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Fueling Faculty Who Discover, Teach, And Mentor

Posted: Monday, August 15, 2022

By Andrew Carter ’07, M’14

Generations of students matriculate at UE, undergo life-changing educational experience, and graduate ready to think critically, act bravely, serve responsibly, and live meaningfully in a changing world.

The confidence with which they approach the world is due in no small part to one of the brightest gems that shines at the University of Evansville: Our faculty.

UE students benefit from faculty members dedicated to their success. From day one, doors, phone lines, and – in many cases – homes, are open to students as they navigate the challenges of education, profession, and the future. It is this deeper connection to faculty that allows students to succeed.

“Our faculty are tremendous educators and tremendous people who work so well with our students. And we need to support them,” said Sally Rideout ’91, member of UE’s Board of Trustees.

While guiding students is certainly a key piece of teaching at any university, so too is remaining at the forefront of the field to which they belong. “Even though our faculty members have advanced or terminal degrees, they didn’t stop learning when they finished those degrees,” said Rob Shelby, PhD, chief diversity officer. “They have committed themselves to the continual learning in order to help their students gain what they need for the future.”

This is why one of the pillars of Forward will allow the University to increase funding for professional development and growth for faculty. This investment will be focused in a few key areas:

  • Endowed chairs and professorships: Thanks to the generous support of donors through the years, UE has established 11 endowed faculty positions, including two new ones that were endowed Spring 2022: the Wargel Endowed Chair in Chemistry and the Wargel Endowed Chair in Physician Assistant Science. These positions are crucial to enhancing teaching and learning at UE. Endowed positions allow the University to attract luminary faculty from across the country and retain those whose research, teaching, and service are exemplary. In addition, endowed positions give UE an edge in recruiting faculty in engineering, the arts and sciences, and health professions.
  • Academic Department Funds: Whether it is a specific piece of equipment, subscription to a database, updated software, or anything else – departments know what it takes to support the advancement of faculty and students in their areas. Forward aims to provide the funds to supply the resources that help us push the envelope.
  • Student/Faculty Research: UE prides itself on offering extensive opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in fields from the sciences to the arts to conduct original research with the guidance of faculty.
  • Faculty Development: Faculty development funds keep our faculty on the cutting edge-whether it’s sending faculty to workshops to learn new teaching strategies or a conference to deepen their knowledge in their field, or directly supporting their research.

“The heart of the university is the teaching/ learning process. In order to do that, you’ve got to have talent. And your talent is your faculty. Unless you have a really talented faculty, your university is going to be mediocre.” — Rose Mays ’67, Board of Trustees member

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