Last week the University of Oregon announced that they will be searching for candidates for 39 tenure-track faculty members for the 2018-19 school year.
“We value our students, we want them to have tremendous experiences,” said UO Provost Jayanth Banavar. “All this is sort of the mechanics of how we go about doing it.
These announcements are part of the second year of the school’s Institutional Hiring Plan. The hiring plan is an initiative that centralizes the process so that the provost’s office is in charge of how many new faculty members each college can bring on in a year. Previously, the process had given each college more control of how many faculty members they could hire.
Banavar says that they considered a number of different things when deciding which positions to search for, including if there had been faculty members who left, how the new positions would benefit students, what positions are important for the future of the university and what do the deans and faculty think are the most important positions to students.
The process began in November 2017 and involved faculty members and deans from each college and multiple members of the provost’s office, according to Banavar.
The final list was determined by Banavar with advisement from other members of the provost’s office.
In addition to the 39 job searches for next year, the UO is also continuing as many as 17 searches from this year that have not yet been completed. About 40 faculty members leave the UO every year, because of retirement or new jobs and some of the new searches are replacing those who have left.
“The goal is to take care of our students, and so there has to be a balance between the needs of the university on many fronts and how much money we can invest in bringing in faculty,” said Banavar.
Five of the new positions will be for the Knight Campus, planned to open in 2020, and were funded by a $500 million gift from the Penny and Phil Knight. Also, seven of the new positions are part of a Presidential Initiative in Data Science which is funded by part of the $50 million anonymous gift given to the school at the beginning of the school year, according to the hiring plan. Some of the new business school positions are funded by the extra tuition money brought in through differential tuition that business school students pay.
“How do you determine which 39 new slots you should have recruitments in because it’s a big university?” said Banavar.
Of the 39 new searches, 18 will be in the College of Arts and Science, one will be in the College of Education, two will be in the College of Design, one will be in the School of Law, six will be in the School of Business, three will be in the School of Journalism and Communication three will be in the School of Music and Dance.
“We are very open to getting ideas and suggestions and improving this as time goes on, but I was very pleased with the way it went,” said Banavar.