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Retention offers are biased against women, minorities

Thanks to a reader for the link:

In US higher education, faculty members may receive an outside offer of employment from an external organization, and then receive a corresponding counteroffer from their current institution. Counteroffers are written contracts made to individuals — either prematurely in anticipation of an outside offer, but most often after an outside offer — that outline improved salary, benefits, and/or other employment conditions with the hopes of retaining them. Though the norm of the “retention offer” is pervasive in the academy, in practice it can be much more nebulous, inefficient, discretionary, and inequitable. Few studies, however, empirically examine this process. In this study, we analyze quantitative institutional and survey data collected from 650 faculty by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) to explore whether certain populations of faculty are more likely to receive counteroffers, and why. We found that women and racially minoritized scholars were less likely to receive counteroffers, and identified other factors that impact reception of counteroffers like faculty members’ desire to leave and their notification of leadership. We conclude by situating findings within extant research and offering implications for future research on counteroffers and their practice in faculty retention.From the study:

FWIW the UO administration under Schill refused to participate in the COACHE survey on campus climate because they were afraid of what the comparisons to other universities would show. So instead of paying $25K to COACHE (based at a Harvard) UO paid Gallup $350K. Expensive face-saving.

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