Share Tweet Share Email

Faculty salaries studied by 2020 working group

July 13, 2011

This is the fifth in a series of articles offering a brief overview of the Vision 2020 working group reports.

The Vision 2020 Working Group on Faculty Work, Excellence and Rewards has outlined a set of recommendations aimed at improving faculty salaries and diversity and how to increase technology transfer and sponsored research activity.

Assistant Biochemistry Professor James Horn

According to a Vision 2020 working group, NIU must work to make faculty salaries more competitive.

The 12-member working group, comprised of faculty and staff made their recommendations in a report compiled as part of the Vision 2020 Initiative, NIU’s effort to become the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest by the year 2020. That report (and five others) is online and available for review and comment so that the university community can help define the path to that goal.

Members of the group benchmarked NIU against similar schools across the state and region, comparing things like faculty salaries, the diversity of the faculty, the amount of research leading to new patents and licenses, as well as the amount of research on campus supported by outside funding.

Based upon their findings, the working group recommended that NIU should:

  • Strive to make faculty salaries more competitive, especially at the levels of associate and full professor.
  • Work to increase the number of job applicants from under-represented groups applying for faculty positions at NIU.
  • Encourage the university-wide adoption of tools to better measure faculty productivity beyond the classroom.
  • Increase the number of research projects on campus that lead to licensing or patenting of new technologies.
  • Increase support for research activities on campus and aggressively pursue more research dollars from the National Institutes of Health.

Each recommendation includes: justification for why it is important; specific steps required to carry out the recommendation; organizational or policy changes that might be required; budgetary considerations; a list of planning documents that might help guide the effort; and a suggestion as to which organizations on campus should be charged with approving and implementing work toward attaining the goal. Most goals include benchmarks to be reached in three years, five years and by 2020.

“The recommendations set forth in this report, and the others, offer a clear path forward,” said NIU President John Peters. “What we are looking for now is feedback from the NIU community as to which of these priorities should be treated as most important to help us set the course toward our future.”

The campus community can share thoughts on those issues by visiting the Vision 2020 website, where six of the seven reports (both full reports and executive summaries) are currently available for review and comment. Deadline for input is Friday, July 15.