UW, UWM scramble to ward off suitors for top professors

Tim Goral's picture
Friday, December 6, 2013

Top professors in the state's two public doctoral universities are attracting significantly more job offers than a decade ago, and those universities are scrambling to pony up "market pay" to keep them from leaving and taking federal research dollars with them.

University of Wisconsin-Madison has a designated faculty retention fund of about $2 million and still is able to retain key talent. "Market pay" increases go to employees who get a competing job offer or who are so highly regarded in their field that they are likely to be recruited. UW campuses cannot award merit raises based on performance, per state statute.

UW-Milwaukee doesn't have a fund to cover large market pay increases or to offer more than a few pre-emptive pay increases to faculty likely to be recruited. As a result, the Milwaukee campus is bleeding both talent and federal research dollars, according to UWM Chancellor Michael Lovell.

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