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Archive for Friday, April 19, 1991

FACULTY RETENTION PLANS REQUESTED

April 19, 1991

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— The Kansas Board of Regents instructed state universities Thursday to improve faculty retention and help faculty with less-than-glowing job evaluations.

For several months board members have been studying and debating issues related to faculty attrition, performance review and the granting of promotion and tenure.

On Thursday, regents set a strategy for the next three years to address perceived shortcomings.

Regents decided that each university must draft a plan to improve retention of faculty. By keeping faculty, the state can hold on to its investment.

A regents report showed that 61 percent of the 369 state university faculty who entered tenure-track positions in 1981-82 had departed as of 1990.

It's too costly to allow faculty to gain expertise and leave the system, said Martine Hammond-Paludan, regents director of academic affairs.

KANSAS UNIVERSITY Chancellor Gene Budig said he was concerned about the loss of senior, tenured faculty at KU and colleges nationwide.

Regents also mandated training programs for department chairs to improve interaction with faculty in discussing results of performance reviews and actions to overcome deficiencies.

"The failure of many post-tenure review procedures is due to department chairs not following through with faculty to discuss shortcomings and develop a plan for change," Hammond-Paludan said.

For the next three years, universities will report annually to regents on the progress of department chair training and faculty development programs.

The first report must be submitted in September 1992.

Regent Charles Hostetler, Manhattan, said he wasn't certain that the condition of the faculty at state universities was a bad as portrayed.

"There is a problem. It's true throughout the system," said regent Shirley Palmer, Fort Scott.

REGENT JACK Sampson, Hutchinson, said he wasn't satisified faculty are required to sustain a high level of production after they receive tenure.

"Is there motivitation there, once they get tenure, to keep it?" Sampson asked.

Del Brinkman, vice chancellor for academic affairs at KU, said faculty are motivated for many reasons, including the fact that pay raises are based on annual reviews.

Sampson said there was a "terrible inconsistency" from university to university in the way faculty are evaluated for merit-salary increases.

In other business, regents decided to raise tuition at all state universities.

At KU, resident tuition will increase 8 percent in each of the next two academic years. Out-of-state tuition at KU will rise 15 percent this fall and 12.5 percent next fall.

UNDERGRADUATE tuition for a Kansas resident will go from $613 to $662 and non-resident undergraduate tuition will go from $2,175 to $2,501.

The board also voted to make permanent an engineering fee, which will raise money for engineering laboratory equipment and computers.

At KU and Wichita State University, students will pay $15 for each credit hour in engineering. Students at Kansas State University will pay $100 a semester.

The board also had the first reading of a proposal for a new $25 graduate school application fee in KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Final action will be in May.

Ray Hauke, regents budget director, explained the status of the regents system budget for fiscal 1992, which begins July 1.

The Legislature will reconvene April 24 to finish work on university budgets. They must appropriate more money to prevent funding from falling below current spending level, he said.

THE SENATE'S version of the budget provides a $2.6 million increase for the system, but an additional $9 million in health insurance costs will wipe out that raise.

"What looks like a slight increase becomes an effective decrease," he said.

Hauke said the situation could worsen. Universities could be forced to sustain an across-the-board budget cut at the end of the session, which is what occurred last year, he said.

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