University seeks to stop faculty poaching

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Springfield, Ill (WAND) – The University of Illinois is asking for additional funding some of which will be used to combat competing universities from poaching faculty and researchers.

“We’ve become a little bit of a poaching ground for many of our peer institutions,” Illinois Executive Vice President Barbara Wilson told lawmakers at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.  “We’ve lost some incredible people the last couple of years and we want to turn the tables and start poaching other institutions instead of being poached by our peers.”

University President Tim Killeen did not pull any punches laying the blame for the faculty drain on the state which continues to struggle financially after a budget stalemate in 2016 and 2017. 

“The states perception is influencing our ability to recruit these world class faculty members,” Killeen stated.

Wilson told lawmakers she believes Texas and Texas A&M have established a special fund to specifically poach Illinois faculty.

The University of Illinois is asking lawmakers to approve a $681 million budget for FY 2019 which is about 5% higher than in FY 2017.  The extra money will include millions of dollars to combat poaching.

“Ten million dollars would go to recruiting helping us to recruit world class faculty and to retain the ones we have,” Wilson said.

Lawmakers did not vote on the request.  The legislature is attempting to craft a new budget by the end of May when the current spring session is scheduled for adjournment.

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