Investing in Energy to Support Education and Research
The Petroleum Investments Funds (PIF) provide invaluable discretionary resources to help the school attract and support the best faculty and students, develop and maintain outstanding research and teaching facilities, and thus provide the finest educational environment in the country for young Earth scientists and engineers. The terms of the PIF require that the principal be invested primarily in producing oil and gas royalties and other energy-related assets. Operating expenses are kept to a minimum, and a depletion allowance is reinvested to preserve principal. Annual distributions from the PIF provide an assured source of revenue for use at the dean's discretion to fund any need or educational opportunity in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.
Because PIF income is not built into the ongoing operating budget of the school, the dean can use it strategically to take timely advantage of opportunities, to support specific quality improvements, and to meet critical needs for which other funding is not available. In recent years the dean has used PIF income to provide start-up funding and to pay for the completion of laboratory space for new faculty, to purchase computers and scientific equipment, to subsidize the development and teaching of several undergraduate electives and field courses, to support the new Emmett Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), to launch and support the Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science, and to support the development of shared analytical facilities (Examples of facilities or activities).