200 new hires to join UCF faculty for 2015-16
While UCF's campus is ever expanding, a new job search will help expand its faculty as well.
Thanks to performance enhancement funds provided by the state, UCF will be hiring upwards of 200 faculty members for the 2015-16 academic year.
"[There are] 101 totally new members — those are new positions — and then you've got the other 100 or so, which are going to be filling positions of departing or retiring faculty members," said Christine Dellert, senior director for internal communications.
Seven weeks ago, the positions began being posted on UCF's website and through industry-specific publications such as professional journals.
"Of the new positions, we have 69 that are actively posted, we have five that are filled already and two that are closed, which means that the application period is closed and they're actively looking at them and they'll be filled soon," said Lynn Gonzalez, associate vice president of budget and personnel administration for Academic Affairs.
Candidates must go through a litany of steps in order to be approved by the university, including a credentialing system.
"UCF is accredited by the Southern Association for Colleges and Universities and as part of that accreditation process we need to make sure that folks are meeting all of the qualifications to get our accreditation and to ensure they are meeting our standards of performance," Gonzalez said.
The STEM discipline is expected to experience the highest rate of faculty increase with nursing also being a big area of growth.
"The last few years there's been a very big increase in student interest in enrollment in STEM fields. [The campaign is] helping us address this immense growth in student interest in enrollment in STEM fields," said Michael Johnson, dean of the College of Sciences.
Johnson cited the fact that UCF is a research university as another factor for its decision to focus on the STEM fields.
"We bring in people who can help the university carry out research that's really at the frontier of what humans are learning and that makes the opportunity available to students much better than it would be without fresh people, fresh ideas, fresh directions," Johnson said.
The campaign will benefit students as well as faculty members who, in the past few years, have had to teach more courses and manage larger classes.
"One of the things I would add is just to reiterate how exciting this is for UCF to be hiring so many new faculty members and just really looking for world class people the best and the brightest in their field who can help students succeed in and out of the classrooms here," Dellert said.
The hiring process is a long one that requires many professionals working together to pick the perfect candidates.
"The only way to do it right is to have people who understand the discipline searching for the right person and advertise in the kind of professional journals where those people look for positions and look at the research. Those folks seek to get a pool of people who are qualified and interested in the kind of work we do here," Johnson said.
Once a candidate is chosen, he or she will interact more closely with the university to see if they are a good fit.
"[Committee members] bring [candidates] to campus, they typically meet lots of faculty and students, they'll give a seminar on their research, sometimes they'll give an example class to show how they teach and then from that we try to choose who's the best person for the job we have and bring them here next fall," Johnson said.