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External Funding of Academic Appointments and Activities Policy

Section 1 - Definitions

(1) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Academic or Related Activity - can be a program of study, an event or project that has unique or special characteristics associated with the development of the University, which the University wishes to recognise and support.
  2. Chair - a professorial appointment to a specific field of academic endeavour.
  3. Endowment - a permanent fund which will be invested in perpetuity the income of which will support the aims of the University, and the purpose of which can be restricted or unrestricted.
  4. Term Appointment - a position which may only exist for a specified period of time based on duration of the funding agreement which established it.
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Section 2 - Policy Statement

Part A - Policy Declaration

(2) This Policy guides the establishment and designation of Chairs, Fellowships and academic and other activities as a means of recognising and promoting academic programs and fields of study which are consistent with the University’s Strategic Plans Objectives and Mission.

(3) Initiatives may arise from a variety of sources: individual benefactors, ethnic or cultural organisations, trade unions, government agencies, corporations, academic units themselves, or from unrestricted funds available to the University. From whatever sources, the initiative should advance the University's academic goals and objectives. That advancement and a consistent approach constitute the principal criterion governing the establishment of endowed or designated academic appointments and activities.

Part B - Policy Description


(4) The purpose of this Policy is to establish a consistent approach to the establishment of endowed or term Chairs, Fellowships and other academic or related activities. It will ensure that the financial requirements for supporting such initiatives are considered and that whatever the source of funds to support the position, the criteria for establishing them will be consistently applied across the University.


(5) The provisions of this Policy apply across all areas of the University.

Content and Implementation

(6) A Chair or academic activity will from its inception be attached to a Faculty, College, Centre or Institute of the University.

(7) In the case of an appointment, the holder will receive a continuing or contractual appointment and be expected to develop the field of study for which they are appointed through both teaching and, in the case of Chairs, research. The Recruitment and Appointment Policy (as amended from time to time) shall be followed for appointment to a Chair or Fellowship.

(8) The University may wish to honour a corporate or individual benefactor, a prominent scholar or individual through a formal naming of an endowed or term Chair or academic activity. In such cases, the University's Naming of University Facilities and Programs Policy shall apply.


(9) Funding must be sufficient to cover the cost of an appointment or operations of an academic activity. In the case of an appointment funding must include an appropriate measure of unrestricted support for scholarship and research, normally equivalent to at least ten per cent of the salary package. As the establishment of a Chair creates a continuing commitment by the University, full funding must also be continuing or for the term of the appointee's contract.

(10) If funding for the establishment of a Chair or Fellowship or academic activity is not sufficient under the terms of this Policy, the recipient Cost Centre must submit a plan for meeting the balance of the cost from funds already available to it.

(11) In cases where a Chair or Fellowship will be created outside a University Cost Centre's plan and budget, the position must be endowed or fully funded externally for a fixed term as per this Policy.

(12) An endowment for a Chair or other appointment may be provided by a perpetual gift from a source external to the University and restricted by the terms of the donation or bequest, or University Council may establish an endowment for such an appointment from any unrestricted funds available to the University. In either case, the terms of the endowment thus designated are determined by University Council. A designated endowment may be established from one type of endowment or the other, or a combination of both. Southern Cross University's investment procedures shall apply to the endowment however it is created.


(13) Endowed Chairs and other appointments may be disestablished following consultation with the donor or, in the event that the donor is deceased, with a member of the donor's family or a trustee of the estate.

(14) The disestablishment of term Chairs and other appointments shall either be provided for at the time of establishment, or by mutual agreement of the University and the donor six months prior to the expiration of the term of the appointee.

Funding of Chairs

(15) The establishment of a Chair by the University implies a broad and continuing commitment to the position and to the discipline area. The holder of the Chair should be a person of great distinction, the appointment of whom is subject to the University's Policies on the Appointment of Personal Chairs and Professorial Selection and Appointment Procedures.

Joint Chairs

(16) An endowed Chair may be established jointly by Southern Cross University and an institution affiliated with the University. For this type of Chair, the endowment may be established on terms jointly agreed on by both parties. For joint endowed Chairs, the endowment may be held either by the University or by the affiliated or federated institution. Or there may be two endowments, one held by the University and one held by the affiliated or federated institution, both supporting the same Chair. If some or all of the endowment is held outside the University, one of two conditions must be met:

  1. Southern Cross University's policies and procedures for investing perpetual funds must be followed to preserve the real value of the endowment, or
  2. The affiliated institution must formally commit to provide in perpetuity or for the term of the appointment the levels of funding required by this Policy.

(17) In either case, if the endowment is held by the affiliated institutions, that institution shall provide a tax receipt for charitable purposes, unless the donation is made through the Southern Cross University Foundation.


(18) An endowment may be established with the objective of providing funding sufficient to support an Endowed Chair within five years of its initial establishment. During the interim, the initial endowment may be used to establish an Endowed Fellowship under the terms of this Policy in which case the balance of the annual cost of the appointment must be met by the respective academic division or department. The Endowed Fellowship may be converted to the Endowed Chair at any time within the specified period without further review or approval, provided that the necessary funding is realised.

