Recruiting top scholars with a passion for teaching undergraduates remains a hallmark of the College.
Most alumni recall professors who impacted their education and life beyond their years in the College of Arts & Sciences. Their strong scholarly work and deep commitment to classroom teaching inspire undergraduates. Prestigious faculty also attract the strongest graduate students, driving high departmental rankings. A generational wave of 250 tenured faculty retirements has made recruiting and retaining marquee professors a top priority for the College. Raising endowment funds for faculty remains key to the Campaign.
Faculty endowments give A&S a critical competitive advantage. Funds for research, graduate students or other costs related to a professor’s academic success help attract top candidates. Endowed named professorships are highly coveted in academia. To date in the Campaign, donors have created 50 endowed funds that support faculty, and A&S has added numerous prestigious professors.
The pandemic caused faculty to postpone research and completely reconfigure classes for virtual delivery. In more than a year of challenges, the College managed to make impressive hires, several of which overlapped with the Campaign Areas of Distinction—Democracy and Access & Opportunity. Two named chairs brought distinguished faculty to the departments of history and politics, and two additional professors accepted named chairs in art history and African American and African studies.
Over the next few years, the College will need to recruit 50 tenure-track professors to replace retirees and maintain current classroom offerings. Endowment gifts will be critical to our ability to attract and retain faculty who meaningfully impact student lives. Acknowledging the importance of great professors, UVA has committed matching funds for faculty endowments to enhance donors’ generous gifts.
“Professors ... are the ones who help you discover who you are.” - Ken Ono, Thomas Jefferson Professor of Mathematics and Chair of Mathematics Department