Schulze Distinguished Professorship Program

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation announces the establishment of a funded professorship program intended to further the field of entrepreneurship education by identifying the most capable minds in the discipline and providing resources for pursuit of their ideas and scholarship. Dick Schulze, founder of Best Buy and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has a strong commitment to support entrepreneurship research and education. In so doing, his goal is to "meaningfully improve the odds of success for future generations of entrepreneurs."

The Foundation intends to further this cause of its founder by awarding funding to the country's most accomplished entrepreneurship scholars who are infusing into their teaching the results of original and meaningful research they are conducting. The work of these extraordinary faculty members will serve to enhance entrepreneurship education nationwide across a wide range of higher educational institutions and benefit students in the finest colleges and universities across the country who will go on to become the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Three Schulze distinguished professorships will be selected annually, based upon merit and accomplishment, by a committee appointed by the Foundation. The committee will consist of scholars who have been previously honored with Schulze Professorships and Ann Winblad, a trustee and very successful entrepreneur and business practitioner will will represent the Foundation. Distinguished Professorships will be awarded to mature academicians who are senior associate or full professors whose careers are flourishing and who are contributing significantly to their discipline.

Distinguished Professors will receive renewable awards of $50,000, annually, over a three-year term of appointment, and at the end of funding, will become permanent, emeritus members of the RMSFF Schulze distinguished professorship program. These awards will be announced at the annual EIX conference, sponsored by the Foundation. Each distinguished professor will be asked to publish the results of his/her thought leadership contributions through EIX before the end of initial funding and will be required to acknowledge Foundation sponsorship of that research in any way it might be used. Brief annual reports on the use of award funds will be due in years one and two and a more complete summary will be required in year three, at which time application for renewal will be considered.

The Foundation seeks to identify and invest in people, not specific projects. Schulze distinguished professors may use funds to support their various scholarly activities and research as they see fit. Award winners are supported in pursuit of their best ideas. Appropriate use of funds includes travel, equipment, supplies or technology and other expenses related to research; graduate assistantships; summer salaries; scholarships; and/or course release funding. Funding will typically result from a RMSFF grant issues to the university employing the Schulze distinguished professor. No university overhead or administrative expense is allowed to be taken from awards, but the Foundation will entertain proposals from institutions for an additional three to 5 percent administration fee when deemed necessary. Schulze distinguished professorships are awarded to individual professors. In the event an awardee changes institutions during the period of the award, the professorship and its funding shall remain with the recipient.

The Schulze distinguished professorship, along with EIX and its related programs, will continue to expand on a national scale the influence and goal of the founder as the University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship launches its quest for greater impact and national recognition.