(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:
Minimum gift level to fund UTSA endowment
|Endowed academic position||Gift amount *|
|Distinguished University Chair||$2 million|
|Distinguished Chair||$1.5 million|
* 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.
Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.
Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.