPER) will appoint a liaison to the committee for the purpose of ensuring that terms of the donative instrument are understood by the members.

    When the academic field of the search spans multiple departments, the committee will seek nominations from all such departments. Any nomination forwarded to the provost by the committee shall have the approval of a proposed home department and the corresponding academic dean. Committee procedures will follow established guidelines for academic searches. All appointments will be made by the president. In all instances, selection criteria for appointments to endowed faculty positions, as well as budgetary approvals, will reflect the stated priorities and restrictions established when the position was created. The following general definitions and selection criteria will apply to the three endowment categories:

    1. Endowed Chair: The holder of an endowed chair should be considered as receiving one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member. The highest level of performance, and national and international recognition of that performance, are inherent guidelines for appointment of a chair holder. The institutional expectation of unquestionable excellence in at least one of the two professional performance dimensions (research and teaching) must be met in addition to any specific selection criteria associated with a particular endowed position. The appointment to an endowed chair may recognize a current member of the faculty or it may be associated with recruitment of a new faculty member; but, in all appointments, excellence should be evidenced by several years of outstanding performance based on national and international standards.
    2. Endowed Professorship: The holder of an endowed professorship should be considered as receiving a high honor, as well as recognition of consistently outstanding performance and ability. The institutional expectation of a distinguished record of performance in one of the two professional performance dimensions must be met, in addition to any specific selection criteria associated with a particular endowed position. The appointment to an endowed professorship may recognize a current member of the faculty or it may be associated with recruitment of a new faculty member.
    3. Endowed Faculty Fellowship: Endowed faculty fellowships will be used to provide temporary support (not to exceed one academic year) of distinguished scholars who are:
      1. In temporary residence at UTSA while participating in planned academic programs;
      2. Visiting scholars who are in temporary residence at the institution for special academic programs or purposes;
      3. UTSA faculty who have made unique contributions to academic life or to knowledge in their academic discipline; and
      4. UTSA faculty of any rank, irrespective of tenure status, who have been selected for teaching excellence through procedures established by the institution.

    Recommendations for the awarding of a faculty fellowship may be made by a department chair to the academic dean or by the academic dean, with final approval by the provost.

  2. Appointments
    1. In accordance with the Regents Rules and Regulations (Series 60202, Section 1), No initial appointment will be made to an endowed or named academic position without prior approval as a Request for Budget Change by the president of an institution after review and approval by the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor. Subsequent new or continuing appointments to the endowed or named academic positions may be approved as a part of the annual operating budget.
    2. All appointments to endowed professorships and endowed chairs shall be renewable term appointments. The initial appointment shall be for a period of four years; subsequent appointments shall be for a period of five years. A review and recommendation concerning the reappointment of the incumbent will take place in the fall of the last year of the appointment. For the initial appointments a search committee will review candidates and make a recommendation to the provost with the concurrence of the appropriate chair and dean. The provost will make a recommendation to the president. The president makes the final decision and forwards the recommendation for approval of the initial appointment to the UT System. A review and recommendation concerning the reappointment of the incumbent will take place in the fall of the last year of the appointment and will be conducted by the appropriate department chair (or dean if the incumbent is a department chair), who will make recommendations concerning reappointment through the appropriate dean and to the provost.
    3. The provost, with the approval of the president, may authorize a college to limit the number of terms that an individual may hold an endowed position.
    4. Appointment to an endowed position is separate from appointment to the faculty. A decision to award tenure to the current or prospective holder of an endowed position affects only the regular faculty appointment; it does not imply a commitment for continuance in the endowed position.
    5. As a condition of appointment, all holders of endowed professorships, chairs, and faculty fellowships shall complete mandatory university endowment compliance training and submit an annual report through the department chair and dean to the provost and to the VPER. This report shall consist of two parts: (1) an accounting of how the funds (if any) were used during the preceding fiscal year and (2) a report of activities/accomplishments in the preceding year. Funds will not be released for the new year until this report has been approved by the VPER.
    6. As soon as it is known that an endowed position may become vacant, the academic dean will consult with the provost. Together, they will develop a plan to fill the position consistent with the intent of the donor.
  3. Fiscal Policies
    1. Distributions for Salary Supplementation: UTSA will pay from its funds such amounts as are necessary to set the salary of the holder at a level commensurate with his or her record, experience, and position in the faculty. At the discretion of the provost and the academic dean, distributions from the endowments may be used to supplement the recipient salary. Endowment distributions also may be used to pay an appropriate part of the salary of the holder of the endowed position commensurate with an authorized reduced faculty workload when required by other duties of the position or when the holder is on part-time or full-time research leave which is otherwise unfunded. It is provided specifically, however, that in no event will endowment distributions be used to supplant any other source of funds used to pay the base salary of the holder of the position when the holder is performing his or her regular duties.
    2. Distributions for Professional Support: Endowment distributions also may be used for other professional support of the holder of the endowed position, including assistance in the holders research. Appropriate uses of the distributed funds from the endowment may include, but are not limited to, salaries and benefits for the holder assigned staff, equipment, professional development, travel, student support, administrative overhead or other expenses necessary to support the scholarly activities, clinical work, curriculum development, publications, or recruitment expenses of the position.
    3. The provost shall have signature authority for the main endowment accounts receiving disbursements from the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). At the beginning of each fiscal year, the endowed position holder will prepare an expenditure plan outlining the proposed utilization of available funds. This plan will be submitted for approval to the VPER and the provost through the dean. Upon approval of the plan, expenditures for the current fiscal year will be authorized, and funds will be transferred at the request of the provost to a separate expenditure account, with the position holder as the sole signature authority. Normal approval routing for all expenditures will continue to exist. At the end of the fiscal year, the position holder will submit a report on the actual expenses following the same routing as the spending plan.
    4. When an incumbent leaves the position, the dean shall be responsible for notifying the VPER and for submitting a revised Account Authorized Signature form to the director of accounting, who will then delete the signature authority for that individual. Only to the extent allowed by the donative instrument, and with the approval of the provost, may funds be expended from the endowment distribution if a position is vacant.
  4. Responsibility for Maintenance of Records

    A list of all endowed chairs, professorships, and faculty fellowships, including the purpose and any qualifications and restrictions designated by the donor, and their incumbents will be maintained by the office of the Provost and the office of the vice president for external relations.

    1. Routine Audit

      All endowments for academic positions will be subject to periodic audit.

    2. Review

      The policy shall be reviewed every three years by the Provost and the VPER.

Editorial Amendment: January 14, 2013