Dear Commons Community,
The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) has an article announcing that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign plans to hire about 500 new full-time, tenure-track faculty members in the next five to seven years. The hiring spree follows years of budget shortfalls that limited hiring at the university, including one year in which hiring was frozen campuswide. University officials now want to restore the total number of full-time faculty members to a level closer to what the campus had in 2007, just before the recession hit.
The hires will be made in two ways, said Barbara J. Wilson, executive vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. Some new hires will fill traditional roles in academic departments. Others will be hired in clusters.
The “cluster hires,” Ms. Wilson said, will be sorted into the six areas that have been identified by the university’s “Visioning Future Excellence at Illinois” project, an effort begun by the chancellor to map out the university’s needs for the future. The review focused on two questions: “What are society’s most pressing issues?” and “What distinctive and signature role can Illinois play in addressing those issues in the next 20 to 50 years?”
We wish our colleagues at Urbana-Champaign well in their recruitment.