$2.5 million endowment for SBA lays groundwork for change

By: Louis De Gruy – Assistant Online Editor

The University of Dayton has received a $2.5 million bequest from a local Dayton couple in October to aid in the acquisition of top faculty talent in the School of Business Administration. The gift will be used to establish the R. Lucille Schaefer and Norman M. Schaefer Endowed Professorship in Advertising and Marketing.

Now, the School of Business Administration must determine how best to lay the groundwork for the endowment.

James Brothers, senior director of development and principal gifts at UD, said the recipient of the endowed chair will play an integral role in developing the marketing department.

Senior marketing professor Randy Sparks, Ph.D., said the marketing department at the School of Business Administration is in the process of drafting a proposal to create the endowed chair position. Following that, the dean of the School of Business Administration will meet with Provost Paul Benson to finalize details of the endowed chair position.

According to Sparks, interviews with candidates should begin in the spring of 2016 and conclude next fall, with the selected recipient of the position beginning work at UD in fall 2017.

“The thing about hiring for faculty positions is that start dates have to flow with the academic calendar,” Sparks said. “In business, if I needed to hire someone, they could start in a much shorter time frame, but working with this schedule gives us a measured pace that allows us to be very thorough in our vetting of candidates.”

Much of that search process differs from how a junior faculty member might be hired. In that case, it’s much more straightforward to find applicants who are seeking employment. Because of the nature of the endowed chair position, Sparks stated that the search committee will be looking for someone with a great reputation as a world-class researcher and educator, with the “hot hand in terms of scholarship and research” while also being regarded in teaching circles as a great educator.

Because of these qualifications, a successful candidate will more than likely already be employed at another institution.

Sparks remarked that a great deal of networking will be required in order to scout for potential candidates.
“In this kind of a search, it’s more likely that we go to them and ask, ‘Will you apply?’ as opposed to simply asking people to come to us with their applications,” he explained.

When asked why the Schaefers, who themselves never attended UD, chose this university to receive this endowment fund, Sparks replied, “I think that… marketing can make people’s lives better. When you… provide real value to people who buy your product, you’re improving their lives. So I think Mr. Schaefer and Mrs. Schaefer believed in the power of marketing, and they saw that the ability to use their money as a means of educating future generations of marketers… would ultimately make people’s lives better.”

James Calvano, president of the UD chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity, said the gift will be great benefit to the School of Business Administration.

“The Marketing Department at UD plays an integral role to the education of many students on campus, whether they’re studying marketing, public relations or communications, marketing plays a major role.”

Regarding the Schaefer’s bequest, Brothers said, “Ultimately, they wanted to make a difference, and they wanted to make a transformational gift that would have impact on students for perpetuity.”