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I have noticed several special professor titles and I was wondering what are the exact details behind them. For example:

Stan Franklin, W. Harry Feinstone Interdisciplinary Research Professor

I am guessing this is some sort of award but what type of awards come with a title like this? Are these internal or external? Does it last forever or is it tied to funding and then no longer applies?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

This is called an endowed chair.

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Such a simple answer! I figured it was something like that but it proved difficult to google. –  Austin Henley Feb 19 '13 at 1:08
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Please can you add a brief description of what "endowed chair" means, so that the answer stands on its own right, and it will still be meaningful even after someone's changed the wikipedia page to say that it's something to do with chickens. –  EnergyNumbers Feb 19 '13 at 7:42
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@EnergyNumbers: You can add it yourself. This is a collaboratively-edited site after all. =] –  Tara B Feb 19 '13 at 12:32
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@TaraB getting this answer to be better is only a tiny part of the story. It's far more about getting answerers to be in the habit of writing better answers. Link-only answers like this should (and often do) get deleted. –  EnergyNumbers Feb 19 '13 at 12:42
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@EnergyNumbers: I wouldn't say this is a particularly problematic link-only answer. If someone just says "See URL X", then it becomes near-worthless if that site disappears or changes (the only hope would be archive.org). On the other hand, here the phrase "endowed chair" is itself a useful answer. Even if someone vandalized or deleted the Wikipedia entry, searching for this phrase would still lead to valuable information. So I agree that a more detailed answer could be nice, but I'm not too worried about it in this case. –  Anonymous Mathematician Feb 19 '13 at 21:04
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