University of California 2010 Accountability Report

Chapter 7:

Goals To a very large extent, the academic quality and reputation of the University of California-its ability to fulfill its tripartite mission of teaching, research and public service-is determined by the quality of its faculty. Accordingly, the recruitment and retention of a world-class faculty are among the University's most important priorities. In addition, highly talented faculty attract other highly qualified faculty, graduate students and undergraduates alike, all of which serve to maintain the academic quality of the University on an ongoing basis.

Narrative The indicators in this section document some of the central characteristics of and concerns about UC faculty-their number, discipline, age and compensation. The trends show that the proportion of ladder-rank faculty has declined relative to non-ladder-rank faculty and that many faculty are nearing retirement age. Together these trends highlight an immediate need for more emphasis on faculty renewal; yet the recruitment of new faculty has been significantly slowed on many campuses due to the state's fiscal crisis. Faculty salaries have fallen further behind market, creating more challenges in attracting the best faculty candidates and in retaining current faculty. More information about trends in faculty composition, diversity and compensation can be found in the March 2009 Accountability Sub-Report on Faculty Competitiveness, the September 2010 Accountability Sub-Report on Diversity and the January 2011 Accountability Sub-Report on Faculty Competitiveness.

Looking Forward No other public institution can claim as distinguished a faculty as the University of California. UC faculty includes 56 Nobel Prize laureates, 59 National Medal of Science recipients and 271 members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. In the 2009 and 2010 classes elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 66 of the 144 new members came from public universities, and 39 of these were from UC. Put another way, more than half of the honored scientists from public universities teach and do research at UC.

At the same time, the national economic recession has dramatically curtailed recruitment of high-performing faculty at UC and other universities across the country. It is critically important that UC lead the academic recovery over the next few years, not lag behind it. Universities that start recruiting aggressively before others will have an historic opportunity to improve their faculty; those who are slow to act will move in the other direction. How many of the National Academy members elected in 2030 will come from the UC faculty? This will depend greatly on UC's ability to hire and retain top faculty in the next few years.