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Hiring boom of 20 new faculty members

Graduation Initiative 2025 is funding HSU’s colleges faculty search

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Alex Enyedi is committing $350,000 of his budget to support Humboldt State by hiring 20 new faculty members.

The hiring boom is funded by the Graduation Initiative 2025. This is an ambitious initiative to increase graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps. It does so by ensuring classes are available when students need them and hiring additional faculty to teach those classes.

Four colleges are hiring at Humboldt State. The College of Arts and Humanities are hiring seven faculty members. The College of Natural Resources and the College of Professional Studies will be hiring five faculty members and the HSU library will be hiring three faculty members. The faculty of each college will choose who is hired as they aim to serve the needs of their college.

The dean of the College of Natural Resources, Dale Oliver, said there will end up being two rounds of hiring. The first group of new faculty members will be starting their tenure in Fall 2019. Right now, Oliver said the hirees need to directly satisfy the needs of their college.

“We need expertise,” Oliver said. “As faculty retire the positions need to be filled. I will follow the tenure track faculty when deciding who to hire, I only need to step in if there is a lack of consensus.”

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Dale Oliver, the Dean of the College of Natural Resources. | Photo by Collin Slavey

Melissa McCracken is one of four candidates applying for the environmental law and regulation teaching position in the College of Natural Resources. During the hiring process, McCracken shared her research about the politics of international watersheds.

Kevin Fingerman, a professor in the College of Natural Resources, had good things to say about McCracken’s presentation.

“Her research is complementary to the department,” Fingerman said. “Her presentation was strong. The research fits with areas of expertise required for the position.”

The cost to hire 20 new faculty members totals to $2.1 million. Some quick math: entering faculty are given a salary of $70,000 per year. Benefits are included in the job and are valued at 50 percent of salary, bringing costs per faculty member to $105,000. When we multiply $105,000 by 20 it equals $2.1 million. As more students apply to HSU, the additional faculty members will help a lot.

“When we received our allocation of $800,000, which we were required to spend, I felt that wasn’t enough,” Enyedi said. “I asked my committee to allocate another $400,000.”

Each college has been asked to use $400,000 of their own budget for the hiring effort. The $800,000 granted to the university through the Graduation Initiative 2025 brings the budget to $2 million.

The Provost’s office ended up contributing an additional $350,000 for hiring. At $2.35 million, the school will be able to afford the new faculty members.

“Refreshing and replenishing the faculty will strengthen the college,” Oliver said. “The university will run best with an annual refreshment of faculty.”

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