Endowed professorships defined, identified by department heads

Posted on the Grambling State University home page is information concerning “Endowed Professorships.” But exactly what is an endowed professorship?According to the Louisiana Board of Regents Web site, the Endowed Professorship Program was established by the Board in 1990-91 in order to “broaden opportunities for faculty enhancement.”

Annual state Support Fund assistance for two $100,000 professorships per year per campus for four year campuses and one $100,000 professorships for community and technical colleges is guaranteed by the program.

The Web site explained that the Endowed Professorship Program was established to recruit new faculty, whose addition to the chosen universities would contribute to research within their respective fields.

The application process for an Endowed Professorship begins with a cover letter from the university’s president or chancellor requesting matching funds.

In addition, the university must provide an affidavit to verify that they have received and deposited matching funds of $60,000.

All of which is stated in the “Endowed Professorship Program Policy” of the Louisiana Board of Regents.

According to Rita Hood of academic affairs, “The first endowed professorship was established in 1992 and the award was given in the name of ‘GSU Endowed Professorship’ in the College of Education.”

Grambling State University comprises of four colleges; College of Education, College of Business, College of Professional Studies and College of Arts and Sciences.

Most of the colleges have endowed professorships that are currently filled.

The College of Education currently has five endowed professorships.

These professorships are distributed among the various departments within the college.

The Department of Kinesiology, Sport and Leisure currently has three professorships. Dr. Martin Ayim is the Endowed Professor in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. This professorship is named for Dr. Eddie Robinson Sr.

Dr. Chevelle Hall is the recipient of another professorship named for the late Eddie Robinson Sr. She is the Endowed Professor in Sports Administration.

The final professorship is filled by Dr. Obadiah Simmons, who is the Endowed Professor in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. This professorship is named for Robert L. Piper.

Also within the College of Education, are Dr. Wilton Barham who is the recipient of the Arleen Cheers Endowment Professorship in the Department of Educational Leadership, and Dr. Elaine Foster, the Endowed Professor in the Department of Curriculum Instruction.

The College of Arts and Sciences currently has two Endowed Professorships filled. Dr. Bret Sims, assistant professor of mathematics was named the William McIntosh Endowed Professor.

The second Endowed Professor within the department is Dr. Frances State, professor of sociology who received the Earl Lester Cole Endowed Professorship.

Dean Connie Walton said, “We have five additional Endowed Professorships that were recently established. In the near future these professorships will be filled.”

Neither the College of Business nor the College of Professional Studies has an Endowed Professorship which is currently filled.

However, according to Dr. Marianne Fisher-Giorlando, the dean of Professional Studies, an Endowed Professorship does exist in the Department of Criminal Justice, but remains vacant.

The Professorship is named in honor of the late Pinkie Wilkerson, a deceased legislature, whose position is currently held by Ricky Gallot.

Fisher-Giorlando likens the late Wilkerson to presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama.

“She was one who pushed the edges of convention,” she said.