Professorships

A professorship is a gift to the University of Michigan Medical School to establish a named endowment that provides income to the Medical School in perpetuity.  It is wonderful way to ensure the Medical School’s continued excellence and stature for many years in to the future that honors the donor, faculty member, family member, friend, teacher or mentor for which it is named. 

Professorship Categories

There are several different professorship levels dependent on the amount of funding in the professorship.

Terms of Years Professorship

  • Funded over five years at $112,500 per year.  Total of $562,500.
  • Can be named after the donor, donor’s honoree or a former faculty member.
  • Typically for a five-year renewable term for the appointee.

Collegiate Professorship

  • $500,000 level
  • Collegiate professorships are named after former faculty members. (If named after a current faculty member, an exception must be granted by the Provost’s office.)
  • The word Collegiate must appear in the title.
  • Can be created with gifts and departmental funds, not a single donor. 
  • Departmental funds cannot exceed 25% of the total ($125,000).
  • Funding must be completed within two years. Typically for a five-year renewable term for the appointee.

Early Career Professorship

  • $1,000,000 level
  • Intended for junior faculty.
  • Can be named for former faculty member.
  • Funding must be completed within two years. 
  • Typically for a five-year non-renewable term for the appointee. 

Research Professorship

  • $1,000,000 level
  • Research professorships are named after donors, donor honorees or former faculty members.
  • Funding must be completed within two years. 
  • Typically, a five-year renewable term for the appointee.

Visiting Professorship

  • $1,500,000 level
  • Funding must be completed within two years.
  • Visiting professors may be appointed in the Medical School from one month – nine months (academic year) for the purpose of enriching the academic environment.

Fully Endowed Professorship

  • $2,500,000 level
  • Endowed professorships are named after donors, donor honorees, former or current faculty members. 
  • Funding must be completed within two years. 
  • Typically, a five-year renewable term for the appointee.

Establishing a Professorship

  1. The department obtains funds through a giving campaign or a combination of donor/gift funds from faculty and others or through a split in a current endowment fund.
  2. Department receives approval from the Medical School Development Office to use the funds to establish a professorship at the appropriate level.
  3. Upon Development approval, the department Chair writes a letter to Dean Runge requesting the establishment of the professorship, and a bio of the person for whom the professorship is named.  (see sample)  The letter should be routed to the Office of Faculty Affairs (Karen Bertoia kbertoia@umich.edu)
  4. Faculty Affairs will review the request, confirm the funding, and obtain Drs. Runge and Bradford’s approval.
  5. Upon approval, Faculty Affairs will add the establishment request to the Executive Committee agenda for approval.
  6. Upon Executive Committee approval, Faculty Affairs will write a Regents Communication and submit to the Provost’s Office to add to the next Regents meeting. (Note:  the Regents do not meet in January, April, August or November)
  7. Upon the Regents approval, the professorship is established and the Department Chair can proceed to the appointment process.

Upon approval by the Regents to establish a professorship, the department can coordinate with the Office of Development in planning a ceremony to celebrate the new professorship.  Dean Runge or Executive Vice Dean Bradford may also be invited to attend; it is important to get the even on their calendar early by scheduling through their assistants. The Regents do not allow an announcement of the new professorship in writing prior to the Regents meeting approving the new professorship.  The department can plan and organize the event prior to the Regents meeting, however no formal invitations can be sent until approval by the Regents.  Many times the installation of the holder of the professorship is concurrent with the ceremony to establish the professorship.  All planning and organization of these events should be done through the Office of Development/Events. Dawn Bednarski is the Associate Director and contact person for professorship ceremonies.  (dbedski@umich.edu, 734-763-5095)

Appointing a Faculty Member to a Professorship

Once a fund is created and the time is right, the process of appointing a holder begins. The appointment process involves multiple offices at Michigan Medicine and at the University of Michigan, and it culminates with the UM Regents selection of the holder of the chair or professorship.

Appointing a Faculty Member to a Professorship

  1. A faculty member can be appointed to a professorship one month following the establishment of a professorship.  These two actions cannot occur within the same month at the same Regents meeting.
  2. The Department Chair writes a letter to Dean Runge requesting the appointment of a faculty member to a specific professorship. (see Sample) Within the letter, a complete description of the reason this faculty member is appropriate for this professorship should be included.
  3. The Department contact forwards the signed letter and a copy of the appointee’s CV to the Office of Faculty Affairs. (Karen Bertoia - kbertoia@umich.edu)
  4. Faculty Affairs will add the request to the Medical School Executive Committee agenda.
  5. Upon Executive Committee approval, Faculty Affairs will write a Regents Communication and submit to the Provost’s Office to add to the next Regents meeting. (Note: the Regents do not meet in January, April, August or November)
  6. Upon the Regents approval, Human Resource Records and Information Services (HRRIS) will add the new title to the faculty member’s record in MCommunity.

Renewing a Faculty Member to a Professorship

Most professorship appointments are for the term of five years.  The Medical School has a policy that all professorships must have an end date of August 31st.  This results in a less than five-year term for the first appointment for most appointees. 

HRRIS sends an automated email to the holder of the professorship 180 days (six months) prior to the expiration date.  Faculty Affairs also sends an email to the department contact in March to specific notify them of the professorships that will be expiring that year.  

Renewal of an Expiring Professorship

  1. To renew a professorship, the Department Chair writes a letter to Dean Runge requesting a renewal for an additional five years or for the length of time specified.
  2. The department contact forwards the letter and an updated copy of the CV to Faculty Affairs.
  3. Faculty Affairs adds the request for reappointment to the Medical School Executive Committee for approval.
  4. Upon Executive Committee approval, Faculty Affairs will write a Regents Communication and submit to the Provost’s Office to add to the next Regents meeting. (Note: the Regents do not meet in January, April, August or November)
  5. Upon the Regents approval, HRRIS will ensure the title is still valid in the faculty member’s record in MCommunity.