University to change way it fills faculty vacancies

Rachel Abbey

The university will take a more strategic approach to hiring faculty members beginning July 1, Provost Paul Gaston said. After that date, if a position opens, the department will need authorization granted by a dean’s council before it can begin recruitment.

“Deans made those decisions in the past,” Gaston said. “But they made them in isolation.”

The council will allow more strategic allocations, strengthening the university as a whole, Gaston said. The deans will meet once or twice a year under the oversight of the provost’s office to discuss the accumulated open positions. They will examine the funds used for the former positions and decide which department would be best served by those funds.

For example, if positions opened in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Nursing, each worth $50,000, the deans would decide where the $150,000 would be best used.

Before, individual deans filled these positions with oversight from the provost’s office, Gaston said. This will require more cooperation.

“It’s a regrettable but understandable situation,” said Lawrence Marks, associate dean of the College of Business Administration.

It is unfortunate the lines of funding will not be able to directly return to the department they came from, Marks said, but the needs of the departments must be balanced with the needs of the students.

The procedure will allow for a communal discussion of funding allocations rather than leaving the decision to one person, Marks said.

The university does not intend the policy to encourage hasty hiring decisions for currently empty positions, Gaston said. Any position open before July 1 will follow the former procedure.

Contact academics reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].