Graphic by Valerie De La O.
Dixie State University is searching far and wide in order to fill 23 open faculty positions and two entirely new positions.
The new positions are: director of academic budgeting, filled by Shantelle Owens, and associate provost for faculty affairs, filled by Bruce Harris.
Shantelle Owens, director of academic budgeting, said: “Academic budgeting is under the direction of the Provost. My role is to provide information, analysis and advice to the college deans, department chairs, academic directors and the academic support staff. I am also responsible to monitor the academic budget and assist with the planning and allocation of new academic funding.”
The academic budget includes the funds that directly support academics at the university and it represents approximately half of the entire university’s budget. Most of the academic budget is designated for faculty and support staff positions for their salaries and benefits.
Owens said before this position was created, the DSU budget office supported the budgeting function for the entire campus, but enrollment growth and program expansion have resulted in the need for a dedicated academic budget officer.
Academic Affairs will continue to work closely with the budget office to ensure academic priorities are reflected in the institutional budget process, Owens said.
Harris’ position has been reclassified from executive director for the center of academic innovation and leadership to the new position of associate provost for faculty affairs.
Provost Michael Lacourse said there was nobody to coordinate, institution wide, all manners related to faculty life.
“That was an area of significant deficit, so by reclassifying that position we’ll have some leadership in that area,” Lacourse said.
There is also a new position that helps with academic success in year one and two. Lacourse said DSU wants to focus on associates degrees again.
“We are designated to serve a dual mission, which includes baccalaureate and associate degree programs,” Lacourse said. “UVU, Weber and Dixie are all expected to offer associate degree programs.”
Along with these new positions, there are 23 faculty openings due to staff that left last semester.
Travis Rosenberg, executive director of human resources, said, “When they do leave, our office conducts exit interviews to get information about why they’re leaving.”
Rosenberg said the most common reasons they get are: retirement, relocation due to weather or change in family dynamics, better job opportunity for themselves or their partner, or lack of job opportunity in the area for their partner.
Rosenberg said the turnover rate this year was 9.3 percent with the 20 faculty members leaving and the year prior was 8.3 percent with 16 resignations. He said despite the 1 percent increase, the resignations for 2017-2018 are no more significant than any other year prior. The overall university turnover rate is 10 to 15 percent, Rosenberg said.
Filling these faculty positions is a strategic and selective process.
Rosenberg said: “We draft a job announcement and advertise these jobs during the Fall and form search committees to review applications, schedule and conduct interviews, and make a hiring recommendation. If we can get the job announcement done in the fall and search committees to get through screening and virtual interviews before the end of Fall Semester, we have an incredibly high rate job fill rate.”
Rosenberg said the DSU human resources, academic affairs and budgeting office staff will continue their search during this optimal faculty advertising period in hopes to fill these positions.