Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Area:

Administration - Risk Management

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

August 2019

Related Policies and Additional References:


The minimum gift to endow a chair is $2 million and to endow a professorship is $1 million. Endowed positions are used to recruit tenured faculty from other universities or to reward St. Mary’s tenured faculty for teaching and scholarly excellence and professional engagement.

The current spending rule for St. Mary’s University is 4.75% of the endowed fund. The application of these resources are to be used in the following ways when the endowed position has been used to reward a current tenured faculty member:

  • At least 50% from endowed funding for existing salary and benefits, consistent with the range of compensation,
  • Up to 25% from endowed funding for an increase in salary and benefits above the range of compensation,
  • Up to 25% from endowed funding for the professor’s travel, research, and continuing education. The amount to support of travel, research, and continuing education may be used to fund an existing allocation from the operating budget, and in appropriate cases, to supplement an existing budget. Should the endowed position holder request a course release, the resources may be applied for the hiring adjunct faculty.

With regard to recruiting tenured faculty from other universities, the formula will necessarily differ, typically in the following way:

  • At least 75% for salary and benefits,
  • Up to 25% to support the professor’s travel, research and continuing education.

This Policy includes existing endowments, although it will not include a change to existing holders of endowed chair or professorship positions. As those positions go through a re-appointment process, new hire, or new internal appointee, the Policy will be applied.  As the endowment market value increases, the amount of funding will increase also and be applied using consistent percentages. This Policy also applies to Trusts, unless the Trust provisions dictate otherwise.

Appointment terms will be communicated in writing by the Provost.

Example:  Assume a professor’s salary is $80,000 and benefits are 25% ($20,000), for a total of $100,000 charged to the operating budget.  An endowed professorship of $1 million provides initial funding of $47,500 ($1 million x the spending rule of 4.75%).

  • 50% of the funding ($47,500 x 50% = $23,750) will be used to pay salary and benefits. The portion to be applied to salary is $19,000, and 25% of that amount, or $4,750, is applied to benefits for a total of $23,750.  The remaining salary and benefits ($100,000 – $23,750 = $76,250 will be paid from the operating budget.
  • 25% of the funding ($47,500 x 25% = $11,875) will be used to increase in salary and benefits ($9,500 for salary, and $2,375 for benefits for a total of $11,875).
  • 25% of the funding ($47,500 x 25% = $11,875) for supporting the professor’s travel, research, and continuing education.
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