Office of Academic Affairs

Faculty Recruitment and Retention
Task Force Report - May 31, 2001

2.3 Current Recruitment and Retention Strategies

Interviews were held by task-force members with the Deans of Business (Appendix G), the Dean of Education (Appendix H), the Dean of Law (Appendix I), the Deans, Chairs, and Program Directors of Engineering (Appendix J), Science Chairs and the CIRES Director (Appendix K), and the Deans of Arts and Sciences (Appendix L). While these interviews identified the same key issues (salaries, resources for research, professional isolation, spouse/partner employment) as cited by the faculty interviewed, the administrators also raised additional issues related to strategies for faculty recruitment and retention, as summarized below.

Finding #10 - A supportive environment is critical in faculty recruitment and retention.

Faculty, like all people, desire a sense of appreciation and respect in a community. By engaging with faculty, the chairs, deans, and other administrators can help build this sense of belonging and better know the individual faculty member and his or her needs.

Finding #11 - A range of resources (salary adjustment, reduction in teaching or service load, research support, laboratory facilities, etc.) can be used in faculty recruitment and retention cases, tailored to the individual situation.

Finding #12 - Faculty retention is handled on a case-by-case basis, with pre-emptive adjustments more effective than responses to outside offers.

When a faculty member is dissatisfied and has taken the steps to secure an outside offer, it is difficult (but not impossible) to retain him or her. Pre-emptive action when a faculty member is vulnerable to looking around and being courted elsewhere is often more effective and less costly. It is important that the chairs and deans are engaged with their faculty and recognize situations where pre-emptive action is needed. Flexibility to address retention cases throughout the year (with salary commitments implemented at the normal raise time) and the ability to respond to external market forces are also important. Also, retention raises given directly from the unit salary pool may create difficulties in intradepartmental relationships.

Finding #13 - In faculty recruiting, primary reasons for losing recruits include higher salaries, larger startup packages, housing subsidies, better benefits including dependent tuition, better office and laboratory facilities, more opportunities for spouse/partner employment, and higher reputation or ranking of competing institutions.

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Last modified: April 8, 2005