Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Strategic Faculty Hires on Hiatus

From Caleb Hale's article, front page of Southern Illusion today, above the fold even. Just wanted to touch on how much SIU doesn't understand business, based on this article.

There is a difference between revenue and profit. SIU claims that revenue dollars are up from research. OK, that is great. What we have to assume is that their profit from this extra money is really a loss. If they were making money each year from these "strategic hires" they would keep making them and hire more teachers with the extra money. Anyone can make more revenue while spending more then the revenue to do it, we can now assume that this is what SIU has been doing.

You have to wonder if research dollars are up from $44.5M per year since 1999, where has the money been going? Faculty employment is flat and they have only gotten 2 or 3% pay raises every year. My view is that SIU is a big leaky bucket, the more water you pour into it, the more leaks out in waste. These numbers and decisions seem to support that view.

Since the strategic hire program started in 2003, it would be way more interesting to hear the research numbers between 2003 and today. That is if you wanted to provide information on this program. My feeling is that the current SIU professors could have easily done the increase without the strategic hires, just by having management focus that research money was important. Of course, by applying focus there, they also removed focus from the classroom and got one of those unintended results that I always write about.

As always, your comments are welcome.

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