February 9, 2009
TO: Deans and Department Chairs
FROM: Julie Underwood, Interim Provost
RE: Faculty Exit Interviews Procedures Revised
Approximately three percent of our faculty members retire each year and two percent depart for other reasons (e.g., a competitive offer from elsewhere, failure to get tenure, personal or family circumstances, etc.). These departure rates are similar to or lower than those at our peer institutions.
In spring 2004, the campus began offering faculty who leave UW–Madison an opportunity to discuss their UW–Madison experience in an exit interview. The outcomes of the process provided some insight into what we can do to improve the faculty experience and what we can do to improve faculty retention, although a more systematic study will provide us with more useful information.
This spring, researchers from the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) will continue their study of faculty attrition, which began in Fall of 2007. The WISELI researchers will invite all male and female faculty members who recently left or retired from UW–Madison to participate in an interview. The interview is voluntary, and all information will remain confidential. The researchers will follow a scripted interview protocol (attached) to ensure standardized collection of data. Results from these data will be reported annually and will include descriptive analyses, as well as the identification of broad, overarching themes.
This annual, ongoing research study is intended to complement the exit interview processes you may have in place at both the departmental and school/college levels. The goal is to provide the campus community with information that can be used to improve our rates of retention and make the UW–Madison a welcoming place for all.
xc: Biddy Martin, Chancellor
Steve J. Stern, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff
Laurie Mayberry, Assistant Vice Provost
Rosa Garner, Ombudsperson, School of Medicine and Public Health & School of Pharmacy
Carla Raatz, Director, Office of Human Resources
Luis Piñero, Director, Office for Equity and Diversity
Jennifer Sheridan, WISELI
Christine Maidl Pribbenow, WISELI