A $25 million commitment from the Neubauer Family Foundation to establish an innovative program to attract some of the nation’s most outstanding young faculty to the University of Chicago has pushed the University’s $2 billion capital campaign, the Chicago Initiative, over its goal.
The gift establishes the Neubauer Family Fellows Program, which will support tenure-track appointments with 20 faculty members in the program when it is fully established. They will be named Neubauer Family Assistant Professors, and will receive research support to be used in any way they choose over a five-year professorship appointment. In addition, the program will provide guaranteed leave time for faculty members to pursue research that will further foster their scholarly work and careers.
“This wonderful gift to the University will provide us with a powerful new tool for recruiting and retaining outstanding junior faculty across the University. We are profoundly grateful to the Neubauers for their continued support of the University of Chicago and for their commitment to ideas, research, and education,” said President Robert Zimmer.
“The University has long been known for identifying and recruiting talented scholars early in their careers and providing them with both the resources and the stimulating, rigorous, and engaged intellectual environment that allows their work to flourish. This exceptionally generous gift will help the University build on our history of agenda-setting and discipline-defining faculty,” he added.
“The University of Chicago’s history of significant contributions to American higher education is driven by wise investments in exceptional people. Our family believes in promoting the highest levels of excellence and achievement. We want this gift to enhance the University’s ability to compete for the very best young scholars,” said trustee and alumnus Joseph Neubauer on behalf of the Neubauer Family Foundation.
Deans will recommend to the University Provost the names of particularly accomplished scholars who have recently received their Ph.D.s for appointment to the new faculty positions. Each year, four faculty members will be chosen as Neubauer Family Assistant Professors for a five-year term. The first group is expected to begin their appointments in the autumn of 2009.
Provost Thomas Rosenbaum said the initial support is particularly important to faculty beginning their careers. “The Neubauer Family Fellows Program will put our outstanding young faculty on the fast track. The generous support from the Neubauers will position the recipients to have immediate impact and help them to launch careers of exceptional scholarship.”
The latest commitment from the Neubauer Family Foundation brings the family’s Chicago Initiative support to $36 million, including the campaign’s largest commitment for faculty endowment. In 2002, the Neubauer Family’s gift of $5 million funded a new faculty fellowship program to recruit and retain leading faculty to the University’s Graduate School of Business. At that time, Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman Neubauer and their family, including son, Lawrence Neubauer, and daughter, Melissa Anderson, also gave $5 million to fund a new graduate fellowship program that will attract promising scholars to the Humanities division. The family also provided a gift to endow the Neubauer Family Professorship of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the Graduate School of Business, a position currently held by Steven Kaplan.
Joseph Neubauer, a Trustee of the University, received an M.B.A. from the University in 1965. He is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ARAMARK Corporation. His son, Lawrence, received an M.B.A. and J.D. from the University in 1995.
The Neubauer Family Foundation commitment brings the total received or pledged so far for the capital campaign to $2,001,279,853. The Chicago Initiative was launched in 2002. The University will continue to seek support for its programs, faculty, and students through the completion of the campaign in June 2008.
The campaign is supporting the University’s distinctive educational programs and scholarship by raising funds for undergraduate and graduate student financial aid, faculty research and creative endeavors, a wide array of academic and community-centered programs, and the new and renovated facilities needed to deliver the highest quality learning and research environment.
Gifts and pledges given to support construction projects led to the building of the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Center for Integrative Science; the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center; the Charles M. Harper Center, the main campus building for the Graduate School of Business; the Jules and Gwen Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery; the Max Palevsky Residential Commons; and the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, which is in the planning stages.