Budget affects UI faculty retention

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URBANA — The lack of a state budget is making the University of Illinois an easier target for fleeing faculty. That’s one of the things Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ed Feser told a packed room on Monday. He says the university is stable, even without money from the state, but the budget stalemate is already making an impact and they’re looking at long-term concerns. In 2014, about a dozen faculty members decided to leave. Then in the last year, the number went up to 22.

“Every time we lose a top faculty member, it’s frustrating,” said Feser. “I think our folks around the state need to know that when you lose these faculty increasingly, you’re not only losing that terrific scholar, but you’re losing their terrific graduate students. you’re losing companies they’ve formed.”

Feser is encouraging department leaders  to plan ahead — in case of varying levels of cuts, like 3, 5 or 7 percent. He says they are planning to hire a Vice Provost for Planning and Budgeting. It’s been about 9 months since the state has had a budget. Feser says if they still don’t have one after two years, they’ll be in a different situation.

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