MADISON, Wis. — Universities made fewer attempts to recruit professors away from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the last academic year after a spike that officials attributed to budget cuts and tenure policies.

The university had 92 faculty retention cases caused by outside offers or recruitment efforts during the 2016-17 school year, down from 144 the year before, the Wisconsin State Journal reported .

Some faculty members who left the university said they were motivated to take jobs elsewhere after lawmakers cut $250 million from the university system’s budget and faculty tenure protections were weakened.

Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf said the numbers show that the increased efforts to attract faculty have subsided.

“I don’t think our press this last year was as bad,” Mangelsdorf said. “I’m hopeful that . we’re sort of returning to what is more typical.”

The university averaged about 100 retention cases and 21 faculty departures in the five years prior to the policy changes.

The university spent $16.5 million on retention packages in 2016-17, down from $23.6 million the year before. That money included research funding and salary increases in order to keep professors.

The university also offered pre-emptive retention packages to faculty members who officials believed could be recruited away even though they didn’t have active offers.

The university offered packages to 40 professors last year, compared to 87 the previous year.

“We did take a huge hit last year, and we really can’t let our guard down,” Mangelsdorf said.

Despite the budget cuts, the Madison campus was able to recruit more professors last year because of an increase in out-of state tuition, she said. The university hired 105 new professors.

The increased recruitment aims to help the university catch up after not being able to hire as many faculty members in previous years, Mangelsdorf said.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj