Penn is hoping to attract more professorial talent.
On Tuesday morning, President Amy Gutmann announced the creation of the President’s Distinguished Professorship Fund, which is part of a University effort to increase Penn’s recruitment and retainment of outstanding faculty. In order to create the 50 new professorships, the Fund will endow three new important types of faculty positions that will be named after their respective donors.
“It’s a virtuous circle,” Gutmann said. “The best students come because of the best faculty, and the best faculty come because of the best students.”
Penn Integrates Knowledge Professorships will be endowed to faculty whose research and teaching cross multidisciplinary fields. While there are currently 15 PIK professors, the fund will strive to increase that number while retaining current faculty.
Distinguished professorships will be created throughout all 12 schools for faculty whose fields of research have been deemed high prioritiesby the Penn Compact 2020.
Finally, the Presidential Professorships will endow faculty members who contribute to Penn’s diversity during five-year terms.
While there are current faculty members who hold Presidential Professorships, the Fund will be used to further Penn’s commitments to diversity.
“The Presidential professorships will expand the pipeline for these prestigious professorships at Penn and it’s truly unique,” Gutmann said. “All of these professorships will help us diversify our faculty, but the Presidential Professorships are explicitly directed to rising stars who we can give named professorships to and will help our push towards an even more eminent and diverse faculty.”
The creation of the Professorship Fund is currently the second initiative of the Penn Compact 2020, following Friday’s announcement of the Challenge Fund to raise $240 million for undergraduate financial aid.