The endowment allows Cornell to attract faculty members who excel in their fi elds and who are committed to carrying on the legacy of quality teaching in a caring environment.
“The truth is that we compete with institutions that offer better salaries, in large part because they have larger endowments,” said President Les Garner. “We must continue to offer students and faculty members an environment characterized by small classes and opportunities for students and faculty members to work together outside the classroom.”
Cornell has been fortunate to receive a number of endowments over the years that support faculty initiatives, such as traveling to conferences, course enhancement, faculty-student research, and more. The McConnell Fellowships alone have funded 32 full-time faculty members—most at $5,000—to support their scholarly projects. Best-selling economics textbook author Campbell McConnell ’50 and his wife, Marilyn, gave $1 million to establish the endowment in 1996. The fellowships are competitive, based on proposals faculty submit.
Todd Knoop, associate professor of economics and business, said the fellowships inspire faculty to do more—and better—things. As a recipient, he said the funds gave him the freedom to reduce his time in the classroom for a semester while he completed his book on economic depressions and recessions, which will be published this fall.
“I also was able to hire a student last summer to serve as a research assistant on the book,” he said. “She did everything from helping proof, to setting up fi gures and tables, and doing some basic research.”