Monday, November 30, 2015


UTSA faculty endowments are the gifts that keep on giving

John Frederick

John Frederick
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

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(Nov. 13, 2009)--Some gifts really do keep on giving. That's especially true in the case of endowed faculty positions at growing universities such as UTSA. Established through gifts ranging from $250,000 to $2 million, these faculty endowments help recruit and retain renowned scholars, researchers, teachers and artists at UTSA.

"The real benefit to having these positions is our ability to attract the very best faculty," said John Frederick, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs. "They provide a special environment for our students and as nationally recognized scholars, mentor their colleagues by promoting new and innovative ways of doing things."

At UTSA, 36 faculty, or more than 6 percent of tenured faculty, hold special titles ranging from "endowed professorship" to "distinguished university chair." Established by generous donors, these positions allow faculty to extend the reach of their scholarly expertise in a variety of creative and useful ways and elevate UTSA's recognition in both academic and professional circles.

>> Watch UTSA Today for a series of Spotlight stories about how six faculty members in various colleges are putting their unrestricted endowment funds to use. **

These activities include supporting undergraduate or graduate student research, developing and hosting scholarly conferences, purchasing key research equipment, presenting research in progress at scholarly conferences, and supporting the endowed professor's own research and professional outreach.

You'll also hear from the donors themselves -- through comments on the lasting value of their gifts -- which in many cases were made in honor of loved ones. Endowments may be established for existing faculty or to recruit new senior faculty to campus, according to Frederick. Regardless, each endowment acts to establish a legacy of learning that lasts for generations.

Establishing a new faculty endowment is a little bit like matchmaking. "We try to match what donors are passionate about with things that are very active areas of interest for the university," Frederick said. "When it works, it's wonderful."

As the chief academic officer of the university, Frederick notes that faculty endowments play a key role in university's plans for growth and development. And he thinks it's an area where donors can feel especially gratified.

"I think people feel good about having a significant role in successfully bringing a key person to an institution," Frederick said. "If you want to do something that's going to have a wide-ranging impact over a number of years, then bringing in a scholar who is very strong and has the ability to influence or attract others -- that's a pretty big impact."

The UTSA Today series will offer a snapshot of UTSA endowments at work with articles on these six faculty members:

  • Mauli Agrawal (Engineering), David and Jennifer Spencer Distinguished Chair for the Dean of Engineering
  • Dana Forgione (Business), Janey S. Briscoe Endowed Chair in Business
  • David Frego (Music), Roland K. Blumberg Distinguished Professor of Music
  • William Dupont (Architecture), San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professorship
  • Weldon W. Hammond (Geological Sciences), Amy Shelton and VH McNutt Distinguished Professorship in Geology
  • Sonja L. Lanehart (English), Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities


Minimum gift level to fund UTSA endowment

Endowed academic position Gift amount *
Distinguished University Chair $2 million
Distinguished Chair $1.5 million
Chair $1 million
Distinguished Professorship $500,000
Professorship $250,000


* An endowment may be established in many ways with a single gift paid out over a period of time through a gift of securities or through a trust or estate gift.

Source: UTSA Giving Opportunities

** Faculty members have access to the interest generated by the principal of the gift; the University of Texas Investment Management Company manages the principal in perpetuity.

Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

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