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University Endowed Professorships


The purpose of university endowed professorships are to 1) recognize senior scholars of distinction at the University of Kansas Medical Center; 2) support their scholarship; and 3) maximize their effectiveness in the classroom, lab or community. These professorships are created and established to attract and retain, on a competitive basis, high-quality faculty whose research, teaching, public service or other creative activity have directly contributed to the University's overall mission.

Professorships fill an important part of our institution and its history. Professorships are available in the School of Health Professions, School of Medicine and School of Nursing, with each serving different needs, purposes, goals, responsibilities expected of the recipient and amount of support. Some are filled by appointment, some through a nomination process. All funds are managed through our University of Kansas Medical Center's Endowment Association.

Our professorships include:

  • Endowed and Named Professorships with which philanthropic support can help expand educational opportunities or enable a current or future faculty member or department chair to enhance their research, and clinical practices along with providing educational opportunities for the department's residents, postdocs, graduate or medical students, by hiring an endowed professor in a specific specialty, as identified by the donor. Some Professorships are established in honor of a donor's loved one, or to honor one of our alumni or even a distinguished member of our faculty. 
  • Teaching Professorships, such as the Ruth Bohan Teaching Professorship, the most prestigious teaching award in the School of Medicine, recognizes excellence in teaching and seeks to continue the tradition of outstanding education in the medical school.
  • Distinguished Professorships recognize faculty members who are truly distinguished as scholars with international reputation for scholarship, a commitment to the development of colleagues, students, and the institution, hold high an interest in activities outside their major field of scholarship, along with a sincere involvement with the community.
  • Emeritus Professorships recognize both a faculty members demonstrated distinguished service during their long service to the institution, serving on our faculty as a full professional rank for at least 10 years.

Practices and Processes


1. Can an individual have multiple professorships?

  • No 

2. What are the terms (length) associated to each professorship?

  • Professorship will be evaluated every seven years. This may occur in conjunction with the post tenure review process for faculty who are tenured, or using a similar process for non tenured faculty.

3. Can an interim/acting chair use the name of the professorship within his/her title?

  • No

4. Can an interim/acting chair spend professorship money if the professorship is vacant?

  • Professorship dollars can be spent by interim/acting chair if documented as donor intent and request is formally approved by EVC and/or Dean.

5. When is it appropriate to have a ceremony for a professorship?

  • Consistent with KUEA "Best Practices for University Investiture Events", professorship  ceremony is held at the time the of first investiture. The investiture ceremony honors both the faculty/staff and the donor. Future ceremonies can occur but must be approved by KU Endowment and University Leadership.

6. Who pays for professorship ceremonies?

  • KU Endowment pays for the initial investiture ceremony. Any additional recognition may be done in coordination with KU Endowment and are hosted by the School, College or department.

7. How do we determine the Fund Account Representative (FAR)?

  • The donor intent determines the FAR. If donor does not specify a FAR, the EVC and/or Dean is the FAR or they can appoint a FAR.


1.What is the process associated to proposing a candidate?

2. What are the criteria used in selecting a potential candidate?

  • Criteria must align with donor intent and be approved by EVC and/or Dean.

3. Who manages the professorship master list to ensure the report is accurate and up to date?

  • Each respective school is responsible for monthly updates to the professorship master list.

4. Who manages the overall process?

  • The data will be captured and stored in a central location. Professorship processes will be managed by each respective school. 


1. How does one determine if a professorship is vacant?

  • The academic unit (EVC, Dean, Chair, Administrator) is responsible for vacancy notification to the respective school contact.

2. How are named faculty notified of professorship changes?

  • Professorship changes are communicated by direct supervisor (EVC, Dean, or Chair).

3. What is the plan for on-going communication?

  • Electronic
  • Website (KU Endowment, University)
  • School Broadcast
  • Schools, department and administrator meetings
  • SOM Combined Chair Institute and Center Director meeting

Management of Professorships

The master list of professorships is managed through the Professorship Work Group, which is comprised of representatives across the KUMC system. The procedures of the Professorship Work Group, including a list of Work Group members, are available for review here

For More Information

For more information on KUMC professorships, including a complete list of professorships, incumbents, and professorship descriptions, visit the KUMC intranet.


  • Mary Jo Williams, Manager, Medical Center Operations, KU Endowment
    • Questions regarding funding, giving, investitutes
  • Hinano Gray, Associate Dean for Finance, School of Medicine 
    • Vacancies, qualifications, packages and searches
  • Erin Manuel, Director of Finance and Administration, School of Health Professions (SHP)
    • SHP professorships
  • Anna Nguyen, Director of Business and Fiscal Affairs, School of Nursing (SON)
    • SON professorships
  • Jenny Laffey, Director of Career and Professorship Affairs, Office of Academic and Student Affairs
    • Website updates
  • Teresa Christenson, Associate Director of Administradtion, KU Cancer Center

Last modified: Aug 18, 2020