By Andrew Gauss
Boise State University held its first endowed chair installation ceremony recently, with Steven Feldstein and John Freemuth being installed as the holders of the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs and the Cecil D. Andrus Chair for Environment and Public Lands, respectively.
The boards of the Cecil D. Andrus Center for Public Policy and the Frank Church Institute recognized the significance of an endowed chair for their missions and, after many years of dedicated fundraising, established the positions at Boise State.
Feldstein, associate professor in the School of Public Service, is the holder of the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs. Feldstein also is a nonresident fellow at the CarnegieEndowment for International Peace’s Democracy and Rule of Law Program. Previously, he served as a deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of democracy, human rights, and labor at the U.S. Department of State; the director of the office of policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development; and as counsel on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His research interests include U.S. foreign policy, counterterrorism, technology, democracy and human rights.
Freemuth is the executive director of the Cecil D. Andrus Center for Public Policy and holder of the Cecil D. Andrus Chair for Environment and Public Lands. He also is a professor of public policy and administration in the School of Public Service at Boise State. An author of several publications, Freemuth is a leader among the academic community in translating complicated and multi-layered scientific and political thinking to a broad audience. His primary academic interest is with the public lands of the United States.
Endowed professorships and chairs honor and recognize the distinction of faculty members’ prominence in their respective fields, while providing invaluable financial support, above and beyond salary, for use in research, teaching or service activities.
As the university continues to grow and advance the status of its research enterprise, endowed chairs and other endowed positions are increasingly important to competitively recruit and retain the excellent faculty who nurture our students, create new knowledge and maintain Boise State’s trajectory of innovation.