The Arizona Desert Lamp

Privately funded, publicly provided: The 1885 Society Edition

Posted in Campus, UA Transformation Plan by Evan Lisull on 6 April 2009

The 1885 SocietyThe most recent report from our stimulomancers suggests that the ARRA’s (pronounce as though you’re a regretful Hizzoner Bloomberg) funds won’t be able to provide support to permanent employees. Thankfully, there are still sources of funding in this country that don’t flow from the muddied Potomac:

University of Arizona President Robert N. Shelton has appointed professor Hermann F. Fasel as the first 1885 Society Presidential Chair.

. . .

The newly created chair is the first initiative being funded by the 1885 Society, a UA donor group committed to providing annual cash gifts of $10,000 or more that enable Shelton to respond to changing needs of the University.

The 1885 Society Presidential Chair will rotate throughout the University as a recruiting and retention tool.

“The generous gifts from members of the 1885 Society allow us to leverage our resources to reward faculty members during these challenging times,” Shelton said. “Fasel is precisely the type of faculty member who embodies the UA’s reputation as a world-class research institution.”

Deans submitted candidates for the chair through a competitive nomination process managed by President Shelton and Provost Meredith Hay. Emphasis was placed on the demonstrated abilities of the faculty member in the areas of research, teaching and leadership.

Some more background on the 1885 Society, with an interesting fiscal note from President Shelton:

The society was founded in the spring of 2008 and has about 25 charter members. This is the first Shelton initiative backed by the group.

Shelton expects to appoint the first 1885 Society presidential chair in April. The chair holder will receive $40,000 annually for three to five years.

“Forty thousand dollars in cash gifts provide the same annual funding as a million dollar endowment,” Shelton said. “This is a creative solution for us to continue to provide incentive funding to faculty until investment markets rebound.”

According to the UA Foundation’s annual report, “donors have funded an additional 16 endowed faculty chairs for a total of 78 positions at The University of Arizona.”

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