Paul L. Caron

Thursday, July 23, 2015

North Carolina Retains 64% Of Faculty Who Receive Lateral Offers; Lawsuit Challenges Alleged Agreement With Duke To Forswear Lateral Hiring Of Each Other's Faculty

UNCDurham Herald-Sun, UNC Having Success in Faculty-retention Fight:

Figures from 2013-14 suggest that fewer UNC faculty sought outside job offers, “a good thing” for a university that wants to keep its best professors, Provost Jim Dean told campus trustees Wednesday.

Over the year, 56 faculty members received outside offers. In 64 percent of those cases, UNC wound up keeping the professor in question.

The number of outside offers was down sharply from the recession-years peak of 110 university officials heard about in 2010-11. ...

The retention percentage varies from year to year, depending in part on the willingness and ability of campus administrators to match the outside offers. But the 64 percent retention rate reported for 2013-14 was roughly in line with that for three of the preceding four years. ...

UNC administrators need an OK from trustees to match or top outside offers to faculty. The full board is scheduled to ratify two such moves today. One will give nearly a 17-percent, $22,150-a-year raise to a law school professor who’s gotten an offer from Seattle University [an increase from roughly $130,000 to $152,000]..

Locally, however, pay for professors on the Chapel Hill campus lags behind that offered by neighboring Duke University. Full professors at Duke on average made of about $240,300 in 2013-14, while UNC’s on average made about $182,300, according to the figure Dean gave the trustees. Duke’s associate professors were pulling down an average $160,700, while UNC’s got $123,000. Assistant professors — junior faculty, usually still working to earn tenure — got $128,400 on average at Duke and $104,600 at UNC.

 The two schools in theory compete in the same labor market, locally and nationally, but a federal anti-trust lawsuit filed last month alleges that they’re actually colluding to keep salaries down. Filed by a Duke radiologist and assistant professor, the suit alleges the Duke and UNC medical schools have agreed to avoid conducting “lateral hiring” raids of each other’s staff. That means a faculty member can’t move from one school to the other unless he or she is getting a promotion in the bargain, say from assistant to associate professor.

Legal Education | Permalink


1 & 5. There are courses that need to be taught that adjuncts usually teach poorly (i.e., 1L classes, large upper-level classes). When a faculty member teaching those courses departs, that gap sometimes has to be filled even if the school did not intend to hire.
2. Assuming that the faculty member with an offer cannot be replaced by an adjunct, it might cost more than $152K to replace him or her. There are not that many substitutes for good faculty, in particular in specialty fields.
3. Well, yes, but Seattle is a nice place to live and Seattle U seems to be loaded and has really nice facilities. North Carolina, OTOH, has been gutting its public universities in recent years.
4. That’s not at all unusual.

64% seems like a pretty high retention rate.

Posted by: prof | Jul 24, 2015 8:11:28 AM

Is this different from other law schools' percentages?

Posted by: mike livingston | Jul 24, 2015 2:45:33 AM


Posted by: What Kip Said | Jul 23, 2015 2:25:33 PM

Regarding that lateral offer for the law professor:
1. I am surprised law schools do that at all in this environment;
2. I am surprised UNC can afford it, now that they had the $3 million cut from the legislature;
3.I am surprised a first tier school would match a third tier school's offer;
4. I am surprised anyone would have an unaccepted offer on the table over the summer for the board to match; and
5. I am surprised that, when prawfsblawg did its hiring threads last year, they did not list Seattle among the schools that planned to hire at either the entry or lateral levels.

Posted by: Kip | Jul 23, 2015 12:58:13 PM