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College gears up to begin hiring faculty

LAWRENCEVILLE - Hiring faculty for Georgia Gwinnett College is like "juggling really fast with a ton of crystal balls," said Stanley Preczewski, the college's vice president for academic and student affairs.

That juggling process is gearing up, as college officials have received more than 900 multipage applications from people throughout the world for faculty positions, Preczewski said. But the college won't know for a couple of months how many faculty members it will hire for the next academic year.

Preczewski said the number hired depends on three things: the budget issued by the state, the quality and number of faculty applications that are received, and the number of students interested in attending Georgia Gwinnett.

It starts with the state-issued goal of having 3,000 students attend the college next year.

Using that number, the college submits a budget to the state, which uses an estimate of the number of full-time equivalent students to determine what and how many positions it will need to hire, Preczewski said.

The budget includes salaries suggested by the Oklahoma State University's annual faculty salary report, which shows averages of salaries earned throughout United States by region. The budget also includes health and retirement benefits.

What usually happens, Preczewski said, is that "we submit a number to the state, (and) the state chokes."

The state responds, either approving the submitted figure or approving part of the figure. With the state's response, the college knows how many faculty it can afford to hire.

But it doesn't end there, Preczewski said.

If the college wants to hire 38 English professors but only receives 10 applications from highly qualified people, the college will only hire those 10, he said.

"We're not just looking at quantity," Preczewski said. "We're looking at quality to ensure the students get the highest possible quality education they can get at a state college."

The college must also balance the number of highly qualified people who can teach the different subjects. For example, the college won't hire 38 qualified English professors if they can only find 10 qualified math professors.

After determining how many qualified individuals they have, the college must look to see how many students are enrolling, he said. If the number of students shows a need for fewer professors, the college will hire fewer professors.

College officials all sit down and figure out who they will hire on one day, much like a signing day in the football world, Preczewski said.

Physical interviews will begin in January.

After job offers are made, the Board of Regents must approve all of the college's decisions.

Meanwhile, the college has made a few recent hires, said Jennifer Stephens, the college's spokeswoman.

The new dean of liberal arts, who still needs to be approved by the Board of Regents, will start at the beginning of the year.

The dean of the School of Education, Cathy Moore, will also start at the beginning of the year, Stephens said. Moore has been approved by the Board of Regents.

Victoria Johnson, the dean of the School of Business, and Thomas Mundie, the dean of science and technology, are already working at the college.

Recent hires also include several new directors, Stephens said.