Some Colleges Go on Hiring Sprees

Northeastern, Tufts, and some others think the best time to hire is during an economic downturn.


Not everyone is slashing hiring during this economic downturn. A number of colleges and universities in New England are using the weak job market to snap up top-notch faculty, the Boston Globe reports. Northeastern is trying to fill 46 professor positions; Tufts is out for 52. Emerson, Holy Cross, and Amherst are looking, too.

Not surprisingly, the few spots that are open have gotten extreme amounts of interest.

Northeastern has seen its applicant pools swell between 10 percent and 25 percent, depending on the position, compared with last year. At Emerson, more than 100 candidates have applied for an assistant professorship in world history—four times as many as in a similar search several years ago. . . .

Jeff Abernathy, a vice president and dean at Augustana College in Illinois, explained his decision to accelerate hiring by quoting billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

"The path to riches, he says, is to be 'fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful,' " Abernathy wrote in a column this month for the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Being greedy now, in this most fearful of markets, might just be the right path to the kind of riches we value most: excellence in student learning and growth."