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Project Title:Professors Funding Scholarships in Retirement (PRFSR)Institution Name:University of North Alabama Innovation Category:Fundraising Project Director:Barry Morris, Director of Planned GivingContact Information:(256) 765-4861, bkmorris@una.eduWebsite:
Project Description:Volunteerism can create a sizeable monetary endowment. Many faculty (and staff) members who have devoted their careers to a university desire to leave a meaningful legacy but lack the financial means to bring that dream to reality. By retiring from their positions while continuing to perform their jobs voluntarily for another semester or year, the university can defer its search for a replacement and place their salary and benefits into a permanent endowment, the earnings from which can be awarded as the professor prescribes. Scholarships, program enrichment, and undergraduate research are examples of the types of support that may be created. The program is entitled Professors Funding Scholarships in Retirement (PRFSR).
Objectives:
  • Enable faculty and staff to create legacy gifts and be identified as major donors 
  • Expand discipline specific scholarships for students 
  • Increase resource support for academic programs 
  • Strengthen ties between the university and its employees 
Outcomes:
  • Number of faculty participating in the program: The program began in 2008/09 and 7 professors have participated and 5 more have announced their intention to participate in the next two years. 
  • Dollars added to the university permanent endowment: Salary and benefits from the budget line associated with each participant is added to the endowment, equating to about $100,000 per faculty participant.
  • Additional student scholarship awards: Most participants create either one or two named scholarships. The endowment returns 5% on principal annually. Thus far in the program, 95% of the funds endowed are designated for student scholarships, with the remaining 5% dedicated to program support (enhancing the university teaching excellence award). 
Challenges/Problems Encountered:The only challenge was explaining the program to the State Examiner of Public Accounts and obtaining approval to set aside appropriated funds on a permanent basis. This turned out to be relatively easy. An internal university form was created for appropriate approvals (chair, dean).
Evaluation Approach:The program nearly evaluates itself since the benchmarks of success are very obvious. This success is our principal mechanism for talking with faculty approaching retirement about participation. 
Potential for Replication:The concept is very simple and could be immediately replicated on any campus where funds can be set aside on a permanent basis for the purposes described in this plan. Institutions that utilize faculty collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), may wish to articulate very clearly in the union contract the terms of a faculty endowment program. UNA is a non-union campus, and thus did not determine the need to include specifying language.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:William G. Cale , Presidentwgcale@una.edu
(256) 765-4211
Date Published: Friday, June 24, 2011