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The Wharton School has established nine new endowed chairs designed to draw the top Ph.D. business graduates in the nation to the University. Wharton Dean Thomas Gerrity this semester announced the new positions, all of which have already been filled, as a widening of the seven-year-old Young Faculty Development Program. Through the program, one of a few in the nation, administrators try "to attract the best young faculty to Wharton and to keep them here," Wharton Director of Development Medha Narvekar said yesterday. "The primary vehicle is the term chairs," she added. The program attracts top young graduates of national business schools to continue their academic careers at the University, providing them salary and research funds, according to Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs Edward Bowman. "Many of our major competitors have development chairs for leading faculty," Bowman said yesterday. He added, however, that few schools offer endowed chairs to attract junior professors. "It's a competitive advantage for the Wharton School in a tight labor market to be able to offer these chairs," the deputy dean said. The nine term chairs this year drew doctoral degree recipients and candidates from such institutions as Stanford University, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Each chair is endowed for five years by either a corporation or a private donor, according to Narvekar. There are currently 49 term chairs within the school, each costing a total of $50,000 for the five years. The money goes toward the professors' research and their salaries. Wharton officials found eight of the professors -- four of whom are women -- through national advertisements and recommendations from the schools from which they were graduating. Bowman said administrators asked at all the leading schools to provide names of top students. He added, however, that some students initiated contact with the school. Finance Lecturer Bruce Grundy, who came to Wharton under the new program, said yesterday that the school first contacted him about the appointment. Grundy, who was assistant professor at Stanford before being lured away by the University, will do research and work with doctoral students this semester. Next semester, he will teach a course in speculative markets to both undergraduate and graduate students, he said. Grundy added that the young faculty program provides a strong incentive for promising graduate students to come to the University, as it gives "some financial support that wouldn't otherwise be there for research." Grundy said that professors who are offered the package are likely to remain at the University because "Wharton is the kind of place that people would like to springboard to, not from." Bowman said that the new faculty are in tenure-track positions and tenure decisions will be made after their five-year terms end.

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