All state four-year institutions of higher education shall be eligible for matching trust funds. An institution may apply to the office for two hundred fifty thousand dollars from the fund when the institution can match the state funds with an equal amount of pledged or contributed private donations or with funds received through legislative appropriation specifically for the G. Robert Ross distinguished faculty award and designated as being qualified to be matched from trust fund moneys. These donations shall be made specifically to the professorship program, and shall be donated after July 1, 1985.
Upon an application by an institution, the office may designate two hundred fifty thousand dollars from the trust fund for that institution's pledged professorship. If the pledged two hundred fifty thousand dollars is not received within three years, the office shall make the designated funds available for another pledged professorship.
Once the private donation is received by the institution, the office shall ask the state treasurer to release the state matching funds to a local endowment fund established by the institution for the professorship.