WHY AN "ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP" AND NOT A "CHAIR"?
Typically, donors choose to endow a chair, yet the distinguished academic team of AFGLC, with a collective 400 years of teaching experience among them, has designed a plan that incorporates endowed professorships. What is the difference, and why is the AFGLC plan superior?
- More productive. A chair is generally granted to a very senior scholar, whose research is targeted to a very specific area and who no longer teaches many classes (if any), certainly not interfacing with lower level undergraduate students. Yet these are the very ranks of people we should be targeting: the general college population, bound for careers in business, law, medicine, public service and the arts and sciences: the leaders of tomorrow's world in many fields. They may never take more than one or two lower-level courses in Hellenic Studies (mythology, or Greek civilization, or basic language), yet upon this experience rests the picture of Greece that will endure for them for the rest of their lives. A professorship is held by an active teaching scholar, who teaches a wide range of classes and who touches the lives of as many students as possible.
- More economical. A chair generally costs between $1.5 and $1.75 million. An endowed professorship can be secured for $100,000 to $300,000, which is then usually matched by the university and in some cases by other private educational foundations. Thus the same amount of money can endow five professorships for the cost of one chair: an entire Interdisciplinary Center for the cost of one chair! With the establishment of an Interdisciplinary Center, the university can grant majors and minors in Hellenic Studies, expand programs for graduate studies (MA and PhD), can involve numerous departments and their students, and enjoy all the collateral benefits of being part of the AFGLC network. All for the cost of a single research chair.
- More attractive to universities. Because ICHS professorships make use of existing faculty in a variety of departments, the benefits are widespread. In addition to the part of the professorship that funds the work of the designee, a percentage goes into a common fund for the use of all faculty involved in the ICHS, whether endowed or not. Administrators are put at no risk or pressure to create new academic lines, and they see the maximum distribution of benefits.
- More secure. Both the ICHS program and each endowed professorship are contractually guaranteed to be secure in perpetuity. Budget cuts at the university? Changes of administration? Faculty retirement? The program and its academic lines are proof against them all. Moreover, the donor loses control over the performance of a chair once it is endowed, but an AFGLC endowed professorship is still answerable to the standards of the ICHS Directors.
Q: Since it is dedicated to promoting the study of Greek, why is so much of AFGLC's promotional material, including its website, primarily in English?
A: While Greeks and Greek-Americans may be expected to have an investment in preserving the Greek tradition -- namely, ethnic pride - it is to the non-Greek American that the mission of AFGLC is ultimately addressed. We want to see Hellenic Studies take their place in the curriculum of all American students of every ethnic background, whether they are aiming at a career in medicine, law, the arts or sciences, or any other profession. And we invite the collaboration of all persons of goodwill (including Greeks) who are concerned to preserve the humanistic heart of higher education in America.