I. Scope and Definition

Establishment of endowed chairs in the School of Medicine shall be consistent with University Policy on Endowed Chairs and Professorships and the Administrative Guidelines and Procedures: Endowed Chairs and Professorships.

School guidelines and procedures apply to endowed chairs and endowed professorships, including distinguished professorships. For convenience, all such entities will collectively be referred to as “endowed chairs”. When there are distinctions between types of chairs (e.g., funding levels) they will be noted in the procedures.

An endowed chair is one supported by payout from an endowed fund, a fund functioning as an endowment, a gift, or an annual allocation. Payout from such income is to be made available to the chair holder in support of his/her teaching, research, and/or service activities. Unless expressly prohibited by the governing gift or allocation instrument, an endowed chair may provide payout to support the fiscal year base salary and other salary components of a chair holder (X and Y).

Consistent with the intent of the gift or allocation instrument, an endowed chair may provide support for an administrative position such as a department chair, director of an organized research unit, or dean. Fund payout for an administrative chair shall be used to provide support for the teaching, research and service activities of the department, school or other organizational unit as defined in the gift agreement.

A current faculty appointment within the University is a prerequisite for appointment to and continuation of an appointment to an endowed chair.

II. Campus Procedures to Establish and Name an Endowed Chair

By action of The Board of Regents on March 15, 1996, the president was granted authority to establish and name endowed chairs. Campus responsibility for monitoring the procedures to establish endowed chairs rests with the Office of the Academic Vice Chancellor. The appropriate committee of the divisional Academic Senate shall be consulted by the academic vice chancellor with respect to the scope and subject area of the proposed chair. Responsibility for the initiation of the procedure rests with the dean for the School of Medicine.

A President’s Item shall be prepared by the Dean’s Office. Attached to the item shall be an endowed fund agreement or letter from a donor and any other appropriate supporting documents. Once finalized, the President’s Item and accompanying documentation will be circulated for review, approval, and signature as follows:

a) Department Chair/Research Unit director
b) Vice Dean for Administration and Finance
c) Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
d) Dean
e) Executive Director, Administration & Financial Services, UCSF Foundation
f) Vice Chancellor, University Development & Alumni Relations
g) Chair, Senate Committee on Academic Personnel

After review by the above offices, the Item is sent to the office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, Provost (EVCP). The EVCP or designee shall transmit the President’s Item and supporting documentation to the chancellor, who will forward it to the president for approval.

III. Funding

Effective July 1, 2014, a minimum principal of $1,000,000 is required for the establishment of an endowed professorship in the School of Medicine. There are no exceptions to this policy.

While University policy states that the minimum amount of no less than $1,500,000 is required for the establishment of a distinguished professorship, individual schools may establish higher thresholds. Effective July 1, 2014, the School of Medicine requires $4,000,000 for the establishment of a distinguished professorship.

If full funding for a chair is to be completed at some time in the future, the documentation shall include a payment schedule for receipt of all supporting funds. Establishment of the chair may take place once one-third of the required funding is in hand and there is a plan in place for raising the remaining funding. Following approval by the President, the chair will be deemed “conditionally established” until full funding is in place. Appointment to an endowed chair may take place once establishment of the chair is approved.

IV. Appointment Procedure

Any individual nominated to hold a chair by the School of Medicine must meet the established standards and criteria for appointment to the faculty of the University. In the case of an administrative endowed chair, the administrative officer is automatically instated as the chair holder.

An endowed chair may be filled by one individual for an indefinite period or for a prescribed period, unless otherwise provided in the terms of the gift or allocation instrument. The Chancellor may reassign a chair in accordance with campus procedures. In such cases, notification to a current chair holder should be provided.

A recommendation for appointment to an endowed chair shall be submitted to the dean, who shall forward it to the Chancellor's Office for review and approval. Appointees to endowed chairs shall be subject to campus academic or administrative review processes as appropriate. 

V. Review and Reporting

The chancellor or designee shall review the terms of endowed chairs at least every five years and take appropriate action to ensure that the University is fulfilling its legal obligation to utilize chair payouts fully in accord with the gift or allocation instrument.

Consistent with University policy, the chancellor or designee shall provide to the president on a fiscal-year basis a list of all endowed chairs noting which are filled, which are vacant and how long each vacancy has existed, which have been disestablished, and the reallocation of chair funds.

VI. Disestablishment of Endowed Chairs

A chair whose endowment has not reached full funding either by the end of the specified pledge period or the maturity of a deferred gift or bequest shall be reviewed at the campus. If appropriate, with the concurrence of the general counsel, the chancellor may propose to the President the disestablishment of the chair and the alternate use of the chair funding.

Subject to the donor’s approval and upon recommendation by the chancellor, the President, in consultation with general counsel, is authorized to disestablish an endowed chair in the event that (a) the subject area ceases to be consistent with the University’s mission; or (b) the endowed chair remains vacant for a period of three years and the chancellor, after consultation with the dean and appropriate department chair, determines there is no likelihood of filling the chair.

Upon disestablishment of an endowed chair funded through a gift, the fund payout shall be reallocated to the alternative purpose stated in the gift instrument or as subsequently specified by the donor in consultation with the chancellor and the general counsel. If a donor is deceased and has not specified an alternative purpose, the campus shall request the assistance of general counsel to obtain court approval for an alternative use of fund payout.


The School of Medicine Endowed Chairs Office in the Office of the Dean is the central source for information and action in the establishment and appointment of endowed chairs in the UCSF School of Medicine and is the office of record for the dean’s office in all matters pertaining to endowed chairs.Questions about endowed chair policy may be addressed to Michael Da Luz.

Questions about the policy supporting ladder rank faculty can be addressed to Vice Dean, Academic Affairs Christina Mangurian.