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Keeping profs at home
By Carrah Goodman
The University of Toronto is trying to revolutionize recruiting in hopes of keeping Canadian academics at home.
In recent years, many Canadian scholars have migrated south, attempting to attain higher salaries and U of T wants this trend to stop.
"There are a large number of retirements, therefore we are replacing. There are positions available now so we can hire new faculty," said Adel Sedra, provost at U of T.
According to Sedra, will be available due to the mass retirement of baby boomers. This combined with increased public and private funding has put the university in a position where they will be able to hire new faculty.
"We will be as aggressive as possible in our proactive recruiting. We will not just put out an advertisement and wait," Sedra said.
U of T is implementing an incentive program so academics will be more inclined to accept jobs in Canada. The agenda will include spousal employment programs and more housing and improved services for international recruits, making it easier for them to attain working visas.
"Due to demographic changes and because severe financial restrictions have been somewhat reduced, we can make this issue a priority," Sedra said.
Western's VP-academic Greg Moran said although the matter is of concern to Western, it is not a disaster. "We have to address this issue on a case by case basis," he said. "We need to focus on the support that we can give the faculty by providing the appropriate resources." This includes offering faculty the opportunity to attend more international conferences and supplying labs with the appropriate equipment, he said.
Moran said Western has only slightly been affected by faculty moving to the United States. "We have lost exciting individuals to United States universities, but that is what happens when you hire those kinds of individuals."
According to Ian Armour, president of the University Students' Council, the news from U of T is fairly important and it is only a matter of time before the same thing begins happening at Western.
Although there will be many job opportunities for graduate students, Armour said it will be important for Western to remain at the same level as other schools. "There'll be a need to stay competitive, to get in there and continue the academic excellence that Western is known for."