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KU looking to fill 64 new faculty spots

Published on -10/3/2012, 11:50 AM

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- The University of Kansas plans to hire 64 new faculty members to support an expansion of its engineering school and improve the university's capacity for research, school officials said.

Budget reductions have forced faculty cutbacks in recent years but the new hires should return the faculty to its size in the 1990s, said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little who took office in 2009.

Of the new hires, 30 will be employed in the School of Engineering -- positions funded by growth in tuition fees from an expected 60 percent hike in enrollment at the school, the Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/QHCmER ).

Twelve new hires will be high-profile foundation professors sought from other institutions, funded by a $3 million annual state award and some private donations, the report said.

The university said 22 other positions will be paid for with savings from the university's ongoing efficiency efforts.

"We are going through a lot of reorganization so we can do more with less, and use the savings to invest in making this university a better place," Vitter said. "And a part of that is bringing in faculty so that we can provide our students with better experiences and we can be more innovative."

Eleven of the 97 university employees who took early retirement buyouts this year were faculty members. Vitter said those early retirements could lead to new faculty jobs in the future but that they are not among the 64 new positions.

Martin said the university had not set a deadline for filling the positions.

Gray-Little said the new faculty also will be expected to help the university improve the quality and quantity of its research.

"This is very much related to the question of research stature," Gray-Little said.

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