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July 25, 2003

Faculty ranks to grow by eight positions

by Diana Pounds
Eight new positions will be added to the Iowa State faculty as a result of this year's budget process. Deans have been authorized to immediately begin searches for the new positions in five colleges and two interdisciplinary areas, and the new faculty may be on campus as early as fall 2004, said vice president for academic affairs and provost Benjamin Allen.

"President Gregory Geoffroy and I have made increasing the number of faculty positions a priority," Allen said in announcing the positions.

Geoffroy often has stated that a top priority is rebuilding faculty numbers, depleted by several years of state budget cuts.

"Despite the cuts, we feel it's important to identify resources to increase faculty numbers," Geoffroy said. "Tenure and tenure-track faculty numbers have dropped 8 percent over the past 10 years, while enrollment has climbed 11 percent. The result is larger classes and fewer course offerings, both of which threaten educational quality."

The eight new positions will sup-port academic priorities in teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement. Several will support the university's academic initiatives -- "big impact" ideas that respond to critical needs in Iowa and the country and build on Iowa State strengths. Faculty in the new positions will be involved in initiatives to strengthen information technology research, study the relationship between people and computers, discover and test materials based on a new chemistry method (combinatorial discovery), and find ways to use agricultural crops in fuels and products (bioeconomy), in addition to increasing the instructional capacity in key areas.

The eight new faculty positions were selected from more than 100 proposals submitted by college deans. Allen recommended the final eight to Geoffroy after consulting with provost office staff and the president's Advisory Committee for Budget and Planning. (The budget committee developed the criteria and process for making the selections.)

Allen said he has developed a second group of faculty positions he would like to create if additional funding becomes available.

Resources are available to support an average of $70,000 in salary and fringe benefits for each new faculty position. In some instances, that may not be enough to hire a top, entry-level assistant professor. In such cases, additional funds will come from a combination of college, department and central sources, according to Allen.

New faculty positions

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Published by: University Relations,
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