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 Thursday that he is committing $16 million to UF for an endowment that will be used to hire and support four faculty positions 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 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, 74, is a longtime Arthur Andersen & Co. executive who now lives in Houston. He 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 comes at a time when UF president Bernie Machen is trying to reduce the ratio of student-to-tenure and tenure-track faculty so UF can compete with the likes of 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 it needs to be closer to 13:1 or 14:1.
Warrington's gift is also a boon to UF's universitywide $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.