TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Faculty Retention at North Carolina

North Carolina Logo One of the striking features of my post on Public Law School Faculty Salaries was the low faculty salaries at North Carolina, compared to higher ranked (e.g., Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Virginia) and even some lower ranked (e.g., Florida, Ohio State) public law schools.  This article (from Al Brophy) thus does not come as surprise, Faculty Retention Plummets as Salaries Stay Frozen:

By the end of the year, [UNC] was looking at a 41% retention rate from raids from other schools in which it countered or could not afford to counter, one of the lowest rates in several years. The medical schoolwas hit particularly hard -- of 58 Carolina faculty members who presented offers from other universities and whom UNC tried to keep but couldn't, 24 were from the medical school.

Most of those who leave for greener pastures are associate professors who have achieved tenure by proving their star power but who are young enough to be vulnerable to universities who will up the ante on salary, benefits and the other trappings of academia. Though there are many factors in a professor's decision to leave, and retention seems to be cyclical -- often rebounding shortly after a nosedive like this one -- the inability to offer regular salary increases at UNC may be having a cumulative effect, said Provost Bruce Carney. ...

Some faculty who entertain offers, the University doesn't try to keep -- about one-fourth of the total this year. The others fall into two categories: UNC counteroffers to try to hold onto them, or it simply doesn't have the money to fight.

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