Faculty Initiative Program

In September 2000, President Larry Faulkner announced in his Address on the State of the University the goal "to lower the student-faculty ratio toward the range of our peers by recruiting 300 new professors within the next 10 years." This new program was initiated in the 2000-01 academic year by budgeting $1.8 million in recurring funding for faculty salary for 30 new positions at $60,000 per position, an approximate cost for hiring a new assistant professor. Recruitment for the initial 30 new positions commenced during the 2000-01 academic year. Due to budget constraints, no new funds were provided for this program in the 2001-02 academic year budget, but $1.8 million has been added to the program in each of the subsequent academic year budgets. In addition to these funds, over this period the Provost Office has been able to provide a modest amount of additional funding from other institutional sources to support the hiring of new faculty. The faculty hired into these new positions are in addition to new faculty hired to replace faculty who retired, resigned or otherwise left the University.

The types of hires envisioned are: strategic (to reduce very high student-faculty ratios, to develop new and important fields, etc.); opportunistic (to recruit “star” faculty who become available and movable); cluster (to develop and/or enhance relationships across schools/colleges and departments); and special interest (to strengthen the student learning experience on campus to better prepare them for the world they will enter). The general criteria for hiring faculty as part of this initiative are: the hire is consistent with the missions of UT Austin and the department/school/college; it is justified by strategic plans and the Compacts of the department/school/college; and there is clear strength and value added within and among programs within and/or across departments/schools/colleges.

Procedures for submitting requests for Faculty Initiative positions are described in the Provost’s February 24, 2004 memorandum to the deans. Materials to be submitted vary depending whether positions are requested or specific candidates are being brought forward.

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