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Spangler Foundation Donates $26.9M for 96 Professorships

Posted May 11, 2007

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— The C.D. Spangler Foundation is committing $26.9 million over the next six years to help create up to 96 endowed professorships across the University of North Carolina systems.

The plan is based on challenge-grants.

This year, the Foundation will provide $6.9 million to fully fund one professorship at each of the 16 campuses.

Starting in 2008, the Foundation will invest $5 million each year for a period of five years to help underwrite the cost of an estimated 80 additional professorships.

However, both proposals require $4.6 million a year in matching funds from the state of North Carolina. The General Assembly funds the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund. Since 1985, the fund has been used to support 302 professorships.

Spangler served as UNC system president from 1986 to 1997/ He and the foundation have already endowed or supported 37 professorships.

“Good professors are professors who like teaching students and like doing research,” Spangler said in a statement. “This effort on the part of my family is intended to retain, reward, and recruit good professors. We hope there will be positive results.”

Details of the program as provided by the UNC system are:

• Initially in 2007, the Foundation will provide the full private funding required to establish $500,000 professorships at UNC’s seven focused-growth campuses and two special-needs campuses, and $1-million professorships at the remaining seven campuses.

• The five-year program set to begin in 2008 will make an annual $250,000 challenge grant available to each campus, with the private matching requirements varying by type of campus. The focused-growth and special-needs institutions may immediately qualify for a $500,000 chair with no private fund-raising, or may raise an additional $250,000 from other private sources to qualify for a $1-million chair. The seven larger campuses will be required to raise an additional $417,000 from other private sources to qualify for a $1-million chair.

• All professorships endowed through these two programs must be in the high-need fields of teacher education, engineering, nursing, and the traditional arts and sciences.

• No chair shall be named for the Spangler family or any member of the family.

• Under the five-year challenge-grant program, no campus may qualify for a third endowed chair until all 16 universities have qualified for at least one chair.

• No Spangler Foundation grant may be used to increase the endowment of an existing distinguished professorship.

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