Unusual endowment – Professorship in math

An Arkansas school district is believed to be the only one in the U.S. with an endowed chair, or professorship, for which money has been donated, the Associated Press reports.

The El Dorado Education Foundation in Arkansas suggested the establishment of an academic chair to recruit a professional who would be “laser focused on one subject,” said Claiborne Deming, foundation president.

Citing student surveys that showed math instruction was weak in the district, the foundation hired Tim Martin, a community college professor. Mr. Martin’s salary is split 50-50 between the foundation and the school district.

In addition to teaching advanced placement calculus, Martin has spent his first year recommending math curriculum changes for kindergarten through 12 grade. Before the year is finished, he will complete a strategic mathematics plan for the district’s 4,600 students.

Foundation and district officials are so pleased that they are currently conducting interviews for a new science chair, AP says.

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