Faculty bonuses arrive through Stella Porter Russell Fund

Eligible faculty members will receive a salary bonus of approximately $2,200 each in their Nov. 30, 2008 paychecks through projected available resources from the Lester A. and Stella Porter Russell Fund. The Office of the Provost has identified 651 faculty members as eligible according to the parameters set by Stella Porter Russell in her will.

The annual supplement remains the same as that for 2007, which was awarded to 629 faculty members. The net amounts received by individuals will vary based on each person’s employment tax withholdings.

Every year the amount of the supplement is based on the number of faculty who are eligible, the expected spending distribution from the endowment, and the effect of current investment market conditions on the endowment, says Liz Williams, who as SMU treasurer manages the University’s endowment and planned giving assets.

“As a result, there has been some variability from year to year in the distribution amount, but overall this special endowment fund has helped SMU remain competitive in the area of faculty compensation,” she adds.

In her will, Russell stipulated that SMU establish an endowment fund in memory of her late husband and herself, to be used to supplement SMU faculty salaries.

Full-time faculty, including those on paid leave, are eligible for Russell Fund bonuses, as well as visiting professors with 2-year contracts and professors on leave without pay for 1 semester. Eligibility for professors on leave without pay for 2 semesters and administrators is subject to decision by the appropriate dean.

SMU names new treasurer and chief investment officer

Michael A. Condon, an experienced chief investment officer for several universities, has been named University treasurer and chief investment officer, effective Dec. 1, 2008. Condon succeeds Liz Williams, who has served as University treasurer since 1991 and will retire Dec. 31, 2008.

“Mike Condon’s experience in higher education investment management, particularly with sophisticated institutional portfolios much like SMU’s, makes him an excellent fit as SMU’s chief investment officer,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we conduct The Second Century Campaign, Mike’s leadership will ensure that SMU continues the strong stewardship of significant new gifts to our endowment.”

At SMU, Condon will be responsible for oversight of the endowment, mineral interests and planned giving assets. He will plan the work of the Committee on Investments of the Board of Trustees, setting agendas, developing policies, formulating investment strategies, as well as recommending specific investment managers and vehicles for carrying out the investment program. SMU’s endowment was $1.4 billion as of June 30, 2008.

Condon’s experience includes 17 years with funds ranging in size from $400 million to $1.5 billion. As chief investment officer at the University of Arkansas Foundation, he oversaw the investment of its $1.2 billion endowment. Prior to that, he served 10 years as chief investment officer for the Georgia Tech Foundation in Atlanta. Under his direction, assets under the Foundation’s management grew from $400 million to $1.5 billion. In 1991, Condon joined the University of South Alabama Foundation as chief investment officer, where he managed investments totaling $377 million. Before joining that university, he was vice president and treasurer at Altus Bank.

“Considering the challenging economic environment facing the markets, it was very important that we find an individual with the knowledge, leadership and experience to manage SMU’s comprehensive portfolio,” said John C. Tolleson, chair of the Committee on Investments of the SMU Board of Trustees. “I am pleased to welcome Mike Condon to SMU.”

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