UF is on par nationally when it comes to rates of faculty leaving, but it is still working to address why.
Faculty turnover rates are measured as the rate in which faculty leave, usually over the course of a year, said Jodi Gentry, the vice president of UF Human Resources. At UF, turnover rates are in line with the national average at about 10 percent for non-tenured faculty and about 5 percent for tenured.
Faculty have seen issues with partners finding jobs or needing to relocate for family needs, which is a problem UF is attempting to fix in coming years by working with local partners and businesses.
According to the Faculty Hiring Report from the Board of Trustees meeting on March 29, the highest faculty turnover rates from Fall 2017 to February 2019 are at 17 percent in the College of Nursing and the Florida Museum of Natural History. The College of Medicine had the second highest turnover at 15 percent.
The College of Public Health and Health Professions had a rate of 29 percent, but the number reflected a shift in departments, Gentry said. A number of the faculty transferred to UF Health Shands.
The Center for Latin American Studies, the UF Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience and the Florida Sea Grant all had rates at 0 percent, the report said.
UF Human Resources started an exit survey this year and found the most common reason for staff leaving was because of family needs, Gentry said.
Gentry said the office would often hear that partners of faculty members struggled to find jobs in Gainesville during exit interviews.
“Out of the gate, the number one reason was related to location and family needs,” she said. “We know that that’s a community-wide challenge for us.”
The living situation can be difficult in households with only one member who is a professional academic, Gentry said.
“Gainesville can be challenging in terms of the kinds of occupations or opportunities for careers outside of UF,” she said.
However, UF is working with local businesses and partners to help change this, Gentry said.
In March, UF had its first dual-career round table, which brought a large representation of local employers, including the City of Gainesville, and human resources administrators together, to discuss the issue, said Melissa Curry, an assistant vice president at the Human Resources Office.
“Lots of times, the companies in Gainesville have the opposite problem of us,” she said. “They are having a hard time putting a primary person here.”
Curry said the team is hopeful there could be more opportunities for families to find jobs if it shares career partner information.
The team will meet quarterly and has created a Listserv email to start sharing resumes, Curry said.
The Alligator reached out to multiple faculty members who resigned. None were available to comment.