Colorado research universities struggle to stop poaching of faculty

Tim Goral's picture

Pieter Johnson has made quite a name for himself since coming to the University of Colorado in 2007. Among the ecology and evolutionary biology professor's accomplishments: being named a Packard Fellow and receiving an accompanying $875,000 grant, and in an article in the journal Nature earlier this year theorizing on how biodiversity could help combat infectious disease.

The resulting buzz has made him a hot commodity—like Peyton Manning hitting the NFL free agency hot.

That, in turn, has led to other universities attempting to make Johnson their franchise player. Unfortunately for the University of Colorado, Johnson isn't the only potential star on the market. CU Boulder provost Russ Moore said 48 faculty and staff members were approached this year by other schools regarding jobs, making the campus, in the words of one departing staffer, a "target-rich environment."

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