Academic Affairs

Sec. 402-10: Endowed Chairs - Procedures

Responsible Office: Academic Personnel
December 1997

References / Resources

A. Establishment and Naming of Endowed Chairs

  1. Definition

    An endowed chair is an academic honor awarded by the University to an individual on the basis of past and potential original contributions to the individual's academic discipline. Thus, in addition to any constraints imposed by the description of the chair, an individual selected to hold an endowed chair must satisfy the criterion of distinction.

  2. Authority

    Establishment and naming of an endowed chair is subject to approval by the President upon recommendation of the Chancellor. No commitment for establishing and naming a chair shall be made to a prospective donor prior to Presidential approval.

  3. Minimum Corpus

    A minimum corpus shall be established and maintained. The minimum required for an endowed chair in the College of Medicine shall be no less than $1,000,000. For other schools the required minimum is $500,000, but higher requirements are encouraged when appropriate. Professional schools, in particular, are strongly encouraged to use the $1,000,000 minimum funding level.

    Prior to any commitment on the part of the University, the campus must have available and must commit, if necessary, the general fund faculty provision and salary for the holder of the chair.

  4. Establishment of the Corpus
    1. An endowed chair will be established only upon acceptance by the Chancellor of (a) cash or a binding pledge that immediately or within a reasonable period of time will create a corpus in an amount sufficient to provide income adequate for meeting the purposes of the chair, or (b) a legally binding commitment to provide appropriate income at the end of each fiscal year from an equivalent corpus held inviolate by a trustee.
    2. If a chair is to be funded through a campaign, the recommendation for approval of the chair shall be presented to the President. Approval of an endowed chair, when a campaign is involved, will be contingent upon the receipt of a specified amount by the specified closing date of the campaign, with a provision for optional use of the funds raised should they fall short of the required minimum, or with a commitment from the Chancellor to make up any deficiency from unrestricted funds available to the campus.

      Unless a legally binding commitment has been made by the donor to provide income from a corpus held inviolate by a trustee, the corpus will be held as an endowment either by The Regents or the UCI Foundation.

    3. The endowed chair and the income from its endowment will be used for the designated area of study for as long as that area is a part of UCI's academic program. The terms of acceptance of a gift will state that should the designated area of study no longer be a part of UCI's academic program, the income from the endowment will be used to support a chair in an area related as closely as possible to the original.
  5. Name

    If desired, a chair may be named in honor of the donor or an honoree proposed by the donor, subject to approval of the President.

  6. Restrictions

    The area of study must be in accord with the mission of the University of California and the academic plan of the campus.

  7. Campus Review

    The Chancellor, in consultation with the Executive Vice Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor-University Advancement, will review proposals concerning establishment of an endowed chair. Before an Action Item for the Establishment and Naming of the Endowed Chair or Professorship is forwarded to the President, however, the Graduate Council, the Committee on Educational Policy, the Committee on Academic Personnel, and the Committee on Planning and Budget will be consulted on proposals for endowed chairs pertaining to all academic units other than those restricted to the College of Medicine. With regard to proposals for endowed chairs restricted to the College of Medicine, the Graduate Council, two COM committees (the current Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee or their equivalents), the Committee on Academic Personnel, and the Committee on Planning and Budget will be so consulted before an Action Item is forwarded to the President. The Executive Vice Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that this is done. In addition, the Executive Vice Chancellor will consult as necessary with the appropriate department chair(s) and/or dean(s).

  8. Use of the Endowment Income

    Income from an endowed chair is to be made available to the faculty member appointed to the chair in support of teaching and research, in accordance with University regulations and according to a budget recommended annually by the chair holder to the department chair and approved by the appropriate dean and/or vice chancellor in the normal budgetary process.

    The budget in any given year will not exceed the amount available from the existing endowment.

    Base salary during the academic year and the budgeted position for the faculty member appointed to the chair shall be provided by general funds available to the campus.

  9. Addition of Endowment Income

    The President, following consultation with the General Counsel, may approve addition of unexpended income to principal for any endowed chair when the President finds the circumstances warrant such action and when written approval from the donor has been obtained.

B. Appointment to Endowed Chairs

An endowed chair may be filled by one individual for an indefinite period (i.e., the duration of the individual's tenure), or successively by a series of individuals appointed for prescribed periods, unless otherwise provided in the terms of the gift.

  1. Authority

    The Chancellor has final approval authority for appointment to an endowed chair. If the proposed salary is above-scale, Regental authority is required for the salary.

  2. Search Procedures

    A search committee will be appointed by the Executive Vice Chancellor. Except in cases where the endowed chair would be department specific (i.e., Chair of Geology), the search committee will be from a slate of candidates nominated by the Committee on Academic Personnel. In a case where the appointment would be department-specific, the Committee on Academic Personnel would receive and review the departmentally proposed search committee, and nominate a slat of individuals from other units from which the Executive Vice Chancellor will appoint one or two members, and appoint the search committee.

    In carrying out the search for candidates, attention shall be paid to the campus affirmative action goals and policies.

    The search committee will forward its report and recommendation to the Executive Vice Chancellor.

    1. If the choice is for appointment of a faculty member who is already a member of the UC regular ranks faculty, the Executive Vice Chancellor will forward the recommendation to the Committee on Academic Personnel for review and advice before making a recommendation to the Chancellor.
    2. If the choice is for appointment of a faculty member who does not already hold a regular rank appointment, the Executive Vice Chancellor will forward the selected candidate's dossier to the appropriate department for regular review and recommendation. The appointment will then follow all normal review procedures, including review by the Committee on Academic Personnel, before decision by the Chancellor. The Committee on Academic Personnel will be asked to comment separately in the review on the level of the appointment and on the suitability of the person to hold the position of endowed chair.

      Appropriate modification of these appointment procedures may be required for endowed chairs with unusual characteristics (such as rotating visiting chairs, in particular). Normally, such procedures will be outlined in the proposal for such endowed chairs.

C. Use of Endowment Income During any Period in Which There is Not a Permanent Appointee to a Chair

During any period in which a chair is not permanently occupied while the search proceeds for a suitable candidate, the Chancellor may authorize the appropriate dean(s), after consultation with the relevant department(s), to use the endowment's income in support of research and teaching in the designated area of study.

D. Annual Reporting

Each chair holder shall annually submit to the department chair a brief narrative describing his or her academic activities and the use of endowment funds which contributed to them. These narratives should be retained by the chair or dean for use in preparing special reports on endowed chairs that may be needed from time to time. A copy will be forwarded by that office to the Vice Chancellor-University Advancement.