Faculty resignations more than tripled at the University of Northern Iowa last year compared to the previous year, and officials say the increase stems partly from budget cuts on campus last year.
UNI had nine faculty resignations in Fiscal Year 2011, compared to 34 faculty resignations in fiscal 2012, according to the 2011-12 report on faculty resignations that will go to the state Board of Regents next week.
During the past decade, faculty resignations have averaged 18.5 annually at UNI, according to the report.
Among the 34 resignations last year, 18 were associated with the College of Education or the Malcolm Price Lab School, which UNI closed last year during budget cuts, said university Spokesman Jim O’Connor. Of those 18 positions, 15 were instructors on short-term contracts who resigned with a severance package and three were tenured faculty who took advantage of an early-separation program, he said.
“It would be my expectation” the number of faculty resignations will decrease in future reports, O’Connor said.
Dan Power, president of UNI United Faculty, said faculty leaders are concerned there will be more voluntary turnover at the university due to the budget and program cuts and the unhappiness on campus during that process. But he said the 34 resignations last year don’t all reflect that issue, because that number stems so much from position eliminations in the Price Lab closure.
“It’s an ongoing concern that all of the turmoil is going to cause more turnover,” he said. “I think there was some of that in this number, but a big part of it is attributable to closing down the lab school and other changes that happened.”
The University of Iowa and Iowa State University both saw a decrease in the number of faculty resignations in FY 2012, according to the report.
The UI had 52 resignations last year, compared to 63 in FY 2011. The university in the past decade averaged 66.2 faculty resignations annually. Respondents to a UI exit survey expressed the most dissatisfaction with compensation and the university’s commitment to research excellence, and the most common reasons for leaving were taking a position with another university and relocation for personal reasons.
ISU had 26 faculty resignations last year, down from 33 in FY 2011. Iowa State averaged 38.3 resignations annually for the past 10 years. The primary reasons cited for leaving were dissatisfaction with the department chairman, workload or colleagues; increased expectations for professional practice and service; and non-competitive salary.