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Spangler sparks 96 new professorships

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With the goal of luring top professors to the University of North Carolina system, C. D. Spangler plans to invest almost $27 million to create up to 96 endowed professorships across the system’s 16 campuses.

Structured as two waves of matching grants, the gift from the C. D. Spangler Foundation, named for the former UNC system president, is contingent on a $4.6 million annual investment by the state’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund.

The initial wave of funding, $6.9 million to be distributed this year, is enough private investment for one new professorship on each campus.

Beginning in 2008, an additional $20 million over five years will provide each campus with the opportunity to create one new endowed chair each year.

Spangler’s proposal stipulates that all professorships must be in the “high-need” areas of teacher education, engineering, nursing, and arts and sciences, and none can be named after any member of the Spangler family.

In the second wave of funding, the foundation will provide each campus with $250,000 in matching funds each year, but the match requirements vary by campus.

The system’s nine “focused-growth” or “special needs” institutions, which are smaller and generally face greater fundraising obstacles, have lower match rates.

The foundation’s plan also requires the funds be used for new professorships rather than for boosting existing endowed chairs.

C. D. Spangler, a Charlotte businessman, served as president of the system from 1986 to 1997, and he and his foundation already have endowed or completed the funding for 37 professorships across the state.

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