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College is awarded $1M grant

Angela Saoud | Friday, December 3, 2004

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded Saint Mary’s a $1 million grant for a new Faculty Scholars Program to bring top faculty scholars to campus beginning in 2005, the College announced Monday.

A press release outlined the new program as an effort to “attract extraordinary candidates for tenure-track positions at the College by offering incentives such as course load reductions and research and professional development grants.”

The incentives will provide financial resources and additional time for these new faculty members to enhance their teaching ability while engaging with the Saint Mary’s community. In addition, the grant will also supply financial support for these professors to travel and present papers.

“The New Faculty Scholars Program will help us draw new talent to an already vibrant intellectual community where gifted and creative professors challenge bright students to reach new levels of achievement,” vice president and dean of faculty Patrick White said “This is just going to help with new professors’ reduction load.”

White said he hopes the program will help bring top faculty to the College, just as other Lilly Endowment grants are supporting top students at Saint Mary’s.

“We have the Brain Drain grant which is attempting to help students, but this particular grant can help us attract the next generation of intellectual leaders in faculty members to our state,” he said in reference to the College’s $750,000 Lilly Endowment INC program grant, which aims to keep students in Indiana after graduation.

During an initial three-year start up phase, part of the grant will be used for operating costs, and the remainder will help establish an endowment to support the program in the future.

College president Carol Mooney, vice president for college relations Shari Rodriguez, White and others worked on the grant application, which was submitted earlier this fall.

The program will begin in the 2005-06 academic year when Saint Mary’s will offer these incentives to three new faculty members slated to start teaching at the College. After the first year, these incentives will be offered to up to two new hires yearly.

In the past, Saint Mary’s has received other large grants from the Lilly Endowment including the INC program grant and $12 million for the Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadership.

And although White said he was excited about the new prospects this could bring to campus, he stressed the grant was just another way to help new professors adjust to Saint Mary’s.

“This is just going to help with the reduction load,” he said. “Saint Mary’s already has excellent faculty, but the market for faculty is going to become increasingly competitive as baby boomers retire. Schools realize the importance of teaching undergraduates and want to have intelligent, well-rounded faculty to do that.”