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Research Report

Create a Higher Ed Workplace Culture Where Faculty and Staff Want to Stay

3 climate drivers of attrition that are key to addressing higher ed’s employee retention crisis

August 3, 2023

Key Insights

Higher education is facing an employee retention crisis. After two years of focused efforts in hiring, higher education staffing has now returned from an 11% dip in late 2020 to just below pre-pandemic levels.

However, these hiring efforts will only pay off if the new faculty and staff stay in their jobs. Otherwise, higher education risks entering a never-ending cycle of hiring and attrition.

Unfortunately, early signs suggest the industry is doing just that. 57% of higher education employees plan to job hunt this year, according to survey data from CUPA-HR. And because turnover challenges are hitting mission-critical areas of institutions like admissions the hardest, universities will struggle to advance their mission and goals unless they address this crisis now.

While the retention crisis has not fully reached the faculty yet, early signs suggest a growing trend of faculty burnout and disengagement could lead to turnover in the near future, with 18% of faculty currently considering leaving their jobs.

To tackle this emerging crisis, higher ed cabinet leaders must include institutional climate in their retention strategy.

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