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News Release

For immediate use 

Feb. 9, 2006 -- No. 61

UNC faculty members named
to distinguished professorships

CHAPEL HILL – In the past year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill named 54 faculty members to endowed professorships – designations that are created through gifts to the university and that recognize excellence in teaching and research.

A key goal of the university’s Carolina First Campaign is to create 200 new endowed professorships. Including the most recent designations, the university has created 161 thus far in the campaign, which began July 1, 1999, and will end Dec. 31, 2007.

With an overall goal of $2 billion, Carolina First is a comprehensive, multi-year private fund-raising campaign to support Carolina’s vision of becoming the nation’s leading public university.

Gifts for endowed professorships are invested, and a portion of the investment income supplements the professor’s salary. Endowed funds provide a permanent source of income because the principal is not spent, university officials said.

Overall, the university has almost 500 professorships in place or being funded. Gifts to establish professorships may be supplemented with matching funds from the state’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund, established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1985.

The oldest continuously endowed chairs at Carolina are the Mary Ann Smith professorships in chemistry, established in 1891. Smith made her will in 1861, leaving half of her estate to Carolina for endowment of "such a chair as shall teach both the science of chemistry and its experimental application to the useful arts."

The largest number of endowed professorships available to the university come from the four groups of Kenan professorships, which have been credited with attracting or retaining a large number of outstanding faculty members and adding substantially to the university’s high academic standing. The $3 million Kenan eminent professorships, part of a $27 million commitment to the Carolina First Campaign from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, are among the largest endowed professorships in the university’s history.

Following are the distinguished professorship designees approved by the Board of Trustees from January 2005 through January 2006, listed by academic affiliation. Kenan professorships are listed separately.

Kenan professorships

College of Arts and Sciences

School of Law

School of Medicine

School of Nursing

School of Public Health

Other distinguished professorships

College of Arts and Sciences

Kenan-Flagler Business School

School of Dentistry

School of Information and Library Science

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Law

School of Medicine

School of Pharmacy

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News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or deborah_saine@unc.edu