Appointment, Review, and Renewal of Endowed Professorships in the School of Medicine

Date: November 11, 2020
Number: 1.905
Status: Final

Contact Office:
Director of Faculty Affairs
PO Box 800793
Phone: 434-243-4078

Oversight Executive
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development
PO Box 800793

Applies to
Full-time tenure-ineligible, tenure-eligible, and tenured associate and full professors, and new hires being considered for such appointments.

Bicentennial Emerging Scholar Professorship: A named account intended to recruit or retain early career faculty who show potential as a scholar by providing support to protect the faculty member at a critical point in the career development.

Collaborator: An individual with whom the candidate has worked on a common goal, e.g., a fellow member of a department or center, trainee or mentor, co-publisher, etc.

Enabling Language: The terms that establish and define the endowed professorship.

Endowed Professorship: A named account, established for distinguished full or associate professors, that recognizes excellence in a field of study or practice and provides funds to support continued excellence in that field.


The bestowing of an endowed professorship or a Bicentennial Emerging Scholar Professorship (“professorship”) by the University supports recruitment and retention efforts by recognizing significant accomplishment through scholarship and / or application of knowledge.

Reason for Policy

The provost’s policy on the Appointment of Endowed and Eminent Scholars Chairs requires that each school have a written policy governing the appointment of faculty members to professorships. This policy documents procedures for how both non-term limited and term-limited professorships will be appointed, reviewed, and, if appropriate, renewed to help to promote good fiscal stewardship and to ensure that the intention of the donors, as stated in the enabling language, is honored.

Policy Statement

Individuals who have been appointed to a professorship are expected to carry out work that supports the enabling language. Each professorship holder shall submit a comprehensive written report at the end of the appointment period to document effort as it relates to the professorship. This report shall, in part, inform the decision whether or not to renew a term-limited professorship.

A professorship is awarded based on accomplishments and shall not be awarded solely to provide financial support. Salary support from a professorship may not be used to exempt a faculty member from the requirements of his/her appointment. Clinical faculty who hold a professorship are expected to meet the department’s requirements for providing clinical care; a faculty member in a basic science department who hold a professorship are expected to submit grants that will provide salary support; and faculty who hold professorships recognizing excellence in education are expected to support the requirements of the School of Medicine (SOM) and the department in meeting teaching and training needs.

The enabling language of a specific professorship may carry additional conditions (e.g., required annual reporting, a limit to the number of renewals). Should a condition arise where there is a conflict between this policy and the enabling language, the enabling language shall take precedence.


An endowed professorship may be awarded with or without term; a Bicentennial Emerging Scholar Professor is awarded with term. The length of the term for each term appointment must be specified at the time it is awarded and the professorship holder shall be notified in writing that renewal is contingent upon recommendation following a formal review. The review shall consider achievements that reflect the enabling language, as well as the faculty member’s academic productivity and continued performance in the criteria outlined in “Qualifications for candidates,” below. Faculty awarded professorships without term must also be notified that the professorship is without term and that the professorship is subject to review to determine that the holder is carrying out the work intended by the enabling language.

The majority of endowed professorships are awarded to full professors. Associate professors who are awarded endowed professorships will receive term appointments. If the letter appointing a faculty member to a professorship does not contain language that defines a term, the School of Medicine follows the provost’s policy practice of assuming the professorship is awarded without term.

Bicentennial Emerging Scholar Professorships may be awarded to assistant or associate professors, on or not on the tenure track. Appointments carry a term limit and can be renewed.

Qualifications for Candidates

Endowed professorships:

  • Demonstration of a high level of excellence in their field and, specifically, in the area recognized by the professorship
  • National and international stature as demonstrated by:
    • Letters supporting the nomination
    • Invited lectures and other presentations
    • Awards
    • Leadership and significant service in national or international societies and professional organizations
  • Scholarship and academic contributions
  • Must model the health system’s ASPIRE values

Bicentennial Emerging Scholar Professorships:

  • Demonstration of accomplishment in clinical or basic research,
  • National recognition as an emerging scholar as noted by independent, external referees
  • May not be tenured, does not require appointment on a tenure track
  • Must model the health system’s ASPIRE values

Procedures for nomination

The department chair shall submit the following portfolio:

  1. a letter of nomination;
  2. the candidate’s updated cv;
  3. the candidate’s personal statement and documents demonstrating excellence in their field and, when applicable, in the area recognized by the chair. Not to exceed 10pages.
  4. a list of referees who can provide letters of support addressing the nominee’s excellence in research, patient care, and/or medical education, scholarship, and national reputation.
    • contact information (names with correct titles, email address, and phone number) of five to seven external faculty who are at or above the nominee’s current rank. It is recommended that at least five of these faculty be endowed chair holders.
    • contact information for a maximum of five additional individuals (with titles, email address, and phone number) who are current or former University of Virginia faculty members.

A minimum of three letters from external endowed chair holders must be received to move forward with the nomination.

The completed portfolio shall be submitted electronically to

The dean’s office will request the support letters. No member of the department will contact the referees at any time.

The dean’s office shall submit the nomination packet to the School of Medicine Endowed Chairs Committee, which, after review, shall forward its written recommendation to the dean.The dean, after review and approval, will forward the nomination packet, the written recommendation of the SOM Endowed Chairs Committee and the dean’s letter of support to the provost of the University. After review and approval by the provost the request will be submitted to the Board of Visitors (BOV) for approval.A department may access professorship funds once approval is received from the provost’s office even if formal BOV approval has not yet occurred.If the dean does not support the nomination, s/he will inform the department chair in writing and the nomination packet will not be forwarded to the provost.

