1. Introduction

a) This policy guides the establishment of Chairs, Professorships, Lectureships, Fellowships and other academic positions through private and other external support, including jointly funded positions, as a means of enhancing academic programs and fields of study which are consistent with the University’s scholarly plans, objectives and mission.

b) Initiatives may arise from a variety of sources: individual benefactors, community organisations, institutions such as hospitals, religious orders, government agencies, corporations, foundations, academic units themselves, or from unrestricted funds available to a Faculty, School or Institute or the University.

c) The University welcomes long-term industry and community collaboration through the support of academic posts. These posts are usually at the level of full professor and provide a critical research focus in an area of common interest to the sponsor and the University.

d) A Chair, Professorship, Lectureship or Fellowship will from its inception be attached to a Faculty, Centre or Institute of the University and will have the approval of the relevant Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor prior to the seeking of external funds.

e) This policy is one in the suite of inter-related policies adopted by the University to guide its fundraising and development activities and should be read in that context. The full suite can be found here: http://www.acu.edu.au/policy/136622

2. Definition

a) For the purposes of this policy, ‘Post’ refers to any academic post and not just a professorship.

3. Academic Freedom and Integrity

a) Any proposal or agreement for external funding for a Post will be in the context of the University’s commitment to academic freedom and integrity. In particular,

The University may accept donations, gifts or other contributions where they support and enhance its
reputation and are consistent with the principles of academic freedom, especially with regard to

  • The manner in which research is undertaken;
  • Any findings and conclusions that are made;
  • Publication of any research; and,
  • The methods in which results of academic activities are disseminated. (ACU Policy on Acceptance and Treatment of Donations, April 2008).

4. Funding Arrangements

Under the University’s policies, there are a number of ways in which Posts can be funded from private or other external sources. A checklist is attached to assist in discussions with potential donors and funding partners.

4.1 Endowment

a) An endowment is created through a donation or a bequest with the capital being maintained in real terms (unless specifically requested otherwise by the donor) and the interest earned used to fund a position, e.g., Chair in Educational Leadership.

b) The University may nominate particular terms in consultation with the donor in accepting the gift.
The terms of the endowment must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

c) The terms should permit appropriate alternative distribution of the income by the University if the subject area of the endowed Post ceases to be consistent with the University's mission or academic plans. Any alternative distribution shall be as closely related to the donor's apparent original intent as is feasible.

d) If the income from an endowment is not sufficient to fund a position then a pledge may be sought for a sufficient annual donation to complete the funding for the position, e.g. Chair in Philosophy (an endowment plus a three year donor commitment).

4.2. Pledged Annual Donations

a) A Post may be funded through an annual pledge from either a single or multiple donors. Such donations must be pledged for a minimum period of five years, e.g. Lecturer in Ecclesiastical Latin.

b) A Post may be funded through pledged donations from a number of donors. The proportion to be funded by each donor must be specified.

4.3 Sponsorship

a) The University may enter into a commercial partnership with an external body or bodies where the sponsor(s) commits to fund the total employment costs of the Post for a minimum period of five years (initial three years plus a two year extension), e.g., Chair in Ageing (Veterans & Community).

b) In the case of multiple sponsors, the proportion to be funded by each sponsor must be specified.

c) The sponsor(s) of a Post may be invited to have input to the selection process, including
participation in the selection panel. Having regard to its commitment to academic freedom and
integrity however, the University retains the ultimate responsibility for the selection of staff.

4.4 Jointly Funded

a) The University may enter into a partnership with an external body or bodies to jointly fund a Post, where the external partner(s) commits to fund at least of 50 per cent of the total employment cost for a minimum period of five years (initial three years plus a two year extension).

b) The funding agreement should clearly identify cash and in-kind elements for

i. The total employment costs of the Post;
ii. Any other support for the Post, such as research or administrative support;
iii. Budget for travel and other expenditure;
iv. Provision of and access to facilities including office and research facilities both at the
University and the funding partner’s premises if appropriate;
v. Any other elements considered appropriate and necessary for the effective functioning of the Post; and,
vi. The respective obligations of the parties in meeting these commitments.

c) If any support personnel are provided by the University under the funding agreement, they will be engaged by the University under its employment provisions and vice versa if engaged by the funding partner.

d) The funding partner(s) of a Post may be invited to have input to the selection process, including participation in the selection panel. Having regard to its commitment to academic freedom and integrity however, the University retains the ultimate responsibility for the selection of staff.

