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Engineer/Engineering Technology Hiring Practices Are You Throwing Away Talent?

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.421.1 - 6.421.6

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Paper Authors

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Michael Holcombe

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2547

Engineering/Engineering Technology Hiring Practices -Are You Throwing Away Talent?

Michael L. Holcombe Purdue University at South Bend


A few short years ago, when a university or college advertised for a tenure track position, it would receive 200+ responses with many well-qualified applicants. Today a similarly advertised position may produce only 20 or less responses and many of them may not be qualified. The problem appears to be multifaceted and the schools with four-year programs appear to be having a more difficult time than schools with two-year programs.

The present day labor market is normally singled out as the culprit for the hiring problems but there are other contributing factors. Other areas that need to be examined are the Ivory Tower concepts, ABET requirements, rules of tenure, and philosophy of the older faculty/administration.

This paper will look at the roadblocks in the hiring process and consider what needs to happen to open the window of opportunity for hiring the non-traditional faculty members. It will also consider alternatives to the classical profile used in many recruiting campaigns. The need for the non-traditional faculty and the half-life of faculty is also explored.

There is a need to adjust hiring practices to include these highly qualified, non- traditional persons in our search and screen process.


In a recent survey of universities and colleges, 55% of the bachelor programs indicated at least one funded faculty position unfilled and 13% have 2 or more unfilled positions. Sixteen percent of the schools with an associate program report 1 funded but unfilled position and 42% report having 2 or more unfilled.1 This is a nationwide problem and it is becoming more and more difficult to employ qualified faculty.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001,American Society for Engineering Education

Holcombe, M. (2001, June), Engineer/Engineering Technology Hiring Practices Are You Throwing Away Talent? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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