Appointment of Endowed and Eminent Scholars Chairs

Contact Office:

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
PO Box 400226
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4226

Oversight Executive:

Executive Vice President and Provost

Applies to:

All faculty appointed to chairs established by private donors, by the alumni association, or by the Commonwealth of Virginia

Reason for Policy:

Explains the eligibility, nomination and review process leading to a faculty member's appointment as a chaired professor.

Definition of Terms:

  1. Endowed Chairs: A named professorship established for scholars who are full or associate professors at the University of Virginia provided to supplement state-funded salary and to recognize excellence in a school or field of study.
  2. Eminent Scholars Chairs: Named endowed professorships receiving support from the State Council of Higher Education's Eminent Scholars Program.

Policy Statement:

The holder of an endowed chair is receiving one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on a University of Virginia faculty member. The highest levels of performance, and national and international recognition of that performance, are inherent guidelines for appointment of a chair holder. The institutional expectation of unquestionable excellence means that the person is deemed to have achieved the highest stature and exemplary accomplishment in a discipline or area of research as judged by an independent assessment of his or her peers. In certain instances, accomplishment may be judged on the basis of distinguished work for which there is peer consensus of superior achievement whether in teaching, service or in accomplishments which lie beyond strictly academic endeavors. The appointment to an endowed chair may recognize a current member of the faculty or it may be associated with recruitment of a new faculty member; but, in all appointments, excellence should be evidenced by several years of outstanding performance based on national and international standards.

Each school must have a written policy for appointment of a faculty member to an endowed chair.


  1. Unless the specific features of an individual case warrant a different approach and it is authorized by the provost, when nominating a faculty member to an endowed chair, the dean submitting a nomination should forward the nomination packet to a committee of chair-holders within the dean's school. This committee, which is appointed by the dean, will consist of chaired professors with rotating terms, and will be charged with the review of all chair appointments.
  2. The nominator should submit the following materials to the committee for review.
    1. A nomination letter;
    2. A curriculum vitae;
    3. Three to five letters of peer review from outside distinguished scholars.
  3. If the nomination to an endowed chair is for a current dean, someone other than the dean should be the nominator.
  4. In addition to having achieved national eminence, a nominee must be full time and hold the rank of associate or full professor, or, in the case of a new hire, be under consideration for a position of similar stature.
    • Nominations for the Eminent Scholars Program must conform to the program's eligibility requirements as described in the State Council for Higher Education Policies and Procedures.
  5. The dean forwards his or her recommendation to the provost, along with the original report of the chair-holder committee and all supporting documents.
  6. The provost will submit his or her recommendations for chaired professorships to the Board of Visitors for its approval.
  7. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Office of the Vice President and Provost.

Related Information and/or Policy:

Policy Background:

The revised policy and procedures clarifies eligibility and procedural matters related to the nomination and approval of a faulty member to be an endowed chair. Current policy does not provide any such guidance. These revisions reflect current practice and clarify areas where there has been confusion regarding external review, the establishment of a review committee and who the members of that committee should be.

Revision History:

This version is the first for this policy.

Supersedes (previous policy):

Policy Statement #2: Policy on Chair-holders. August 14, 1981 memorandum to the Deans produced by Edwin E. Floyd.