By MORGAN TARPLEY
Tech has received a check to complete funding for $1.1
million in new endowed professorships. The professorships are funded in part by
university donors and in part by the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund.
The official check presentation took place at 3 p.m.
Sept. 26 in Wyly Tower of Learning and was presided
over by Joe Savoie, state commissioner of higher
Tech President Dan Reneau said
he, along with other Tech officials, is extremely grateful for the
contributions to the endowed professorship program and has seen how the
professorships are making a difference in the university.
“The professorships are making a difference in attracting
fine faculty and keeping fine faculty,” Reneau said.
“This check brings us to a total of 122 endowed
professorships, about 10 eminent scholar [million dollar] chairs and $25 to $30
million endowments, which each year, the interest comes into this university.”
Savoie said a dependence on the
results of state university graduates are factors in how Louisiana can improve.
“We can’t become a better state unless we depend on our
universities to provide the intellectual capital, the guidance and the mental
and intellectual infrastructure that we’re going to need to be a better state,”
“These endowments really get to the heart of that task,
because great universities are built on great faculty, and in order for
Louisiana to keep great faculty and to attract great faculty we need to be
competitive in how we compensate and allow them to grow and improve.”
Savoie also said with higher
education, the state has some constitutional mandates on how its money is
spent; one of the ways is to match the private donations to universities.
“The Board of Regents Support fund originated with $500
million and is now right at $1 billion in value,” Savoie
“The fund has spent off about $800 million in interest to
go to supporting the education of our state and has created opportunities
across the state for institutions to make terrific advances.”
Eddie Barnes, founder of the John Ed Barnes Endowed
Professorship in Entrepreneurship, in memory of his father, said he and the
Barnes family thought it would be a great way to honor their loved one and help
out Tech at the same time.
“We have a lot of Tech [history] all the way through our
family, because a majority of our family has attended Tech and still has ties
here today,” Barnes said.
“We hope through this professorship to enable Tech to
continue hiring high quality professors and keeping them at Tech to produce
still higher quality students.”
Shirley Reagan, dean of the College of Administration and
Business, said the CAB has three professorships which are being matched.
She is especially grateful and appreciative for the
program, donors and for the entrepreneurship professorship.
“To have a professorship in entrepreneurship is really
exciting for the CAB because it is one of the directions we are focusing on in
our college,” Reagan said.
“It will give us an opportunity to support a faculty
member in that area, which we’ve not been able to do through a professorship
Katie Nelson, a junior family and child studies major,
said she believes these donations and new professorships prove Tech is of high
“We should be very grateful to donors and the state for
giving this opportunity to teachers,” Nelson said.
“It allows the school to explore new opportunities which
have not been previously reachable.”