The Food Science Building isn’t the only thing being named after Rodney Erickson.
The Board of Trustees announced the Rodney A. Erickson Discovery Grant Program on Friday in honor of his decades of service in academia to Penn State. The grant, which will allow students to receive funding for special projects, has an initial goal of $1 million, $500,000 of which has already been raised.
In order to receive funding for a project, students will be required to submit a project proposal based on their field of study along with a letter of endorsement from a faculty mentor who will supervise their work. Faculty mentors will be required to assist the student in developing their research along with connecting them with both professional and public audiences once the project is completed.
Students who receive funding will be expected to devote a minimum of 10 hours per week to their projects during the academic year, with a longer commitment in the summer. At the completion of their projects, recipients will be required to submit a final report along with their faculty mentor to the Office of Undergraduate Education, who will keep an archive of completed projects.
My two cents: This appears to be quite a sound way to spend money, unlike some other endeavors. Erickson made some controversial decisions as president, sure, but his work in academia is unquestionable and this is a fine way to represent that.