The University of Pennsylvania will create 50 new endowed professorships over the next four years, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary research and teaching, global and international affairs and diversity, the school announced on Wednesday.

The university will provide matching funds to encourage donors to support the new professor jobs, the university said.

George Weiss, trustee emeritus, and Richard Vague, a member of Penn's medicine board, also have pledged matching funds to create new professorships in the Perelman School of Medicine.

"This is one of the best investments we can make in the future of Penn, the future of discovery and ultimately the future of our country," Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a statement.

Some of the new professors will have dual appointments in two schools to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration, a focus of Gutmann's since her arrival.

The new appointments will come in addition to the 118 endowed professorships created with funds from the university's recently completed capital campaign.

In another development, Arcadia University on Wednesday morning announced its first donor-designated endowed chair in the school's history. Created with a $1 million donation from Rosemary Deniken Blankley, a 1957 graduate, and her husband, Walter Blankley, the endowed chair in education will be filled by Ellen Skilton-Sylvester, professor of education and chair of the department of curriculum, cultures and child/youth studies at Arcadia.

Skilton-Sylvester is in her 10th year at Arcadia.