If the requested action is to move a faculty member from one professorship to another, a letter of request from the department chair to the dean is required.The dean will then write a letter of request for submission to the provost. Upon approval by the provost, it will be forwarded to the BOV.

If a department chair is being nominated for a professorship, he or she will follow the process for a faculty member.

Relinquishment of professorship associate with a position

Faculty members appointed to professorships that are associated with a specific position (such as a school dean appointment), either through enabling language or through established practice (e.g., for some reason specific to the appointment or when a professorship has been held only by the chair of the department since its inception), shall relinquish the professorship upon leaving that position, regardless of reason. The appointment letter for a professorship associated with a position shall notify the professorship holder that the professorship is so associated and will be automatically inactivated upon the faculty member’s departure from that position. When professorship holders vacate their associated positions, the dean has discretion to determine whether to request that they be moved to a new professorship.

Removal for cause

Regardless of the term limits, a faculty member’s appointment to a professorship may be removed for cause. “Cause”for removal includes:

  • failure to provide necessary leadership or achieve the goals or fulfill the responsibilities specified in the enabling language;
  • failure to adhere to the intent for which the professorship was established;
  • failure to abide by applicable policies of the University, the school of medicine, the Medical Center and/or the Bylaws of the clinical staff; and/or
  • failure to adhere to the health system’s ASPIRE values.

The dean, at his or her discretion, may request a review of the professorship holder’s work to determine if the faculty member is carrying out the intent of the professorship.

The review shall be conducted in a manner consistent with review of term appointments to a professorship.

Voluntary relinquishment

A faculty member may voluntarily relinquish a professorship at any time and for any reason by submitting their intention in writing to their department chair.

Review and renewal or removal of term-limited professorships

Professorships awarded for a term limit shall be reviewed within six months prior to the expiration of the term.The review shall be conducted by the SOM Endowed Chairs Committee after the dean has confirmed that the chair of the professorship holder’s department wishes to renew the appointment.In the case of a chair held by the dean’s office, the review for renewal will be done at the discretion of the dean.The dean, at his or her discretion, may appoint additional review committee members with expertise in the area of the professorship or other areas.For example, for the review of a Harrison Distinguished Educator Professorship, the dean may appoint a reviewer (s) with knowledge of teaching in general or in the professorship holder’s area of expertise, and may appoint a reviewer(s) with knowledge of the professorship holder’s performance and contributions as defined through his/her letter appointment or renewal.

The review of term-limited appointments will consider the professorship holder’s:

  • scholarly output as related both to the enabling language of the endowed professorship and to the demonstration of sustained scholarship and reputation (e.g., publications in peer-reviewed journals, national presentations);
  • productivity in other areas that contribute to the department and/or the institution as a whole; and
  • other criteria outlined above in “Qualifications for candidates.”

The professorship holder shall submit a written report (maximum of five pages)to the Endowed Chairs Committee for its evaluation.

The SOM Endowed Chairs Committee shall make a written recommendation to the dean whether to renew the professorship and shall specify the facts upon which the recommendation is based.It is within the discretion of the dean to accept or reject the committee’s recommendation.If the dean decides to renew the professorship holder for any term, the dean will forward a copy of the renewal letter to the provost.If the dean decides not to renew the appointment, the professorship holder and his or her chair shall be notified in writing of such decision.

Review of non-term-limited professorships

Professorships that do not carry a term limit shall be reviewed every five years. The review shall be conducted by the SOM Endowed Chairs Committee. The dean, at his or her discretion, may appoint additional review committee members with expertise in the area of the professorship or other areas.
The review will consider the professorship holder’s:

  • scholarly output as related to the enabling language
  • productivity in other areas that contribute to the department and/or the institution as a whole
  • other criteria outlined above in “Qualifications for candidates”

The professorship holder shall submit a written report (maximum of five pages)to the SOM Endowed Chairs Committee for its evaluation.

The SOM Endowed Chairs Committee shall provide a written statement to the dean regarding the work being carried out by the professorship holder.The dean shall review the written statement and determine whether further action on the appointment is necessary.

If the review by the SOM Endowed Chairs Committee determines that the professorship holder is no longer carrying out the work specified by the enabling language, the dean may request provost approval to remove the holder from his/her professorship and may provide an other professorship aligned with the work being carried out.The election to another professorship is not a right and is subject to the usual process for award of a professorship.

Revenue generated from an endowed professorship

Though the revenue generated by a professorship may be used for the professorship holder’s salary and fringe benefits, it is not intended to be the primary source of salary support or are placement for effort to generate salary from extramural sources, as outlined in the school of Medicine’s salary support expectations policy.If a faculty member is meeting the stipulations of the salary support expectations policy, and if the enabling language allows the revenue to be used for other purposes(e.g. scholarly activities, travel, subscriptions, equipment) or if the enabling language is silent on the subject, then the professorship holder’s department chair may submit a written request to the dean to use the endowment funds for purposes other than salary and fringe benefits.

Related Policies and Documents

Appointment of Endowed and Eminent Schools Chairs
Salary Support Expectations

Revision History: Implemented 8/1/14; revised 3/4/20; 7/27/20; administrative update 11/11/20

Approved July 27, 2020, by:
David S. Wilkes, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine