OXFORD, Miss. – Announced at the April 9 inauguration of Chancellor Dan Jones, the $100 million Campaign for Faculty is ensuring that Ole Miss can attract and retain the best minds in academia. Included as part of the campaign will be both unrestricted gifts to the newly created Barnard Endowment for Faculty Support as well as gifts specified for the creation of faculty chairs, professorships and lectureships within UM schools and departments.
“We have amazing faculty at Ole Miss and are extremely fortunate that we’ve been able to attract such talented teachers and researchers despite limited funding for them,” said Wendell Weakly, president and CEO of the UM Foundation. “If we want to keep the gifted faculty that we now have and continue to attract the highest caliber professors, support for them must grow.”
To that end, the Foundation has created the Barnard Endowment, named for one of UM’s most influential leaders, Frederick A. P. Barnard, who served as chancellor from 1856 to 1859. Because it is structured as an endowment, the fund will provide a permanent stream of salary and research support for UM faculty.
Kenneth Sufka, chair of UM’s Faculty Senate, applauded the initiative.
“Chancellor Jones is committed to the goal of ensuring UM becomes a leader in serving the needs of Mississippi, the nation and the world,” Sufka said. “The $100M Campaign for Faculty is absolutely critical for this university to attract the brightest scholars and retain the best faculty whose excellence in research and teaching will positively transform the lives of the people we serve.”
Although UM faculty salaries currently fall below the average of the Southern University Group – which includes 31 state universities from across the South – many UM faculty members are leaders in their fields, serving as editors for prestigious journals in such areas as banking and finance and conducting ground-breaking research into such areas as land mine detection.
“We have a deeply committed, talented and resourceful faculty, who have transformed this university by over achieving in many ways,” Chancellor Dan Jones said. “Compared to our peers, we have had below-average per-student funding, and our faculty has experienced below-average compensation for some time. In spite of these challenges, they participate in or lead nationally recognized programs, and indeed, the University of Mississippi has achieved remarkable national rankings for academic performance.”
Because UM faculty members have been able to overcome funding challenges and receive national recognition for their work, Ole Miss continues to attract the region’s brightest students and provide them with the resources to thrive after graduation.
“Our first priority remains providing outstanding educational opportunities for all deserving students so that they may lead productive and rewarding lives,” Jones said. “In order to do that, we have no choice but to ensure that we can recruit and retain superior faculty.”
Gifts to the Barnard Endowment for Faculty Support may be made by visiting www.umfoundation.com/makeagift, calling 800-340-9542 or by mailing checks to the University of Mississippi Foundation at 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655. Checks should be made payable to the UM Foundation and should note “faculty support.”