Investing in Energy to Support Education and Research
The Petroleum Investments Funds (PIF) provide an invaluable discretionary resource 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 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, or to meet critical needs for which other funding is not available. The dean has used PIF income as seed money to launch new programs and activities and as leverage to attract additional or matching funds from other sources. Examples of facilities or activities supported by PIF income include renovating and equipping research laboratories, start-up funding for new faculty, upgrading student computer facilities, providing school-wide desk-top computer support, and funding of technical staff and costs associated with course development and undergraduate teaching initiatives.