The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 13, 2004

UI Faculty Resignations Indicate Salaries A Major Factor

Budget woes would appear to have played a major role in last year's University of Iowa faculty resignations, say UI officials, basing their conclusions on satisfaction surveys taken of resigning faculty in 2003. The surveys show that faculty who are resigning to take jobs elsewhere are quite satisfied with almost all aspects of the university except compensation, which is the area of their greatest dissatisfaction. In fact, the survey shows that the overall satisfaction of resigning faculty was at its highest level in the four-year history of the survey, whereas satisfaction with compensation fell, and was the area of greatest dissatisfaction.

Of the 64 faculty members who resigned from the University of Iowa in fiscal year 2003, 81 percent left to accept better offers at other universities, in government, or the private sector, according to an annual report to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

"Salaries are a major concern, of course, but this year we're also concerned that we have lost more women. Only about 30 percent of our faculty members are women, and this year women represented 42 percent of the resignees," says UI Provost Michael Hogan. "We've seen that percentage rise over the last three years and frankly, we're worried. We need to know what's driving this increase and discover what we can do to reverse it." Unfortunately, however, the satisfaction survey offered no clues: It showed no significant differences in satisfaction in any area by gender or minority status.

The resignation report, which will be presented to the Regents at the Sept. 14 meeting in Iowa City, shows that 33 tenured, tenure-track, or clinical-track faculty members left to accept positions at other institutions of higher education, 20 went to positions in government or the private sector and 11 left for personal reasons. The report reflects the period between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003.

Results of the satisfaction survey, which are included with the resignation report, show that overall satisfaction of resigning faculty has been increasing since the inception of the survey in 2000. In that survey, faculty are asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 representing most satisfied, and 1 representing most dissatisfied. In the 2003 survey, overall satisfaction averaged 3.7, compared with 3.1 in 2000 and 3.5 in 2001.  Satisfaction with compensation averaged 2.9 in 2003, down slightly from previous years.

Resignations occurred in eight of the university's 11 colleges, with the largest number of resignations, not surprisingly, in the largest two colleges, College of Medicine, followed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Of the 64 resignees, 27 were women (42 percent), and 10 were minorities (16 percent).

The number of resignations is down from last year's total of 73, and very close to the ten-year average of 65. Nevertheless, Hogan says his office must be concerned about the numbers. "The faculty who are leaving for what they perceive as better jobs, are among our best. They are a significant loss to Iowa."

SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Charles S. Drum, 319-384-0048, Program: Lee Anna Clark, 319-335-0146,