The George Washington University will direct more than $50 million to fund 14 endowed professorships, further accelerating the progress of its academic medical enterprise in one of the most significant single investments in university history to support faculty.
“George Washington University faculty are key to our mission of education, research and patient care, and endowed professorships are critical to our recruiting efforts and ability to further this mission,” said President Mark S. Wrighton. “These professorships are a very important investment in the long-term positive impact our university will have on society.”
The transformative investment into the endowment for the professorships is a result of the proceeds from the recent sale of the university’s partnership interest in GW Hospital, which is owned by Universal Health Services, Inc. Wrighton announced the news of the professorships at a Faculty Senate meeting on Friday.
The 14 new professorships will be established in schools across the university and support a broad range of disciplines. Nine of the endowed professorships will be created in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, one in the Milken Institute School of Public Health, one in the School of Nursing, one each in chemistry and biology in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and one in biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
“Preeminent faculty are an essential component of fulfilling our academic mission of creating a high-quality instructional environment, pushing the frontier of knowledge through research, and as we continue to expand our academic medical enterprise, providing high-quality patient care,” Provost Christopher Alan Bracey said.
Endowed professorships are crucial to the mission of higher education because the funding allocated for these positions exists in perpetuity and allows a university to recruit and retain the best faculty, researchers and clinicians for years to come. As the university embarks on its third century, the professorships add further momentum to many efforts underway to strengthen the university’s teaching, cross-disciplinary research initiatives, patient-centered care and medical enterprise.
“Investing these funds into our academic medical enterprise represents a forward stride toward our goal of being D.C.’s premier health care organization,” said Barbara L. Bass, vice president for health affairs, Walter A. Bloedorn Chair of Administrative Medicine, dean of SMHS and CEO of the GW Medical Faculty Associates. “The recognition of the GW academic medical enterprise as a national health care destination will fundamentally be built on clinical performance excellence, but it is renowned faculty who bring transformative clinical expertise, discovery and innovation that will fuel that success. These endowed professorships are evidence of our commitment to that future.”
Bass also emphasized the importance of the hard work of SMHS and MFA faculty to strengthen GW Hospital over many years and help it grow as a successful health care organization, which has now enabled the university to have the funding to reinvest in the future of its academic and clinical mission, especially through the new professorships.
The university and MFA leadership recently created a new, modern partnership affiliation with UHS that also supports the creation of centers of excellence and the advancement of the medical enterprise as a high-performing, academic medical center committed to research, education, patient care and community service.
Over the coming months, the university will begin searches, in collaboration with relevant deans and other school leadership, for the faculty who will be appointed to the professorships. The first professorship appointee, in SMHS, will be announced this fall.