As universities across the country continue to recover from the 2008 economic downturn, many administrators are prioritizing investments in faculty recruitment and retention.
And UNC, hampered by years of budget cuts and salary freezes, remains a target for top research universities looking to lure faculty away.
Only a third of University faculty who received outside job offers in 2012-13 chose to stay in Chapel Hill, down significantly from 69 percent the previous year. Forty-six faculty have left, while seven remain undetermined.
The number of outside offers, 76, was not a major change from the previous academic year, and the average retention rate since 2002 is about 57 percent.
But it’s the first time in a decade that UNC lost more faculty than it was able to keep.
“We’re not talking about a massive exodus,” said Ron Strauss, UNC’s executive vice provost and chief international officer. “But other universities are able to offer bigger packages to people that they really want, and consequently they’re more lucrative.”
Only 15 faculty members were considered failed retentions, or people who got a counteroffer from UNC and left anyway.
But campuswide tight finances are limiting UNC’s pool of incentives — most of which come from individual schools’ budgets — to hold onto faculty recruited elsewhere, Strauss said.
“When people get an external offer, it’s more likely to be a serious, solid offer and they’re more likely to accept the offer, even if we try to retain them,” he said.