Sullivan releases annual report

Faculty salaries must increase to remain competitive, President, Provost say

University President Teresa Sullivan highlighted the need to aggressively recruit faculty in her annual report released Monday.

Sullivan identified her three “immediate” priorities as faculty recruitment, curriculum redesign and improving research. A large number of faculty hired 30-40 years ago will be retiring in the near future, Sullivan said, and the University needs a plan to address this issue.

University President Teresa Sullivan highlighted the need to aggressively recruit faculty in her annual report, which was released Monday.

“This is a generational turning point for the University, and committing adequate resources to the task is our top priority,” Sullivan said in the report.

University Provost John Simon said in the report increasing faculty salaries would be necessary in an increasingly competitive market for academic talent.

“The impending rise in faculty retirements at U.Va., and at every university in the nation, means that we will have to work hard — and compete hard — to sustain a [strong] faculty,” Simon said. “[The University must] make up ground in faculty compensation lost during the recession.”

Simon also emphasized the need for interdisciplinary research, but could not be reached for comment on where the University would find resources to fund the increase in faculty or on what incentives, if any, were in place for the University to encourage this interdisciplinary collaboration.

Vice President for Research Tom Skalak said in the report he saw opportunities to leverage collaboration among faculty to improve research outcomes.

“One opportunity for U.Va. lies in collaborative teams that analyze and gain new insights from big data, the massive data sets now generated by virtually every man-made and natural event,” Skalak said. “U.Va.’s existing strengths put us in position to be a leader in this field.”

The University’s curriculum changes require redesigning coursework both to stimulate students intellectually and to prepare them for employment after graduation, Senior Vice Provost J. Milton Adams said in the report.

“Faculty members in the College, for instance, are launching a pilot program that clusters introductory courses around interdisciplinary themes such as climate change or molecular medicine, giving students a more focused and coherent path through their general education requirements,” Adams said.

Adams said a new curriculum would not be limited to the University’s efforts on Grounds.

“Through initiatives like our partnership with online-learning pioneer Coursera and our own Hybrid Challenge, we are building on our substantial expertise in new teaching technologies that can help us reach students on the Grounds and around the world with more impact and excitement,” Adams said.

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