UI sees increase in faculty resignations, salary amounts

The university continues the similar trend of other state Board of Regent universities by reporting an increase in faculty resignations from 80 in fiscal 2021 to 92 in fiscal 2022.


Matt Sindt

Board of Regents president Michael Richard and president pro tem Sherry Bates listen at the Iowa Board of Regents meeting hosted at the University of Northern Iowa on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.

Kate Perez, News Editor

Faculty resignations are increasing at the University of Iowa.

From fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2022, UI faculty resignations rose from 80 to 92, according to the state Board of Regents’ Annual Human Resources Report. The number has been climbing since fiscal 2020, when there were 73 resignations recorded.

Faculty resignations are also climbing at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. The number of faculty resignations at ISU increased from 36 to 44 while faculty resignations at UNI more than doubled from 10 to 21.

Overall, faculty resignations at regent universities increased from 126 to 157 in fiscal 2021.

Faculty resignations at the UI are reflected in the recent 2022 Campus Climate Survey, where over half of faculty, staff, and postdoctoral students said they considered leaving the university from 2021-22.

Faculty, staff, and postdoctoral students reported that they considered leaving for a variety of reasons:

Sixty two percent of respondents considered leaving because of better salaries or compensation at another institution.

Fifty nine percent of respondents considered leaving because of primary workplace climate/culture and 26 percent because of the campus climate/culture.

Seventy-five percent of respondents reported bias at the university caused them to consider leaving.

The regents report also detailed the average salary amount at the UI increased steadily for faculty, postdoctoral and scientific employees, and merit employees since fiscal 2018. For faculty at the UI, the average salary increased from $116,581 in fiscal 2022 to $121,818 in fiscal 2023.

RELATED: First new hire of UI Transformational Faculty Hiring Program to start August 2023

Salary and pay amounts have been a lately topic at the UI, as the university’s Campaign to Organize Graduate Students recently met with the regents to request a 10 percent salary increase.

COGS conducted multiple campaigns and protests to advocate for better pay as graduate workers at the university, including picketing on the Pentacrest and gathering outside of UI President Barbara Wilson’s office.

The organization isn’t just advocating for wage increases. At the Feb. 16 meeting with the regents, COGS requested 12 weeks of parental leave, access to free parking and/or reimbursement of parking and/or bus fees, and access to safe working conditions and personal protective equipment.

Additionally, COGS requested there to be a deadline for reappointment letters and an option to work 20-25 days remotely at the university.

The organization is set to meet with the regents to continue negotiating both wages and other benefits proposed on Feb. 27 in a closed session meeting.

Additionally, retention and recruitment is a key goal listed throughout the UI’s 2022-27 Strategic Plan, which was implemented last year.

The ideas reflecting retention and recruiting in the UI’s strategic plan include using practices and data-driven, evidence-based procedures to retain exceptional students, faculty, and staff. Additionally the plan places emphasis on discovering what is making students, faculty, and staff leave the UI.

Combating resignations of faculty and staff through professional development, recognition, and a culture of connection and employee value also is a top goal outlined in the university’s strategic plan.

Since 2019, the university launched multiple programs geared toward recruiting and retaining exceptional faculty, including the High Impact Hiring Initiative, the Transformational Faculty Hiring Program, and the Iowa Faculty Scholar Award.

The regents will receive the Annual Human Resources Report at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22.