Flexible Endowment of Chairs

(19) A Chair may be established on the basis of a combination of an endowment of less than the formally stated minimum value for an Endowed Chair, and a commitment to a formal schedule of annual expendable gifts that, when added to the revenue from the endowment, will produce the amount that an endowment of the minimum value would have produced were it fully in place, adjusted for inflation. As the endowment increases, either from additional capital contributions from the donor, or from net investment of the original capital, the amount of the annual expendable gifts may decrease until the Chair is fully funded by the endowment.

(20) Commitments to Flexibly Endowed Chairs must include a commitment to fund an Endowed Chair fully within ten years or fewer from the date of the initial endowment or, through a bequest. The initial endowment must be at least one-tenth of the minimum value of an Endowed Chair. All gifts for a Flexibly Endowed Chair--endowment and annual expendable gifts--will be non-refundable. An endowment thus created may not be used to make a continuing appointment unless the Chair is fully endowed, or bridging arrangements satisfactory to the Vice Chancellor.

Term Chairs

(21) A Chair may be established from an expendable source of income - as opposed to an endowed gift. The gift must be sufficient to support the Chair for at least five years and at a level at least equivalent the annual costs of the appointment, including salary, on costs and a provision for research support.

Funding of Fellowships

(22) A Fellowship is a postdoctoral appointment which may be made at any academic level, including visiting scholars, on a renewable term basis. Such appointments may arise where the appointment will assist in the renewal of established fields, in developing new fields of study, for special projects, or where a visitor from outside the University will enhance the University's strategic position.

(23) Funding must cover the salary and on costs of the appointee for the term of the appointment. A combination of sources of funding may be possible to support the Fellowship and provide some support for the teaching and research activities associated with the appointment.

(24) A Fellowship may be fully endowed or established for a fixed term. The length and conditions of a fixed term Fellowship must be established in advance of making any appointment.

Determining the Required Level of Funding for Academic Appointments

(25) The University shall from time to time, normally for a three-year period or for the period of a capital campaign, determine a minimum value for any and all newly established Chairs and Fellowships.

(26) Chairs - The minimum value of endowed Chairs shall be $2.0 million and term Chairs shall be $200,000 per annum (in current dollars as of the date of the agreement).

(27) Fellowships - The minimum value of endowed Fellowships shall be $1.0 million and term Fellowships shall be at least $100,000 per annum (in current dollars as of the date of the agreement).

Part C - Academic Activities

(28) An Academic Activity can be a program of study, an event or project that has unique or special characteristics associated with the development of the University, which the University wishes to recognise and support. Support for an Activity may include but not be limited to appointments, conferences, annual lectures, equipment, special projects or for other expenses associated with the Activity.

(29) Funding shall be sufficient to provide for the costs of the Activity.

(30) An existing Activity may be Endowed or Designated provided an endowment or comparable source of funding (for example, a Flexible Endowment) is established to meet a minimum of 50% of the direct cost of the program.

(31) A new Activity may be established provided that:

  1. an endowment or comparable source of funding (for example, a Flexible Endowment) is created to meet a minimum of 50% of the annual direct and indirect costs of the Activity;
  2. the balance of the annual cost of the new Activity must be met by the respective academic division or department; and
  3. the Activity has been identified within a Faculty or Department's plan and budget.

(32) The terms of reference for the establishment of an endowment supporting a specific Activity must be sufficiently flexible to adapt to market shifts that may make the said activity redundant or no longer relevant.


(33) Endowed activities may be disestablished following consultation with the donor or, in the event that the donor is deceased, with a member of the donor's family or a trustee of the estate.


(34) This Policy has no retroactive application and shall only apply to new initiatives. When, however, a previous gift has become sufficient to upgrade, for example, a Lectureship to a Chair it must meet the requirements of this Policy.

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Section 3 - Related Policies, Documents, Legislation and Strategic Priorities

(35) Southern Cross University Act 1993 pertaining to the management of investments.

(36) The University’s Strategic and Operating Plans in effect at the time of the establishment of any endowed or term position or program.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(37) The Vice Chancellor may approve the establishment of Chairs, Fellowships and academic or related activities which are in compliance with this Policy. At the end of each academic year, the Vice Chancellor will report to the Finance Committee on all of the Chairs, Fellowships, and activities that have been thus established. The delegation of authority does not extend to the establishment of activities which otherwise require approval of the Academic Board and University Council.

(38) Proposals for the establishment of Chairs, Fellowships and academic and related activities which depart from the Policy shall be brought forward for review and approval by the University Council through the Finance Committee and the Academic Board. In these cases the Vice Chancellor, on recommendation of the respective Executive Dean, College Dean, or Pro Vice Chancellor, will propose the establishment of a Chair or Fellowship to the Finance Committee.

(39) The establishment of an Academic Activity shall follow the normal procedure of recommendation by the relevant Executive Dean or College Dean to the Vice Chancellor. If an academic activity is a course of study is must follow approved procedures involving Academic Board and University Council.

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Section 5 - Review

(40) This Policy will be reviewed every three years.