Aug. 3, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic “continues to pose a substantial and indeterminate threat to the financial health and sustainability” of the University, UNC officials have reported to the state system that oversees it. “The University faces significant...Read More
June 16, 2020
If a survey of faculty members’ anticipation of the fall semester could be summed up in one word, “uncertainty” would be a top candidate. The survey was designed, sent to and returned by 1,224 faculty...Read More
June 4, 2020
Members of UNC’s faculty have begun to push back at what they perceive as potential threats to their health in the University’s plans to reopen in the fall. As of Thursday morning, more than 500...Read More
In a year in which the University lost $60 million from its state appropriation — including elimination of about 300 positions and approximately 100 other layoffs — hiring of new faculty slowed but by no means stopped.
Almost 230 faculty members were hired across the University.
“Some people have retired and some endowments have continued to survive,” said Bruce Carney, interim executive vice chancellor and provost. “Funds have been found that way. Many of the budget cuts were taken out of noninstructional sectors, so there has been money available.
“We’re actually, in fact, teaching more credit hours and teaching more seats in classes than last year. One of the things that has enabled units to, in fact, increase course offerings is that not only did they hire people, but fewer people retired.”
The University is hiring at about 80 percent of normal, Carney said.
Since most other U.S. universities also are not hiring at full force, the competition among campuses for prospective faculty members has decreased. The overall quality of the selection pool is higher, Carney said, and UNC has won most of its faculty retention fights and snagged its top choices in position applicants.
In the College of Arts and Sciences, 39 tenured or tenure-track faculty have been hired, said Dee Reid, director of communications for the college. That’s a drop from the usual 45 to 60 additions. Thirty-four fixed-term faculty members were hired this year as a result of searches made before the budget cuts; many of those are lecturers who teach foreign languages and English composition who are filling vacancies or needs from increased student enrollments.
“Faculty are teaching larger classes with less administrative support,” Reid said. “Staff are doing more work with smaller administrative teams.”
Instead of cutting courses, the college handled student population increases by bumping up class sizes.