Strengthening the academic community

Endowed faculty positions on the rise at UGA

The number of endowed faculty positions continues to rise at the University of Georgia, now reaching 276, up from 227 at the end of FY13—an increase of more than 20 percent over four years.

Growing endowed faculty graphic-h

An endowed chair or professorship recognizes exceptional teaching and research productivity and is one of the highest honors the university can bestow on its faculty members. Creating more of these distinguished positions is a top fundraising priority of the Commit to Georgia Campaign, and funds were raised to establish 10 in the last fiscal year.

“Endowed faculty positions help the university to attract and retain the most gifted teachers and productive researchers,” said President Jere W. Morehead, “and these individuals strengthen our vibrant academic community, elevating teaching and learning on campus and driving our vital research enterprise forward.”

The funds produced by the endowment provide financial support for equipment, supplies, graduate assistants and other resources needed to advance the important research and scholarship of the individuals who hold these critical positions.

One example of the meaningful impact of an endowed position can be seen through Miguel Cabrera, the Georgia Power Professor of Environmental Remediation and Soil Chemistry in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Cabrera—a leading expert on soil, water and waste management—is finding solutions to increase the world’s food supply.

Miguel Cabrera

“The financial support provided by Georgia Power has been crucial in our efforts to improve the sustainability of food production systems,” said Cabrera, who also holds an appointment in the Odum School of Ecology. “We are very appreciative of this research support, which significantly impacts the agricultural industry in Georgia.”

Annette Poulsen, Augustus H. “Billy” Sterne Chair in Banking and Finance, is an endowed chair in the Terry College of Business and is committed to making a positive impact. She uses the support from her endowed position to increase the global understanding of how firms use financial markets to fund mergers and acquisitions. Poulsen also applies her research findings to the classroom to help students understand global finance.

“The generosity of private donors to UGA has been fundamental to the university’s remarkable progress and success during my 30 years here,” Poulsen said. “Resources for research activities have allowed our faculty to produce top-notch work that is published, presented and cited internationally in the very best forums.

“I hope our donors know they have made a difference.”

This news release was originally written by Leigh Beeson and published on Columns.