Response of the University of California Systemwide Academic Senate Committee on Faculty Welfare to the Legislative Analyst’s Report on “Faculty Recruitment and Retention at the University of California”
The UC Systemwide Committee on Faculty Welfare (UCFW) carefully studied the recent report on faculty salaries, recruitment, and retention released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO).
The LAO’s major conclusions are the following: 1) total UC compensation is competitive with top universities; 2) few faculty members leave, and reasons other than salary are responsible for most faculty leaving; 3) the small number of tenured associate professors who leave shortly after receiving tenure is not a concern; and 4) UC continues to hire its top-choice candidates.
UCFW questions the accuracy of these conclusions. The data used to develop these conclusions are many years old and out of date. Also there are no reference points for comparison. No comparable data from other universities are presented, nor are there multiple data sets over time from UC. Without such reference points, then there is no basis to project forward from when the data were collected to the present. Additionally, for the analysis of the data on total compensation, the LAO failed to see that the data predicted how UC’s retirement benefits would become progressively uncompetitive, relative to our comparators, after faculty members began contributing to their retirement plan. In the opinion of UCFW, these errors and omissions are sufficiently severe to invalidate many if not all of the LAO’s conclusions.
UCFW’s full report details its concerns with the LAO’s more important conclusions.