A tight higher education job market led to reduction in resignations, retirements and firings at universities in the Kansas Board of Regents system.
"It's a very tight market. Many states are downsizing universities," Martine Hammond-Paludan, regents director of academic affairs, said Tuesday.
A lack of employment opportunities in other states helped reverse a brain drain on the 4,000 faculty working at the six regents schools.
A new regents' report compared two academic years, 1988-89 and 1991-92. Here's what the comparison shows:
Resignations fell from 167 to 124.
Retirements dropped from 87 to 61.
Terminations declined from 57 to 20.
At KU in the same two years, resignations went from 20 to 13, retirements increased from 16 to 19 and terminations climbed from five to six.
Hammond-Paludan said she was surprised that 64 assistant professors and 24 associate professors at regents universities resigned during the 1991-92 academic year, the most recent year statistics were available.
"A potential problem arises if an inordinate number of assistant and associate professors resign, leaving a smaller core for replacement of retiring full professors," she said.
Hammond-Paludan said many of the assistant professors who quit had been told they wouldn't be granted tenure.
An important issue for regents is the voluntary departure of 24 associate professors, she said. Only 23 full professors resigned from the six schools.
"We are possibly losing very good people who we would like to retain," Hammond-Paludan said.
At KU in 1991-92, four professors, two associate professors and seven assistant professors resigned. Twelve professors, five associates and two assistants retired. Six faculty all assistant professors were terminated.
Hammond-Paludan said the higher education job market in Kansas might loosen during the 1990s. Twenty-seven percent of regents university faculty will be eligible for retirement during the next decade, she said.
According to the report, 74.4 percent of faculty at the six state universities had been granted tenure as of the fall semester 1992. At KU, 81.2 percent, or 860 of 1,059 eligible faculty, had tenure at that time.
In addition, 77.3 percent of the full-time faculty at state universities were male and 22.7 percent were female last fall, the report said.
The report said 1.9 percent were under 30 years of age, 21.5 percent were 30-39, 32.6 percent were 40-49, 32.8 percent were 50-60 and 11.2 percent were 61 or older.