Coltrane discusses efforts to keep UO faculty from leaving

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG, here: (whoops, link fixed)

University of Oregon interim President Scott Coltrane on Wednesday outlined his plan to keep top UO faculty from getting picked off by wealthier universities — in the wake of two high-profile departures to the University of Chicago earlier this fall.

Coltrane told the academic and student affairs committee of the UO Board of Trustees that he has a new faculty retention plan.

“We lost those two to the University of Chicago,” he said. “We lost somebody to Missouri. We lost actually four or five to Penn State — one to the University of Florida, one to the country of Norway.”

In total, over the past four years, competing institutions have poached 25 tenured or tenure-track UO faculty.

… The hardest items to match when marauding universities (sic) knock is laboratory space, instruments and more research graduate students.

Salaries aren’t the problem, Coltrane said. “Professors’ salaries are just not that high. We can often match the salary,” he said.

Really? I thought the well was dry, especially now that our new interim VP for Research Brad Shelton is at the trough with the other JH admins.

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12 Responses to Coltrane discusses efforts to keep UO faculty from leaving

  1. Dog says:

    Coltrane is mostly right here – the lack of a robust graduate program, new graduate student opportunities and almost non-existent cyber research infrastructure is a serious problem
    which will also compromise the “approved” cluster hires. It’s been like this for years and years – it seems to take an awfully long time for acknowledgement of real inadequacies around here.

  2. Anas Clypeata says:

    It’s not just good faculty leaving the UO. Poor management has led to the loss of many exceptional OAs and staff, people who spent years trying to do the right thing and speak truth to power, and who finally got fed up with the bullshit.

    And there are plenty of faculty who have spent years trying to make a structural difference at the UO and have finally given up and decided to focus on doing the things that they enjoy and to heck with the rest of it.

    We have lost many of the great ones, and many of those who are still here have either given up hope or aren’t good enough to have better options. Not everyone, mind you, and certainly not you, dear reader, but many.

    And don’t get me started on the inequitable salary structure for people doing similar jobs in different schools, colleges, or departments. I guess faculty are in that boat too, though.

  3. Ahem says:

    Coltrane is either unaware of the facts or deliberately misleading when he says we are matching salary offers with places like Chicago.

    And even if we were, it’s a big problem that people aren’t getting adequate merit raises while they’re here. So they have to seek outside offers to keep their salaries at market rate, and even if they’re just looking for leverage back home, that gives other places an opportunity to tempt them away for real.

  4. cough, cough.... says:

    UO is riddled with dysfunctional, graduate students that paid over fair market value for their capabilities and commitment and upper administrators blinded by a green($$$$$) out. FWIW, many discussions trying to recruit faculty and grad students revealed that UO is widely regarded as a football and party school and not a serious research University.

    • just different says:

      Waitaminit. Who gives a crap why undergrads come here, but you’re saying that faculty and grad students pass on UO because it’s a “football and party school”? And you’re saying that you have first-hand experience of this? I don’t believe you. Let’s here the evidence.

      • uomatters says:

        Thanks for your comment. Now start using a consistent screen name.

        • just different says:

          I was using a consistent screen name until you told me to change it, which I did, and have since been using it consistently.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ultra-low salaries most definitely are a big part of the problem with respect to faculty retention in the Humanities where the stock response from CAS is “Sorry, but we can’t match that or even come close.” Coltrane knows this full well, but book-publishing professors in the Humanities just aren’t a priority for an institution that seems to have given up completely on its AAU status.

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