Frank (BSCHE 1981) and Jennifer Seidel kicked off a campaign to fund a chaired professor position in The Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering with a $50,000 contribution. As chair of the CHME Academy, Frank is leading a group of alumni in raising funds to make this dream a reality. Shown here with wife Jennifer, their two granddaughters, and NMSU Chancellor Gary Carruthers, the Seidel’s gift to seed this chair is commemorated near their home in Denver.
Jacob Perea (father of CHME Associate Professor, Dr. Jessica Houston) pledged $25,000 to this chair.
Chaired faculty positions are endowed, in that the money provided for the salary, and some other benefits (e.g., a dedicated assistant) or increased research funds comes from the interest on donated principal, which is part of the school’s overall endowment.
The primary purpose of an endowed CHME chair is to attract academic excellence to NMSU CHME and to give that individual a competitive (monetary) advantage over others researching in the same field. CHME will use the incentive of an endowed chair to attract a highly-recruited candidate to the program.
The faculty in CHME at NMSU are evaluated by their performance in the following areas (as found in the CHME Functions & Criteria Statement): (1) Teaching & Advising; (2) Externally Funded Research; (3) Scholarship & Creative Activities; (4) Service, Extension, & Outreach; and (5) Leadership. To be successful, some of these tasks require the faculty member identify initial sources of funding. Success in building an internationally acclaimed and externally-funded research program within their field can be difficult without seed funding that can be leveraged toward obtaining federal funding.
A researcher with a novel idea that is consistent with the goals of a federal program or funding agency can build a stronger proposal by performing some preliminary research that demonstrates the idea is feasible. This groundwork inevitably requires resources such as lab expendables, equipment, instrumentation, and/or personnel time. Holding an endowed chair affords the faculty member some discretionary funding with which to explore and demonstrate feasibility of such ideas, thereby strengthening subsequent grant proposal request.
CHME Academy members under Frank’s leadership hope to reach a fundraising goal of $2 million to support the position. For more information about contributing to the CHME endowed chair, please contact Mark Gladden, NMSU director of development, at 575-373-5156.