5. Sources and Acceptance of Funds

a) The University will only accept funds from sources that are deemed appropriate having regard to
its objectives as specified in its Mission Statement. These sources must not engage in, or have an association with illegal or immoral activities, or such other activities as the University may proscribe from time to time.

b) Decisions on accepting funds for Posts rest with the Vice-Chancellor.

6. Naming of Chairs

a) Proposals for naming any of the above in honour of a generous donor or supporter are encouraged and welcomed.

b) These will be assessed in accordance with the Policy for Honouring Donors and Benefactors through Naming. In particular if ‘a substantial benefaction has been made by that person or organisation, or by an associated person or organisation’, where "a substantial benefaction" means:

the gift to the University must at a minimum support the nominated activity or activities in full or, where authorised by the Vice-Chancellor, in substantial part; or

where the nominated activity is funded on an annual basis, rather than by endowment, the full sum to fund the activity should be provided for a minimum period of three years, except in the case of staff positions, where the minimum period will be five years.

c) No proposal, offer or invitation regarding naming may be made without prior consultation with and support of the Fundraising and Development Office to ensure consistency with University policy.

d) Decisions on the naming of Posts shall be in accordance with the University’s Policy for Honouring Donors and Benefactors through Naming.

e) The person or organisation to be honoured must not be or have been engaged in, or associated with, activities which are inconsistent with the University’s Mission and values.

f) The University may withdraw the use of a name for a Post where it judges that subsequent events or information indicates that the use of that name would be inconsistent with its Mission and values.

7. Agreements and Contracts

a) Where an agreement is made between the University and a partner to establish a Post then an initial Memorandum of Understanding should be signed between the parties at the start of discussions. A model MOU is available from the Fundraising and Development Office.

b) When the funding has been successfully secured, a contract stating the terms and conditions of the funding, payments process, terms of engagement and respective responsibilities, variation and cancellation conditions, review of the Post’s performance, and reappointment to the Post
must be signed prior to commencement of the appointment process. Such contracts must be
approved by the Executive Director of University Services prior to signing.

8. Fundraising

a) Should a Faculty, Centre or Institute wish to establish a Post through a fundraising campaign, a proposal must be submitted to the Fundraising and Development Office for evaluation and possible inclusion in its annual fundraising plan, for review and ultimate endorsement by the Vice-Chancellor. All proposals must be consistent with University and Faculty Strategic Plans and other relevant plans.

b) Fundraising campaigns will not be undertaken by the Fundraising and Development Office unless there is sufficient evidence of donor prospects to give the campaign the opportunity to be successful.

c) Approval to fill the position will be contingent upon the receipt of a specified amount by the nominated closing date of the campaign.

d) If there is a shortfall in the required minimum funding for the position, there should be either

  • a provision for optional use of the funds raised, or
  • a commitment from the Vice-Chancellor and/or the Dean to fund any deficiency from the University or the Faculty’s available unrestricted funds.

9. Financial Arrangements

a) The funding provided for a Post should be based on the total employment costs of the Post. This would include the recruitment and appointment costs, on-costs as well as re-location expenses if any.

b) In the case of a professorship, an agreed budget should also be included in the overall funding for research and support to ensure significant research outcomes for both the sponsor and ACU National and the best possible value for the position.

c) Proponents of projects should consult with the Fundraising and Development Office to confirm the appropriate amounts.

d) An appointment may not proceed until the relevant Dean is satisfied that the funds are in place and has authorised recruitment action to commence.

e) If the amount available is not sufficient to fund a particular appointment under the terms of this policy, the appointment may not proceed until the Dean of the Faculty has agreed and the recipient Faculty, Centre or Institute has consulted with the Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor as appropriate to develop a plan for meeting the balance of the cost from funds already available. As the return from investments may change, the Fundraising and Development Office must be consulted prior to commitment being made from existing
endowment funds.

10. Goods and Services Tax

a) Generally, donations from individuals are not subject to GST.

b) However, donations and sponsorships by a business or corporation would be subject to GST, particularly if the project is ‘named’ in appreciation of the donor or sponsor. To ensure the University receives the full value of the gift, the organisation should be advised of the need to allow for GST. For its part, the University will issue a tax invoice to enable to the organisation to recover any GST paid.

c) No GST is liable in funding arrangements between ACU National and other Catholic organisations.

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