Elsewhere online
August 28, 2015

Colleges Weigh Money and Values When Donors Want to Endow Chairs

The Chronicle of Higher Education looks at how universities weigh donor offers to endow faculty chairs in light of controversies over professorships named for divisive figures. The article discusses how fundraising imperatives increasingly push administrators to seek endowed positions and whether the institutions consult faculty as part of their vetting process.

In recent years, faculty members at Middlebury College and Brown University have questioned those institution' establishment of chairs honoring, respectively, conservative Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and German historian Hans Rothfels, who was an early supporter of Hitler but eventually fled Nazi Germany. Experts recommend that colleges establish set criteria for accepting money to endow a chair and ensure the person being honored represents the institution's values.