In 1997, the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 1, a plan designed to reform
the state’s system of higher education. The goal was to develop a “seamless, integrated
system of postsecondary education strategically planned and adequately funded to enhance
economic development and quality of life.”
A key element of this initiative is the Endowment Match Program which encourages private
investment in public higher education research activities to stimulate business development,
generate increases in externally sponsored research, create better jobs and a higher
standard of living and facilitate Kentucky’s transition to a knowledge-based economy.
The program matches state funds dollar-for-dollar with private gifts to grow endowments
to fund endowed chairs, professorships, research scholars, research staff, graduate
fellowships, undergraduate scholarships, research infrastructure and mission support
at these institutions. This collaborative approach is critical to advancing Kentucky’s
research presence into national prominence.
State funds for the program are appropriated to the Research Challenge Trust Fund
(RCTF) for the research institutions and to the Regional University Excellence Trust
Fund (RUETF) for the comprehensive institutions. The Endowment Match Program received
surplus General Fund appropriations of $110 million in 1998-99 and $120 million in
2000-01. The legislature debt funded another $120 million for the program in 2003-04.
Murray State’s share of this funding totaled $8,490,787 and since it has succeeded
in completely matching all eligible funds, its total endowments equal $16,981,574.
Another round of Bucks for Brains funding of $60 million was made available to Kentucky’s
public colleges and universities during the 2008-10 biennium in recognition to the
success and popularity of the program. Since the inception of the program in 1998,
Murray State has received $10,070,787 in state matching funds and $10,070,787 in private
matching funds for a total endowment increase of $20,141,574.
With these endowment funds, the University has been able to establish two endowed chairs and five endowed professorships. Both chairs and all five of the professorships were filled during the reporting period
2015-2016. All endowed chairs and professorships reported expenditure activity during
the fiscal year. In addition, 29 endowed scholarships and five mission support endowments have been established. The results are enhanced teacher
training quality as well as improved instruction and research in financial planning
and creative writing. The endowed scholarships have helped provide greater access
to higher education.