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Getting and Retaining Professors Is Big Business for Dean at Cal State Fullerton

October 07, 1986|GREG LUCAS | Times Staff Writer

The dean of Cal State Fullerton's School of Business Administration and Economics not only is looking for a few good professors to recruit--he is also looking to keep the ones he has.

And both tasks are difficult because Dean Thomas Brown is competing with universities that offer much higher salaries and businesses that dangle six-figure annual incomes to entice his teachers out of CSUF's classrooms.

"The truth is," Brown said, "you're not going to build the kind of business school you want with just money from the state."

California State University, Fullerton, like the other 19 campuses in the California State University system, depends on the state for its budget needs.

Full-time tenured professors earn a top-scale salary of approximately $48,000--a wage that can easily be eclipsed by a Big Eight accounting firm, for example, or by a university such as Stanford, awash with millions of dollars of private donations.

Brown said he does not lose many faculty members to Stanford or to private industry. But other universities--including state-funded ones in other states--periodically snap up a Fullerton business or accounting professor by offering a better salary.

A Lesson Learned

In fact, accounting professor Dale Bandy left last summer after 13 years at CSUF for an endowed professorship at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

But the lesson of Bandy's departure has not fallen on deaf ears.

Fund-raising efforts have been increased throughout the state university system, and the main thrust of the drive is to increase the number of endowed professorships and the number of contributions from corporate or institutional sources.

Endowed professorships, which require at least $300,000 in contributions at Fullerton, allow a university to tack on additional money to a professor's paycheck by investing the $300,000 and using the yearly interest as a salary boost.

Although Fullerton has yet to raise the money needed for an endowed professorship--and is unlikely to give the initial endowment to the business school when it does raise the money--Brown continues to zealously solicit funds from accounting firms and other corporate sources.

"Everybody's doing it," Brown said. "It's not that we're innovative; we're just trying to keep up."

$37,500 Grant

Earlier this year, the accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney gave Fullerton's accounting department a $37,500 grant that will be used to add $7,500 a year to a professor's salary for five years. The extra money hasn't been assigned yet, Brown said.

Although the Ernst & Whinney grant expires at the end of five years, Brown said it is his understanding that the grant will be renewed.

"We're working on doing more of the same," Brown said, because "there's about a 24% deficit between the supply" of accounting professors with Ph.D. degrees and the demand for them. With qualified candidates in such short supply, he said, a college needs all the enticements it can get in order to hook a talented professor.

Fullerton's school of business also was one of four business schools in the West selected last year by Coopers & Lybrand, another Big Eight accounting firm, to receive a $20,000 grant. The grant paid for two faculty members to work during the summer months on creating a line of teaching materials based on accounting software developed by Coopers & Lybrand.

Brown said Fullerton competes more with other universities than with private businesses in its hiring. In the accounting field, Brown said, doctoral candidates usually pursue the advanced degree to teach rather than go into the private sector. Normally, accounting firms grab the people they want at the undergraduate level, Brown said, so the person a business school might hire is very different from someone an accounting firm might hire.

Even so, augmenting salaries is an important tool in retaining the 130 full-time faculty members in CSUF's business school--as well as in recruiting professors to Orange County, which has a high cost of living compared to other parts of the state and the country.

Soliciting Private Funds

And that means no slacking off on fund raising.

Like the rest of the California State University system, Fullerton has started soliciting private funds only recently.

Tony Macias, vice president of development and community relations for CSUF, said that only within the past few years has the university "actively sought" money to augment state support. The endowment fund Fullerton established three years ago now has $200,000 in it, Macias said.

During its 1985-86 fiscal year, Fullerton raised $2.2 million in donations for use on its campus. Of that total, $115,000 was raised by the business and accounting school, Macias said. Brown said that it is "realistic" to expect donations to the school to exceed $200,000 next year.

The situation is comparable for Robert Maners, who heads the CSU Foundation, which raises money statewide to help projects not supported by government funding.

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