MU Hiring Chill

1 decade 10 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, July 10 2007 Jul 10, 2007 Tuesday, July 10, 2007 8:01:20 PM CDT July 10, 2007 in News

There was more clarification Tuesday from university officials about "Compete Missouri," the Chancellor's innovative program to improve the university despite limited funding from the state.

The financial plan to hire fewer staff and faculty in the upcoming year is more of a hiring chill than a freeze. This means only critical faculty and staff will be hired.

"What this is, you know as Chancellor Deaton has said, it's strategic position management, which means let's say we have 60 positions on campus that in a normal year we'd fill, well maybe this year we only fill 15 or 20," said Michael O'Brien, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at MU.

The university hopes to raise salaries of current faculty and make MU a more desirable place to work. The Compete Missouri salary hikes, however, will not happen for another year. Pay is attributed to the loss of university faculty.

"Over the past three years, four of the professors in the history department have received much better salary offers from other universities," said MU History Department Chair Jonathan Sperber.

Dean O'Brien believes the changes will not be noticeable in the classroom.

"Our number one goal is that undergraduate students will never know the difference," said O'Brien.

Some departments see a cost in the efforts to raise faculty salary.

"It will present issues both in how many students we can teach in our courses and also the variety of courses we can teach," said Sperber.

Faculty salaries at MU rank near the bottom of comparable universities.

"We think that improving salaries is extremely important, for keeping the best professors here at the university. I'm sorry that it has to be done by not hiring as many people," said Sperber.

There will be raises for both faculty and staff in the new Compete Missouri plan. But repeating, those raises won't be effective until a year from now. The raise amounts could vary with merit increases for the best performers.

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