WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Purdue University is continuing work to recruit and retain the best faculty members possible. Now, officials will be moving towards a more diverse faculty. It’s all an effort to drive research and student success.
As students headed to the last classes before Spring Break, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees learned more about the faculty at Purdue University.
“We have a distinguished faculty and that actually recruiting and retaining that distinguished faculty is a constant job. It’s a job that we deal with in the provost office, that the deans deal with every day, that the heads deal with every day, keeping our best and brightest here at Purdue,” said Laurel Weldon, Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.
Weldon said the purpose of the presentation was to keep the trustees updated about faculty affairs. Weldon presented ways in which tenured faculty members get promoted. She listed hiring programs and talked about the importance of retaining faculty members. Since 2009, 320 retention offers have been accepted by top scholars to stay at Purdue. Weldon said if a faculty members leaves Purdue, it can disrupt research and student success.
“The good teachers are people who are really committed to students who stay here over the long term and when we lose people, we lose those people who have built up that expertise and commitment and knowledge of our very own student body that we really value,” said Weldon.
Friday’s meeting was the David Williams’ first meeting as a faculty ex-officio member of the Academic Affairs Committee. He said he was included and really feels like that gap between faculty members and trustees is closing in.
“This is just the beginning of a new era of openness, sharing, and inclusivity between the faculty and the Board of Trustees. I was just very pleased to be able to participate,” said Williams.
Weldon said the next step for the university will be moving towards a more diverse faculty. She said 56 percent of the faculty hired from 2013-2014 were females. Also, the rate at which underrepresented minorities are hired increased 19 percent from 2007-2012. She said that diversity will allow the university to enhance research and student success.