Record-setting endowment to be used to recruit STEM professors to UA
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama has 100 million reasons to smile today. That’s how much the new Richard Shelby Endowment for Distinguished Faculty is worth, all of it coming from congressional funding.
The Shelby Endowment was a major topic earlier today during the UA board of trustees quarterly meeting. School officials say the funds will be used to recruit and retain professors specializing in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
University of Alabama leaders say the $100 million will generate about $5 million dollars a year, enough to recruit faculty with a particular focus on STEM. Chancellor Finis St. John is predicting big things from the endowment.
“It can make a big difference, a transformation for students for years to come. Dr. Dalton and Dr. Bell have great plans for the benefit of our students,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John.
This is not only huge but record setting, according to Dr. Jim Dalton.
“It’s certainly a record for us, a legacy setting event for us. This endowment will set us for to hire and retain faculty like we never have before,” said University of Alabama Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Jim Dalton.
The annual interest on the $100 million endowment should be enough to hire and retain anywhere from 20 to 40 professors for STEM.
“We envision up to $250,000 divided between salary support but, more importantly, in discretionary research for our faculty. This really allows us to bring in the brightest stars in the world to Tuscaloosa to do the work,” said Dr. Dalton.
University officials say the funds came direct from this year’s appropriations in Congress. Most of the money is in place with the rest on the way.
“We’ve learned over the years students want to be researchers, brilliant researchers and that’s the purpose of this,” said Dr. Dalton.
University officials say senator Shelby and his wife Dr. Annette Shelby worked on making the endowment a reality for many years.
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