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Release: Dec. 6, 2000

Eighty percent of UI faculty who resigned got better offers elsewhere

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Some 80 percent of the faculty members who resigned from the University of Iowa during fiscal year 1999-2000 did so because they got better job offers from other universities or the private sector, according to an annual report to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

The report, which will be presented to the Regents next week at their monthly meeting, to be held in West Des Moines, indicates that a total of 74 UI faculty resigned in fiscal 1999-2000. Thirty-eight faculty members (51 percent of the total) resigned to take positions with other colleges or universities. Another 21 (28 percent) accepted positions in private practice or opened a private practice or business of their own.

"These statistics are of concern for a couple of reasons," said Provost Jon Whitmore. "First, faculty are leaving for prestigious universities such as Yale, Penn, Columbia and Duke, which is an indication that we are losing some of the best faculty we have.

"Second, we are also losing faculty to peer institutions such as Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State and Arizona," Whitmore added. "These are also top-notch faculty, and their departures for peer institutions is strong evidence of the increasingly competitive faculty market in higher education. We think this argues strongly for our top funding request to state government – full funding of the salary policy."

In an effort to improve faculty retention, Whitmore said his office would pursue two main approaches: improving faculty salaries and improving departmental atmosphere.

In an effort to improve departmental atmosphere, the Provost’s Office is offering a series of workshops for department executive officers. The first workshop featured a panel of experts from around the university. Jude West, a management expert in the UI Tippie College of Business, lead the second workshop, "Managing Change." Terry Curry, professor and director of the School of Labor and Industrial Relations at Michigan State University, conducted a third workshop on faculty performance evaluations as a component of faculty development. Tina Gunsalus, associate provost at the University of Illinois, will conduct a fourth workshop, "Human Resource Skills for Departmental Administrators" in February.

The Provost’s Office is also investigating a program directed toward women faculty based on the "networking/mentoring" model developed by Marilyn Haring, dean of the College of Education at Purdue University.