Over the course of nearly four decades, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has developed an excellent track record of identifying and recruiting outstanding students, both undergraduate and graduate, to Grounds. In 2012 the Foundation moved to further serve the University by launching the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Chaired Professorship Program. This move is an extension of the Foundation’s mission to serve the University by identifying, attracting, and nurturing individuals of extraordinary intellectual range and depth whose contribution and leadership will enhance the University community.
Since the inception of the Program five years ago, the Foundation has established a series of $5 million Chaired Professorships designed to help the president and her academic team attract some of the world’s most outstanding professors to U.Va. To date, the Foundation has raised nearly $40 million for this effort and has established partnerships with the College of Arts & Sciences, the Darden School of Business, the Law School, and the School of Medicine.
In February 2017, the Foundation announced, after an extensive national search, that the Paul T. Jones Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship will be held by Jianhua “JC” Cang, a renowned neurobiology professor from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Professor Cang will begin work at the University of Virginia in the fall of 2017 and will help lead the University’s brain-science research efforts. Currently there are searches underway for the holders of three other Chaired Professorships, and the Foundation expects to announce the next selected candidate within the next 12 to18 months.
The University and the Foundation expect the holders of the Chaired Professorships to be:
- Nationally and internationally recognized scholars and leaders
- Superior classroom teachers who are eager to engage with students
- Dynamic lecturers
- Leading-edge researchers in their fields
- Willing to participate actively in the Jefferson Scholars Foundation community by serving on Foundation selection committees, attending Foundation events, and helping the Jefferson Scholars Foundation recruit Scholars and Fellows
- Individuals whose presence on the faculty will help attract other outstanding colleagues to U.Va.
- Individuals who embrace interdisciplinary collaboration and recognize its value to the creation of new knowledge
- Active in, and involved citizens of, the University community