22 April 2014

Top down hiring decision

Faculty searches at universities are usually driven by the faculty. Even if a dean or other administrator usually makes the offer, the search is usually run by faculty, who vote and make very strong recommendations for who to extend the offer to.

Which is why this is a surprise.

The University of Texas Board of Regents has, apparently, hired Dr. Abdullah (Faiz) Rahman as faculty member to join our department. It’s on page 355 in the meeting minutes.

And they’ve awarded him tenure, at the full professor level, up front.

And at a salary 66% higher than any other full professor in the department; about double the average for our tenured full professors (budget data here).

Dr. Rahman interviewed as part of the Valley STARS program, described here:

The ValleySTARs program will permit UTB and UTPA to request funding to cover faculty salary and benefits for no more than three years in support of their recruitment efforts for new “star” faculty to teach in STEM fields. Recruited faculty will be appointed to full-time, tenured positions. It is essential that the quantity and quality of teaching and learning in STEM fields is enhanced by state of the art teaching concepts and technology employed by scholar teachers.

The thing is: the faculty in our department never voted on this. We never voted on whether he met our tenure requirements. Apparently, neither did our equivalent department at University of Texas at Brownsville, who will also be part of the UTRGV in a little over a year.

It’s a very unusual move. And perhaps not one that will build bridges and engender the most good will.

External links

Faiz Rahman

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