Named Faculty Positions

Effective: April 2002 (previously titled "Endowed Chairs and Professorships")
Updated/Revised (and renamed): September 1, 2014
Contact: Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost


Iowa State University encourages the establishment of named positions to be created by private gifts to the university through the ISU Foundation; such gifts recognize and augment support for outstanding faculty and academic units. This policy sets forth the principles that shall guide the establishment and activation of each named position.

Policy Statement

The university may accept gifts for the purpose of creating named faculty positions, including faculty chairs, professorships, or fellowships. All such named faculty positions shall be documented with a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the ISU Foundation and the donor, if the donor is living. Iowa State University faculty are eligible to hold one of these positions to enhance their contribution to teaching, research/creative activities, extension/professional practice, and institutional service.

Types of Named Positions
Deans, Directors and Department Chairs Endowed leadership positions enable administrators to leverage human and financial resources to intensify the impact of their unit and its programs. Because earnings from endowments are not intended for one specific project, program or person, they can be focused on urgent or emerging priorities.
Chairs and Professorships Named chairs and professorships are among the most esteemed positions in academia. They help recruit and retain exceptional scholars by acknowledging their professional accomplishments and continuing activity, and ensuring appropriate compensation. Earnings from named positions support the faculty member’s research, provide students valuable learning opportunities, and expand academic programs.
Faculty Fellowships Named fellowships are awards given to encourage faculty to pursue new ideas, creative projects and research that allow them to develop professionally.


Unless the appointment is ex-officio, the cognizant college dean will determine the appointment and length of term for each position consistent with the MOA. Approval of the senior vice president and provost is required.

It is a requirement that the expenditure of private gift funds is in accordance with the terms of the memorandum of agreement and that funds are expended in a timely manner. It is also a requirement that the faculty holder of the named position provide periodic reports on the status of the position and the nature of the activities to the donor or the donor’s designee.

For guidance on the application of this policy and associated procedures, see the document, Guidelines for Named Faculty Positions.


If a recipient of a named position has acted in a manner as to bring the university’s name into disrepute, compromise the public trust, dishonor the university’s standards, or otherwise be contrary to the best interests of the university, that recipient’s named position may be rescinded by the senior vice president and provost of Iowa State University, following the recommendation of the cognizant college dean.