As part of the upcoming capital campaign, the Lundquist College will target a 25 percent increase in tenure-track and nontenured faculty during the next five to eight years. The additional faculty will allow the college to meet the recent enrollment increase at the undergraduate level, target growth at the graduate level, and expand the breadth and depth of our research mission.
From a fall 2006 enrollment of 3,634 to fall 2012 with 4,685, our undergraduate ranks grew 29 percent. And, in order to strengthen our position as a professional college at a research institution and create critical mass, we need to substantially increase our graduate enrollment--from the current level of around 200 students to 300 or more in the next three to five years.
Although we have increased our financial commitments to our research enterprise substantially in the past two years--through summer grants, course releases, stipends for doctoral students, and administrative and travel funds--faculty growth has not kept pace. In fact, five years ago the Lundquist College had 46 tenure-track and 27 nontenured faculty. Today, those numbers are 48 and 25, respectively. The implication is clear. To move the needle, we need to substantially grow our faculty ranks. A 25 percent increase to each group--for a total of 60 tenure-track and 32 nontenured faculty--should be the target.
Faculty growth of this magnitude is not easily achieved. It is expensive, presents significant recruiting challenges, and will require a creative use of facilities—from offices to classrooms and meeting spaces to computer laboratories. Yet, it is critical to fully implementing our vision for the future--as a research institution and as a provider of experiential, hands-on, team-oriented education. Research is the backbone of a flagship university like the University of Oregon. And we know from our graduates and industry partners that real-world experience--through team-based projects and internships in the United States and abroad--is essential to a first-class business education. The targeted faculty expansion fosters growth in our research portfolio and will allow us to best prepare our students for making the transition from college to a career.
As we grow our faculty, we should not only focus on bringing in young emerging scholars. We must also actively recruit senior faculty. Senior faculty are crucial to filling administrative positions such as department chair or academic director, to staffing college or university committees, to mentoring junior faculty, and to delivering a full range of executive programs.
The recent addition of a new category of faculty, the professor of practice, will help us address some of our faculty growth goals. The professor of practice is a new nontenured faculty position at the University of Oregon to be held by a limited number of eminently qualified academic, business, or government leaders who have made major impacts on fields and disciplines important to university programs. The title is intended to provide such highly regarded individuals with the standing and respect that is customarily extended to faculty members who hold tenure. This designation represents an effective and meaningful way for the University of Oregon to involve accomplished professionals who seek a position within a leading research university that does not fit the tenure-track model.
To truly reach our potential, however, professors of practice will not be enough. We need significant investment in traditional faculty positions, and funding for new faculty will have to come primarily from private sources. Tuition revenue will level off as enrollment growth decreases while state funding shrinks. At the same time, the cost of attracting faculty, enhancing and upgrading technology, offering people-intensive experiential education, and providing crucial support services (recruiting, advising, professional development, and placement) continues to rise. Recent retirements have left us with senior faculty positions to fill, presenting opportunities to continue to attract faculty stars from other institutions. To do so, however, comes with the challenge of raising even more capital in order to be competitive for top senior talent.
Raising the required funding will not be easy. But if not now, when? The University of Oregon brand is as strong as it has ever been. The Lundquist College of Business is in great shape--we are fully reaccredited, have an outstanding faculty and leadership team, attract the best students, and are creating deeper relationships with business and alumni every day. The future is ours to seize. This is not a time to be timid. We should set ambitious goals, target excellence in everything we do, and muster the collective strength to leap ahead. It is indeed a great time to be a Duck!
Cornelis A. "Kees" de Kluyver
Dean and James and Shirley Rippey Distinguished Professor