SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State University will establish a distinguished professorship at WSU Spokane — and six graduate fellowships system wide — thanks to new provisions in the state matching program signed into law during last spring’s legislative session.
By providing increased funding for teaching and research in faculty positions, endowed professorships enable universities to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and scholars. The Boeing Distinguished Professorship in Health Policy at WSU Spokane will be based in the College of Pharmacy.
“The professorship will contribute to the academic strength of all the health sciences programs in Spokane, which are expected to continue growing,” said Dennis Clifton, College of Pharmacy interim dean.
Potential areas for research include the economic and social implications of pharmaceutical treatments, and their health and public policy implications. WSU Spokane is home to a number of graduate programs in the health sciences, including the doctor of pharmacy and the master of health policy and administration programs.
The professorship was funded initially in 1993 with a gift of $250,000 from the Boeing Co.
The legislation called for annual distributions from the state education savings account to the state’s public universities and colleges to match private contributions for distinguished professorships and graduate fellowships.
“The state matching program is the public-private partnership at its very best,” said President Smith. “When the state can, in essence, double a private donor’s investment in outstanding faculty and students, everyone served by higher education is a winner.”
Distinguished professorships are established with gifts of $250,000 or more; graduate fellowships with gifts of $25,000 or more. Under the legislation, the state appropriates 10 percent of the education savings account each year to match each $250,000 and $25,000 contribution, as well as contributions to the faculty awards trust fund for community colleges.
The initial distribution was nearly $2 million, which the universities and community colleges share on a percentage basis. The two research universities, WSU and the University of Washington, received the lion’s share. The next distribution will be announced in November.
WSU will also match six graduate fellowships with the allocation. The fellowships are the Richard R. and Constance M. Albrecht Graduate Fellowship in the Graduate School; the John C. Bissenger Internship for Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections; the Philip Abelson Graduate Fellowship; the Susan and Sarah Dolan Memorial Graduate Fellowship in Sociology; the Sue Harriet Monroe Mullen Graduate Fellowship in Cancer Research; and the Chuck Gardner Graduate Fellowship in Insurance & Risk Management. The fellowships provide research and tuition support for outstanding graduate students.
As a result of a surge in private giving to WSU during Campaign WSU, the university’s $275.4 million capital campaign, WSU now has more than 54 distinguished professorships eligible for state matching funds. Of those 54, 15 have received state matches to date.
Campaign WSU concluded June 30, 1997. Donors contributed $42 million this fiscal year.

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