Friday, October 09, 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.

Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

UTSA CITE Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Kickstart your career as an entrepreneur at the UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.
Business Building, Richard S. Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus

Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture as Rendered Society

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in partnership with AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture, presents architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an architectural practice dually based in New York and Madrid.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 15, 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night 2015

The UTSA Women’s Studies Institute invites you to Take Back the Night, an international initiative to raise awareness and empower survivors while educating allies through a march, poetry, and testimonios. This is a gender-inclusive movement to shatter the silence surrounding sexual and domestic violence.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Grad Fest is an event designed to prepare you for commencement while celebrating your achievement. You will have the opportunity to purchase commencement regalia, order class rings, diploma frames, explore graduate school opportunities, learn about successful Stafford loan repayment and discuss career outcomes.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom

Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


Grad Fest is an event designed to prepare you for commencement while celebrating your achievement. You will have the opportunity to purchase commencement regalia, order class rings, diploma frames, explore graduate school opportunities, learn about successful Stafford loan repayment and discuss career outcomes.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom

Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

SECC Book Sale

Looking for a good read? Shop for yourself or for gifts and help change a life at the same time. Browse and buy children’s stories, novels and more at the 2015 SECC Book Sale.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

Phi Kappa Phi Last Lecture

What would Dr. John Bartkowski say if it were his last lecture? The UTSA professor of sociology will speak about “The Power of Listening” in this annual event sponsored by the UTSA chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. A reception will follow.
Denman Room (UC 2.201.28), Main Campus

Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m.

Lecture by Composer Larry Groupe

The UTSA Music Department presents Emmy-award winning Composer Larry Groupe. Groupe has composed music for films such as "The Contender," "Straw Dogs" and "Miami Vice," and TV shows such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ren and Stimpy" and "American Gladiators." Lecture is free and open to the public.
Arts Building (ART 2.03.15-18), Main Campus

Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m.

White Bound: Nationalists, Anti-Racists and the Shared Meanings of Race

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series continues with Dr. Matthew Hughey, a scholar of race, racism and racial inequality.
Buena Vista Building (BV 1.328), 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.

Read More »

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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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