Illinois Chancellor: Pension Crisis Hasn’t Hurt Faculty Recruiting

By Sean Powers

The inability of Illinois lawmakers continue to find a solution to the state’s multi-billion dollar pension crisis could impact efforts to attract faculty at colleges and universities.

That’s a concern of Jeffrey Brown, who is a finance professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“We are competing for faculty with the likes of Harvard and Stanford and other private universities,” Brown said earlier in the week on WILL's "Focus" program. “We’re competing with international universities, as well as publics in other states. The only way that we are going to be able to maintain a world class university is to be able to offer an overall compensation package that is competitive.”

However, U of I Chancellor Phyllis Wise said at this point, recruiting efforts haven’t taken a hit.

“So far, it hasn’t affected us, but we don’t know what’s going on with the pension situation," Wise said. "As far as I’ve read, it looks like they haven’t come to any solution and so we don’t know how that might affect us in the future.”

Wise said the University is looking to hire between 150-to-200 new faculty this year to fill gaps left in part by all the retirements last year.

She also said because of the state’s backlog in unpaid bills, the U of I is turning more to grants and philanthropic support.

Story source: WILL