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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

June 21, 2006

State funds, gifts will endow chairs, professor positions

by Anne Krapfl

Iowa State will use a one-time $2 million state appropriation to leverage private gifts and create endowed chair and endowed professor positions in the broad areas of biosciences, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the proposal during its June 21 meeting.

As proposed, Iowa State will raise $4 million in private gifts to match the state funds. An endowed chair at Iowa State requires a minimum of $1.5 million; an endowed professorship, $500,000. The intent is to create three of each, said vice provost for research John Brighton. Interim provost Susan Carlson will work with college deans to identify key areas for which donor interests match an academic priority. The president's office and ISU Foundation also will be involved.

"We're very, very excited about this funding," President Gregory Geoffroy told the regents. "This fits beautifully with what we want to do as part of our [upcoming] campaign." He noted that named chairs especially are an effective recruitment and retention tool for faculty.

The $2 million is part of a larger $20 million state appropriation that provides one-time funding for research and commercialization in key areas identified in the Iowa Department of Economic Development's 2004-05 Battelle Report. Iowa State's portion of that $20 million is about $8.4 million.

The university still is developing plans for the remainder of the funds, and specific proposals will be presented to the board for approval in August. Generally, $2.72 million will be distributed for what the legislation designated as "infrastructure-related improvement" grants, which could include faculty start-up packages, facility renovations or purchasing equipment that would help faculty develop technology with high potential for commercialization. The remaining $3.69 million will be awarded in competitive grants for projects that implement Battelle recommendations.


"We're very, very excited about this funding. This fits beautifully with what we want to do as part of our [upcoming] campaign."

President Gregory Geoffroy