Support Faculty and Their Research

An endowed chair or professorship is a faculty position supported by an endowment in perpetuity. The fund's annual distribution supports the salary of the faculty member and, in some cases, provides other scholarly expenses related to his or her teaching and research. The annual distribution also may be used to purchase equipment or fund graduate student assistance for the professor.

Nationwide, endowed faculty appointments are recognized as positions of respect held by teachers, scholars and researchers of exceptional achievement and promise.

There are three opportunities to support outstanding faculty members at OU:

  • Endowed Chair - $1,000,000
  • Endowed Professorship - $500,000
  • Endowed Presidential Professorship - $250,000

The numbers to the right attest to the strength of the University's endowed faculty program. This notable success can be partly attributed to the popular matching program with the State Regents for Higher Education.

Endowment Minimums

Position Type

Endowment Minimum

Chair $1 million + (estimated annual distribution = $45,000)
Professorship $500,000 (estimated annual distribution = $22,500)
Presidential Professorship $250,000 (estimated annual distribution = $11,250)

Endowed Chairs

Funded with a gift of $1 million or more, endowed chairs are the most prestigious faculty appointments and are awarded to faculty members whose national reputations elevate the prominence of programs and whose experience and expertise make exceptional contributions to teaching, research, and public service.

Endowed Professorships

Funded with a gift of $500,000, endowed professorships are awarded to help recruit or retain promising young faculty poised to create new programs or to take existing programs to new levels. They are often master teachers who encourage and develop outstanding students. Both chairs and professorships help OU to secure academic magnets who attract other scholars and researchers and bring in crucial external support.

Presidential Professorships

The Presidential Professorship program was established to recognize and reward top faculty members. Professors are nominated for these awards and selected by a committee of faculty, administrators and alumni for four-year appointments.

More Information?

Contact a college development officer.

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Endowed Faculty Positions - By the Numbers

"The only visible immortality we possess lies in the continuing accomplishments which we leave behind as we wrap the draperies of the couch about us and lie down to pleasant dreams. To live in the hearts and in the acts which we leave behind is not to die. It is immortality."

Dr. John G. Gervey, '23, '25

OU commencement speaker for the Class of '33


Date when all-time giving totaled $25 million


Date when all-time giving totaled $100 million


Date when all-time giving totaled $250 million


Date when all-time giving totaled $500 million


Date when all-time giving totaled $1 billion


Date when all-time giving totaled $2 billion