Endowed Chairs and Professorships Administrative Policy

Revised and adopted by GFAC and the CLGE Executive Committee effective April 8, 2016

Revised and adopted by CLGE Executive Committee effective March 2009

Revised and adopted by CLGE Executive Committee effective January 2008

Original policy effective: December 2005

Overview

This policy applies to all Endowed Chairs and Professorships in the College of Geosciences and its academic departments and centers. All Endowed Chairs and Professorships are awarded in accordance with Texas A&M policy 12.01.99.M2.01 - Appointment, Evaluation, and Reappointment of Faculty to Endowed Positions. In cases where an Endowed Chair or Professorship has been bequeathed for a particular purpose, the College will adhere to the donor’s intentions whenever possible. In addition, the College of Geosciences will apply the following specific criteria.

Endowed Chairs and Endowed Professorships in the College of Geosciences are awarded to recruit, retain, and reward faculty members who possess an exemplary record of outstanding performance in research, teaching, and/or service at a level commensurate with national and international standards.

Types of Chairs & Professorships

There are three categories of awards in the College of Geosciences:

In accordance with the wishes of donors

  • Chairs and Professorships reserved for specific positions, such as directorships.
  • Chairs and Professorships reserved for faculty in specific departments or programs;
  • Chairs and Professorships that may be awarded to any member of the College faculty.

Criteria for Appointments

Criteria for appointments to Endowed Chairs & Professorships are much the same as those outlined in APPENDIX A of the College of Geosciences Tenure & Promotion Guidelines, except that a higher level of activity or accomplishment is required:

  • Teaching. Candidates seeking a Chair or Professorship on the basis of teaching are expected to have demonstrated a sustained record of excellence in teaching and mentoring students.
  • Research or Scholarship. Candidates for a Chair or Professorship on the basis of Research or Scholarship are expected to be highly respected and active members of the research community in their area(s) of expertise who are widely recognized as leaders in their field(s).
  • Service. Candidates for the award of a Chair or Professorship on the basis of service are expected to have demonstrated sustained excellence and leadership in service at Texas A&M, or at the state, national or international level.
  • Overall Performance. Candidates for a Chair or Professorship on the basis of overall performance are expected to have demonstrated sustained excellence in a suitable combination of teaching, research or scholarship, and service.
  • Position Specific. Criteria for award of Chairs that attach to positions such as directorships shall be a record of professional accomplishment and leadership in academia or elsewhere that qualifies the candidate for appointment to the position.

Appointments

Subject to the approval of the Provost, the Dean of the College of Geosciences awards all Endowed Chairs and Professorships. The Dean is advised by the College of Geosciences Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships, with appropriate departmental input.

Appointments to Endowed Chairs & Professorships will be made annually or on an as-needed basis in accordance with a timeline set by the dean.

College-Level Appointment Process

For positions not reserved for specific departments or programs, the Office of the Dean will solicit nominations for open Chair or Professorship positions on an annual or as-needed basis. In the case of self-nominations or nominations from outside the nominee’s home (adloc) department, the Dean will request a letter of endorsement and a nomination package from the Head of the candidate’s home department.

The College-level nomination package must include a nomination letter, a nomination or endorsement letter from the Department Head, a complete CV, a statement of the nominee’s anticipated activities if appointed, and a list of at least three potential referees external to Texas A&M University who are nationally or internationally prominent scientists in the candidate’s area of expertise. The Dean will provide all nomination packages to the Chair of the College Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships. The College Advisory Committee will review and evaluate the completed packages, including the outside letters, and make recommendations to the Dean.

Department Appointment Process

For positions that are specific to departments or programs, Department or Program Heads will solicit nominations for open Chairs and Professorships, after consultation with the dean. Self nominations are permitted. Nomination packages will be reviewed by a Department Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships, and recommendations will be reviewed by the Department Head and forwarded to the Dean.

The Department-level nomination package must include a nomination letter, a complete CV, a statement of the nominee’s anticipated activities if appointed, and a list of at least three potential referees external to Texas A&M University who are nationally or internationally prominent scientists in the candidate’s area of expertise. The Department Head will provide all nomination packages to the Chair of the Department Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships, and the chair of Department Advisory Committee will solicit external letters as required. The Department Advisory Committee will make its recommendation to the Department Head, who will forward the nominations, with his or her recommendation, to the Dean.

The Dean will provide all nomination packages to the Chair of the College Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs. The College committee will review and evaluate the completed packages, including the outside letters, and make recommendations to the Dean.

Committee Appointments

The Dean will appoint the members of the College of Geosciences Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships, and will appoint a qualified chair of appropriate stature and experience from outside the college. The chair shall be a non-voting member of the committee. Two members of the committee will come from each department to assure equal representation. Because these appointments are awards not promotions, all tenure track faculty members are eligible to serve, but a majority of the committee must hold the rank of professor. Faculty members who hold administrative appointments (such as deputy department heads and associate deans) may not serve. All College Advisory Committee members will serve for a three-year term. Committee members may not serve consecutive terms.

The Department Head will appoint a Department Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships. The committee shall be composed of four members of the faculty, and a chair of appropriate stature, from within or outside the department. Because these appointments are awards, not promotions, all tenure track faculty members are eligible to serve, but at least three members of the committee must hold the rank of professor. Faculty members who hold administrative appointments (such as deputy department heads and associate deans) may not serve. All committee members will serve for a three-year term. Committee members may not serve consecutive terms.

