IOWA CITY, Iowa ― The University of Iowa experienced a 36.4 percent increase in faculty resignations during last school year, with the majority of the departures coming from the medical school.
Resignations went from 66 in the 2013-14 school year to 90 in 2014-15, according to the Iowa Board of Regents’ most recent faculty report, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.
“It is a jump from the last several years,” said Kevin Kregel, the university’s associate provost for faculty. “We are evaluating where the specific increases are coming from.”
Kregel said that based on exit surveys, salary is only one of the factors behind the departures.
University president Bruce Harreld recently asked the Iowa Legislature to approve a $4.5 million increase in state funding for the university to attract and retain more high-performing faculty.
Kregel said 65 of the 90 resignations came from the Carver College of Medicine.
“That’s a very unique college in terms of the faculty,” Kregel said. “A significant number of the faculty over there are clinical faculty members, who have a lot of different opportunities.”
Kregel said that unlike many tenure-track faculty members, the clinical-track faculty members often leave the university for career opportunities outside academia, such as private practice, government service or hospital settings.
Kregel said he anticipates that the university will continue to see a higher number of resignations because maintaining a large number of clinical faculty requires somewhat of a “constant turnover.”
The University of Iowa is working with the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University to standardize a voluntary exit survey for departing faculty members in order to improve the response rate.
The board of regents is scheduled to discuss the reports during its Feb. 24 to 25 meeting in Ames.