U of Illinois plans to add 500 professors


Urbana - University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise says she wants to hire 500 professors over the next five to seven years to beef up a faculty depleted by retirements and departures.


Wise told faculty members and staff at a town hall meeting Monday that the faculty hiring plan is part of an initiative intended to turn the university's flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign into the top public land-grant university for research. Wise is the top administrator of the campus.


The campus' tenured faculty has dropped from about 2,100 in 2007-08 to 1,856. Retirements, departures for jobs elsewhere and hiring freezes are responsible for the drop.


Administrators said Monday that the university also wants to continue with $70 million in classroom renovations.

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