Influx of new faculty at UConn precedes dramatic growth of student population

The University of Connecticut has boosted the number of full-time faculty and teaching staff by 169 people over the last two school years -– a 15 percent net increase in full-time staff.

And this steady influx of new staff at the Storrs and regional campuses isn’t going to end anytime soon. Another 376 faculty members are slated to be hired over the next 11 years.

“I have provosts around the country saying, ‘Why are you taking our faculty?’… They want us to stop and we won’t,” said UConn President Susan Herbst.

This influx in predominantly tenure-track faculty comes as enrollment has experienced minor increases and is expected to significantly climb.

About half of the next hires are expected to paid for by a 23.4 percent, four-year tuition increase that will be fully implemented by July 2016. The remainder will be paid for through the university’s “Next Generation” initiative, which relies on additional state funding and a dramatic increase in the number of students enrolling in the science, math and engineering fields.

These new faculty hires range from Pulitzer Prize winners in the Department of Journalism to a philosopher who is a Mandela fellow. The university’s Neag School of Education also hired several faculty who specialize in researching the achievement gap in primary schools.

Jeremy Teitelbaum, the dean of UConn’s Liberal Arts and Science College, said the 64 new employees his college was able to hire this year are going to be invaluable.

“Our offerings in economics and political science are going to be much greater,” he said. “The scope of what [students] can study is just broader.”

It also is helping ensure that students can get the classes they need, said Sally Reis, the vice president for academic affairs.

“We had hires at just about every school,” she said, adding that there was no noticeable change in the number of part-time teachers the univeristiy employs.