Pittsburgh Business Executive William F. Benter's $1M Gift Creates Visiting Professorship

Issue Date: 
January 8, 2007

UCIS professorship will bring to Pitt renowned scholars on international issues
Pitt has received a $1 million gift from Pittsburgh business executive William F. Benter to establish The University Center for International Studies (UCIS) Endowed Visiting Professorship in Contemporary International Issues.

The visiting professorship will bring to Pitt renowned scholars with expertise in international issues affecting influential regions of the world. The University initially will seek academics with a special interest in the Middle East to fill the professorship, which will be directed by Pitt’s Global Studies Program.

“The University of Pittsburgh has long been committed to scholarship in international studies and to an even more fundamental mission—preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s world leaders,” said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. “This generous gift from Bill Benter, who has a special appreciation for this mission because of his own international involvements, will provide a big boost to those efforts, and we are deeply grateful for his support.”

A Pittsburgh native, Benter is chair and international CEO of Acusis, a Pittsburgh-headquartered medical transcription company with hospital clients throughout the United States. During the past year, Acusis has been honored as a finalist in the Pittsburgh chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals’ Annual Greater Pittsburgh Business Ethics Awards, as a Medical Transcription Industry Association Beacon Award finalist for excellence in billing practices, and in the Pittsburgh Business Times 2006 Pittsburgh 100, which honors the fastest-growing, privately held companies in the region.

“In an increasingly globalized society, it is essential to explore varied perspectives on critical international issues,” said Albert J. Novak Jr., vice chancellor for Pitt’s Office of Institutional Advancement. “Having this new resource at Pitt will allow us to expose the academic and broader communities to a fuller range of questions and potential answers to pressing worldwide concerns.”

This gift contributes to Pitt’s continued commitment to increase the number of endowed funds to support students and faculty in their academic and research pursuits. Since 1997, the University has increased its endowed funds by 95 percent.

The federal government has designated five UCIS centers as National Resource Centers, recognizing them among the few centers of this kind in the nation.

In addition, UCIS is home to one of only 10 European Union Centers of Excellence in the United States, funded by the European Union. UCIS offers a variety of international programs through its centers and affiliates.