Can be read here. Really good stuff. His explication on how donors think and why they contribute so much to buildings not artists is quite fascinating and I hope to have a follow up post soon teasing out the implications of it.
An endowed chair is restricted funds, meaning it can only be used to cover one thing. An arts organization is like any other business, generally things work better when you have as few strings on your cash as possible.
I'd much rather see an arts organization aggressively push their annual fund and make it clear that "we use this money to pay artists more" . . . and then actually pay them more.
I think (correct me if I'm wrong here, Adam) where this quibble flows from is that Adam believes that donors aren't resistant to funding people rather than buildings, it's that they're generally unaware that the people are so underfunded. Therefore there's no real need for a new funding model for artists, we just need institutions to use the old model correctly.
Since it comes to us from the University world, I should also point out that at most Universities decisions around who gets these chairs are HIGHLY political affairs.
So before an arts organization started trying to endow seats there would have to be a clear, detailed set of standards around how you qualify the seats, how long people can stay in the seats, etc. Those details would have to be public and transparent, or things can get real messy.
I agree with this, but it is worth pointing out that this idea doesn't just come from the academic world. Many orchaestras, ballet and opera companies all do this (or some close variation of this) and there's probably a lot we could learn from their experiences on how to set up such a thing properly.