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'HEADHUNTERS' RAID UND FACULTY RANKS

Alice Clark fears that academic headhunters have declared open season on UND. "In the academic world, headhunters is someone who's identified your campus as one that's in trouble and they know they can come in and raid your faculty." Clark, UND vice president for academic affairs, said in an interview. She said that based on half a dozen reports she's had from other officials and faculty members at the university. "We know there are headhunters on our campus."

Reports that faculty members are being recruited by other universities or agents to leave for much higher-paying jobs out of state come as Clark and other UND officials are coping with a higher-than-normal faculty turnover rate. What really hurts, she said, is a particularly heavy loss of senior faculty members.

Early retirement or better jobs and research opportunities elsewhere have cost UND nearly 600 years of service this year, Clark said.

That's the combined experience of 48 faculty members. Twenty-seven of those who resigned or took a new early retirement option were full professors or associate professors, each with an average of roughly 20 years experience.

Clark said that with them has gone hundreds of thousands of dollars in research contracts -- and the jobs those contracts would have brought to the university and the state.

"We're losing some really outstanding people -- the kind of people who are the backbone of a campus," Clark said.

Because many faculty members have had no salary increases in six of the past eight years, and because of a variety of budget cuts, the UND turnover rate -- already double its normal level -- could get worse before it gets better.

Clark said she and other administrators already are getting requests for letters of reference, even though it's early in the school year. That means more faculty could be looking for employment on their own, or more might be contacted by "headhunters."

"I've written at least a dozen letters for faculty since the beginning of September, Clark said. "Normally, I never write letters until about January."

Her academic affairs department at Twamley Hall has begun to document what many fear will be a much larger exodus if the state doesn't act this winter to shore up education budgets.

In reports prepared this fall for the state Office of Management and Budget, Clark and UND have listed some of the key people who've been drawn away from UND this year at dramatically higher salaries. Here are six examples:

Owen Anderson, an expert in oil and gas law, left the UND Law School for Texas Technical University, at an 80 percent salary increase. He went from $44,000 at UND to $79,000. And with him went Kathy Anderson, a UND English lecturer well known statewide for her contributions to the humanities.

Arne Selbyg, sociology professor and former president of the University Senate, left for an administrative position at Augustana in Rock Island, N.Y. His salary went from $34,354 to $70,000, a 104 percent increase.

Banmali Rawat of electronic engineering went to the University of Nevada, increasingly his salary from $36,500 to $61,000, or 68 percent. Rawat had $200,000 worth of grants with IBM and the E.F. Johnston Corp. He was the leader in microwave and fiber optics specialties at UND.

Bill Estrum, an assistant professor in the department of industrial technology, went to work for 3M Co. in Minneapolis. He had been making a salary of $28,917 for three years at UND. Now his salary is $57,834, a 100 percent increase. Estrum had brought to UND $138,000 in software programs, and he worked with several public high schools across the state each year, teaching about lasers, robotics, power lathes and computer support systems with a mobile technology van.

Syed Jalal, with 20 years of experience, left the UND biology department for the Texas Department of Health. His salary went from $35,100 to $58,100, a 65 percent increase. Jalal, specializes in human genetics including clinical cytogenetics.

William Dando, geography professor at UND for 13 years and known for his expertise on famine, drought and the Soviet Union, is leaving in January to chair a department at Indiana State University. His salary will go from $36,859 to about $72,000, an increase of nearly 100 percent Dando currently is involved in $700,000 worth of research contracts.

Clark said, "Bill Dando is just one of the most recent examples. We are losing excellent people who have given long years of service and commitment to the university."

She said that unless the budget gets better for faculty and support service at UND, the campus will see "galloping deterioration."

Published on 10/10/88, GRAND FORKS HERALD