Terms of Appointment to Endowed Chairs

Appointment to Endowed Chairs in the College of Geosciences will be for a five (5) year term. The chair holder may be reappointed to a second 5-year term; Endowed Chair holders may not be reappointed for a third term, but are eligible for nomination and appointment to any Chair or Professorship, including one currently or previously held.

Appointment to the Chairs that are reserved for specific positions will be for the duration of the holder’s service in that position.

Unless the donor has specified otherwise, an Endowed Chair holder is allocated a discretionary allowance of $50,000 per year, contingent upon availability of funds.

The holder of an Endowed Chair retains the title until the end of his/her career.

No holder of an Endowed Chair may hold a concurrent appointment to another Endowed Chair or Professorship. Exceptions to this provision may be made only with the approval of the Provost and the donor (where possible).

Terms of Appointment to Endowed Professorships

Appointment to an Endowed Professorship in the College of Geosciences will be for one five (5) year term. Holders of Endowed Professorships may not be reappointed, but are eligible for nomination and appointment to any chair or professorship, including one currently or previously held.

Unless the donor has specified otherwise, an Endowed Professor is allocated a discretionary allowance of $10,000 per year, contingent upon availability of funds.

The holder of an Endowed Professorship retains the title until he/she receives an endowed chair or until the end of his/her career

No holder of an Endowed Professorship may hold a concurrent appointment to another Endowed Chair or Professorship. Exceptions to this provision may be made only with the approval of the Provost and the donor (where possible).

Reappointment of Endowed Chair holders

The College of Geosciences Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships will review holders of Endowed Chairs that are not specific to departments during the last year of a first appointment if a re-appointment is sought and/or as directed by the Dean. The timeline for review will be set by the dean.

Each chair holder who is eligible for re-appointment will provide a dossier consisting of (1) a complete curriculum vitae; (2) a summary of Chair activities and accomplishments, including information on graduate students, post-docs, and visiting scholars who have been supported and mentored as part of research effort, (3) copies of relevant publications; and (4) a summary accounting by fiscal year of discretionary allocation expenditures with explanatory notes. Following their review of the dossier, the College Advisory Committee will make recommendations to the Dean in regard to reappointment.

For positions that are specific to departments or programs, reappointment dossiers will be reviewed by a Department Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships, and recommendations will be reviewed by the Department Head and forwarded to the Dean. The Dean may choose to forward the reappointment package to the College of Geosciences Advisory Committee on Endowed Chairs and Professorships for further review. The timeline for review will be set by the dean.

Expenditure Guidelines

Endowed Chair and Professorship discretionary funds are to be used for professional expenses and expended in accordance with all pertinent University Rules and Procedures. Additional College requirements are as follows:

At the time of appointment, the holder of an Endowed Chair may elect to either:

(a) receive a $1,500 monthly Endowed Chair administrative stipend for 9 months per academic year during the 5-year term of his/her appointment from the Chair’s discretionary funds. This option requires approval by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academics. In accordance with University Rule 01.03.99.M1, Incremental Pay and Appointment Status for Administrators with Faculty Appointment, this administrative stipend will be removed from the monthly salary rate at the end of the entire Chair holder’s regular 5-year appointment term. Previous Chair holders who are eligible to retain the title beyond their term are not eligible to receive this administrative stipend. Chair holders who elect an administrative stipend may not use additional Chair funds for summer salary; or

(b) have the flexibility to use the Endowed Chair funds to pay on average a maximum of one month in salary per year for himself/herself from allocated discretionary funds, not to exceed a total of five months of salary support during the 5-year chair term;

  • The holder of an endowed professorship may not use the professorship funds to pay any portion of his/her salary.
  • Use of endowed funds to pay salary support for students and/or research personnel is encouraged, but the funds cannot be used to pay salary to other TAMU tenured or tenure-track faculty members.
  • An endowed chair or professorship holder retains the right to spend any residual allocated funds within two years of the end of his or her term.

Obligations and Stewardship Protocol

As described in the College Endowed Chairs and Professorships Protocol, an important responsibility of an Endowed Professorship or Chair holder is ongoing and meaningful communication with and stewardship of the donor. Meaningful stewardship of Chairs and Professorships requires a partnership with the Dean of the College of Geosciences and the communications staff, and includes four essential expectations: writing a personal thank you letter to the donor; informing donors about news regarding the Chair or Professorship holder and their programs and achievements, submitting an annual impact report, and attending an annual stewardship event.

In cases where it is appropriate to do so, during the first year of the award, the holder will write a letter of introduction to the donor or donor’s family with biographical information, research intentions, and appreciation. After the first year, the holder will write personal letters (at least 1 per year) of appreciation to the donor or donor’s family that includes the impact of gift, details of research, biographical profile, and other items as detailed in the Protocol

  • In cases where it is appropriate to do so, the holder will send the donor or donor’s family, articles of interest regarding the holder’s activities, awards and publications.
  • The holder will prepare an “annual impact report” to be submitted to the Dean each year.
  • Holders of Chairs and Professorships will also attend an annual Chairs & Professorships stewardship event.

Exceptions to This Policy

Any exceptions to the stipulated expenditure or stewardship guidelines require the prior approval of the Dean. Exceptions to the stipulated appointment terms and conditions may also require approval of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academics.

Modification of Policy and Procedures

This policy and associated College of Geosciences procedures will be reviewed on a periodic basis and modified as deemed necessary by the Dean. The Dean will consult the Geosciences Faculty Advisory Committee (GFAC) prior to official review and adoption by the College Executive Committee. Additional institutional approval will be secured as needed. The Dean’s Office will communicate all changes to the units.