Faculty of Distinction
To provide guidelines for the procedures that support the University’s Faculty of Distinction Program Policy.
All University of Kansas academic units, including the University of Kansas Lawrence (KUL), the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), and all off-campus units reporting to KUL and KUMC.
The Kansas Partnership for Faculty of Distinction Program (Program) was enacted by the Kansas legislature in 2000 to assist eligible educational institutions (see KSA 76-773(a)) in attracting and retaining highly qualified faculty. Through a partnership among the institutions, private donors, and the State of Kansas, qualified gifts to an endowment association are matched by the State at an interest earnings equivalent rate. The institutions are required to use the earnings on the endowed funds to support the professorships established through the Program.
In addition to complying with the Faculty of Distinction Program Policy, KU’s administrators have the following management responsibilities.
The Deans of the College and the Schools are responsible for:
- Soliciting, in coordination with the KU Endowment Association (KUEA), qualifying gifts of at least $500,000 (see KSA 76-773(c)(4)(E)) to establish professorships for participation in the Faculty of Distinction Program..
- Recruiting and retaining highly-qualified individuals to hold the professorships.
- Providing regular reports to KUEA, the Provost/EVC at Lawrence, and the EVC at KUMC about the status of recruiting for vacant professorships.
- Planning the budget for all of the recruiting, salaries, benefits, equipment, travel, and other expenses for the professorships.
- Ensuring that funding is available for the entire salary for the professorships.
- Identifying all of the sources of funding that are available to support the budget for the professorships:
- Fund 401 (KUL)/2400 (KUMC), which holds the transfer from the State for the interest earnings equivalent on the gift. To the extent possible, these funds should be spent before the KUEA funds.
- KUEA account, which holds the investment earnings and the cash available.
- Monitoring budget and variance to budget for all accounts supporting Faculty of Distinction professorships taking action as necessary to maintain financial stability.
- Ensuring funding is available for the entire salary for professorships.
- Using State general use funds, start-up packages, distinguished professorship funding, research grants, F&A accounts, and other KUEA funds to support the Faculty of Distinction Program.
- Forecasting the ebbs and flows in the sources of funding to meet the long-range commitment to both the individual holding the Faculty of Distinction position and the professorship itself.
- Preparing an annual report and other information requested by KU’s Chief Financial Officer through the respective campus budget offices.
- Preparing recognition, reports, and other information requested by KU Endowment.
- Coordinating with the individuals holding the Faculty of Distinction positions to ensure that the work, accomplishments, and impact of the professorship are well-documented not only for continuity but also for external scrutiny.
The Chancellor’s Office is responsible for:
- Working with the Deans and KU Endowment, as necessary, to attract and secure private donor gifts to support the Faculty of Distinction.
- Requesting and receiving notification from the President of KUEA that a qualified gift has been received.
- Preparing the documentation required by the Board of Regents so that the Board may certify the gifts as eligible for the Faculty of Distinction Program.
- Notifying the Chief Financial Officer, the Vice Provost for Administration and Finance at Lawrence, and the KUMC Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Finance that the certification has been received.
The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for:
- Requesting and reviewing an annual report and other information from the Deans through the campus budget offices.
- Summarizing the KU-Lawrence and KUMC annual reports into a single report for the Board of Regents.
- Reviewing the annual report with the Chancellor before submitting it to the Regents Office.
- Responding to requests from the Board of Regents, including information for the periodic Program Evaluations.
- Responding to any requests from the State Legislature or any other external party.
- Working with the budget offices to forecast the ebbs and flows in the sources of funding to meet the long-range commitment to the individual holding the Faculty of Distinction.
- Monitoring the Pooled Money Investment Board Portfolio rate and notifying Deans of the anticipated impact of any changes in this rate on expected earnings equivalent funds for professorships in the Faculty of Distinction Program.
The Vice Provost for Administration and Finance at Lawrence and the KUMC Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Finance are responsible for:
- Providing advice and assistance to the College/Schools in budget management.
- Establishing within the general budget a Faculty of Distinction matching fund (required by KSA 76-774(b)) including unique accounts for each Faculty of Distinction professorship.
- Notifying the College/Schools when a gift has been certified, when updates on the State’s interest earnings equivalent rate has been received, etc.
- Receiving and combining the Deans’ annual reports into a campus report for the CFO.
- Providing assistance to the CFO in reporting and analysis.
- Training Colleges/Schools in the use and reporting of Faculty of Distinction funds, both state and KUEA.
Other offices and departments are responsible for responding to requests from the CFO, the College/Schools Deans, and other administrators for information and reporting.
Chief Business & Financial Planning Officer
1450 Jayhawk Blvd, 225 Strong Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045
Interest earnings equivalent rate: Qualified private donor gifts to an endowment association are matched by the State at an interest earnings equivalent rate. For example: If a donor gave $1 million to KU Endowment for the J. Smith Professorship in Science, and if the interest earnings equivalent rate is 2%, the State would transfer $20,000 to KU specifically to support the J. Smith Professorship in Science for that fiscal year.
The interest earnings equivalent that the State pays to the institutions each fiscal year is determined by the average net earnings rate of the Pooled Money Investment Board’s portfolio for that year. For example, the amount transferred on July 1, 2010 will be based on the average net earnings rate for the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.
As of the end of each fiscal year (6/30), the State calculates the interest earnings equivalent on the cumulative gifts to the institution. In July, the State transfers this amount from the State General Fund to the institution’s Faculty of Distinction fund. Note that the interest earnings:
- Is calculated only on the original, donated principal of the gifts and any additions; in other words, the interest is not reinvested or compounded.
- Is calculated only from the date of certification of the gift
02/21/2017: Fixed broken link to Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual.
04/02/2015: Fixed broken links to Board of Regents Policy Manual and Kansas Statutes.
12/17/2014: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
11/18/2014: Updated reference and link to Board of Regents policy on which this policy is based; policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
11/08/2010: Approved by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.