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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

University of Florida alumnus donates gift worth $32 million to business school

10

September

H_Warrington Al Warrington, the generous University of Florida alumnus whose name already graces the UF College of Business Administration, is feeling more generous.

Warrington, a UF trustee and 1958 graduate, announced this morning that he is committing $16-million to UF for an endowment that will be used to hire and support additional faculty for the business school -- one of the state university's largest and most popular colleges. Salary and benefits for the positions will come entirely from the income generated by the newly created Warrington Faculty Fellows Endowment. The four faculty positions will be in accounting and entrepreneurship, as well as in other areas still being determined.

The gift is eligible for state matching funds, which means the value of the donation is as much as $32 million.

Warrington, a longtime Arthur Andersen & Co. executive who now lives in Houston, said the business college and its faculty are remarkably strong but have the potential to be even better.

“We haven’t added enough professors, as evidenced by a very high student/teacher ratio," Warrington said. "I hope this gift will encourage others to join in supporting this singularly most important need at our college of business.”

The gift is timely, coming at a time when UF president Bernie Machen is trying to reduce the ratio of tenure and tenure-track faculty so that UF can compete with universities like the University of Michigan and Berkeley. He recently announced he will use $10 million in federal stimulus cash to hire as many as 100 tenure and tenure-track faculty. The ratio of students to tenured and tenure-track professors at UF is now 20:1. Machen said the ratio needs to be closer to 13:1 or 14:1.

Warrington’s gift is also a boon to UF’s university-wide $1.5 billion capital campaign, titled “Florida Tomorrow.” In 1996, UF’s college of business was named for Warrington, a longtime donor and supporter. He is one of the original members of the UF Board of Trustees, established in 2001, and continues to serve.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:35am]

    

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