Endowed Chairs, Professorships, Distinguished Scholars, and Program Initiatives
Updated: December 14, 2023
The establishment and designation of Endowed Chairs, Professorships, Lectureships, and Programs as a means of recognizing and promoting academic programs and fields of study which are consistent with the University’s scholarly plans, objectives, and mission are guided by the Policy on Endowed Chairs, Professorships, Distinguished Scholars and Program Initiatives (June 24, 2010). All such positions will be attached to a Faculty, College, School, Centre, or Institute of the University. The holder receives an academic appointment and is expected to develop the field of interest through both teaching, and where relevant, research.
The information in this manual provides guidance on implementing policy but in all instances, the policies are binding and take precedence over the information provided in this manual.
- Policy on Endowed and Limited Term Chairs, Professorships, Distinguished Scholars and Program Initiatives
- Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments
- Policy for Clinical Faculty
- Policy on Naming
- Policy for the Preservation of Capital of Endowment Funds
The establishment of a Chair by the University implies a commitment to the position and the discipline or sub-discipline. Chairholders should be of great distinction and, when appropriate, may be selected from among the senior members of a division. Although it may not always be appropriate to have an open internal competition, nevertheless, the honour of occupying a Chair should be conferred after a transparent process. If an external search is conducted, it must follow the procedures as outlined in the recruitment section of this manual.
Faculty appointed as chairholders will have both an academic appointment (usually tenured and at the rank of Professor unless the chair is jointly held with a hospital) and an appointment to the Chair. The appointment as Chair is normally for a fixed term of five years, renewable once, contingent on a successful performance review.
There are three categories of Chairs:
- Endowed Chairs: the establishment of an Endowed Chair requires a commitment to continued full funding. It may be provided by a perpetual gift from an external source and restricted by the terms of the donation/bequest, or Governing Council may establish an endowment.
- Limited Term Chairs: a Chair may be established for a limited term period (normally five years) from an expendable gift. The gift must support the Chair for at least five years including salary and benefits and/or support of unrestricted research. It can be converted to an Endowed Chair at any time when funding is realized.
- Joint Chairs: an Endowed or Limited Term Chair can be established jointly by the University and an institution affiliated or federated with the University, including teaching hospitals.
Multi-department Faculties may process approvals for Endowed/Limited Term Chair appointments or renewal, with some exceptions.
Single-department Faculties should send Endowed/Limited Terms Chairs for review to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life for the second level of approval.
Guidelines for the Selection and Approval of Named Chair Appointments were issued as a PDAD&C memo in 1995-96.
See a sample letter of offer.
The holder of a Professorship should be of distinction and may be selected from among the professoriate of a division. Where an external search is conducted it must conform to the requirements of the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments outlined in the section on recruitment.
The holder will have a full-time appointment either with tenure or as a limited term appointment, normally at the rank of Associate Professor. The appointment to a Professorship is normally for a fixed term of three years, renewable once, contingent on a successful performance review.
There are two categories of Professorships:
- Endowed Professorships: a Professorship can be established from the same range of sources as an Endowed Chair. It may be converted to an Endowed Chair at any time if the necessary funding is realized.
- Limited Term Professorship: a Professorship may be established from an expendable gift. The gift must provide support for at least three years including salary and benefits and/or support of unrestricted research. A Limited Term Professorship may be converted to an Endowed Professorship when the necessary funding is realized.
Multi-department Faculties may process approvals for Professionships appointments or renewals with some exceptions.
Single-department Faculties should send Professorships for review to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life for the second level of approval.
Distinguished Scholar appointments may be established to assist with the renewal of established fields or developing areas or where a visitor from outside the University is desired.
The academic appointment will be full-time and on a contractually limited basis. The search process must conform to the requirements of the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments and follow the process outlined in the section on recruitment.
The appointment is normally for a fixed term of one year renewable once, contingent on a successful performance review.
A program of study at the University leads to a degree. Programs may have unique or special characteristics which the University wishes to recognize through appropriate initiatives. These may include appointments, conferences, equipment, supplies or other associated expenses, or co-curricular support for students. Please see the Policy for further details.