Aston and Central England universities, Imperial College London and Templeton College, Oxford, are all battling it out to attract top business academics. Pat Leon reports.
University business schools are trying to bump up staff numbers to meet burgeoning demand for courses at undergraduate, masters and executive level at home and abroad.
Birmingham-based Aston Business School is running its second recruitment drive of the year, seeking lecturers, senior lecturers and readers across all subject groups.
Gordon Greenley, head of faculty, says: "There are some extremely talented people in UK business schools, and some wonderful younger faculty coming up through the ranks. However, there are lots of business schools planning multiple appointments."
Imperial College Business School is preparing to move into a Pounds 25-million Norman Foster-designed building in Exhibition Road, South Kensington. The school is advertising for ten chairs, readerships or lecturerships "in any subject".
Economist David Begg, who became principal in April, says the wave of appointments is a combination of faculty retiring and an injection of new money for expansion. "Our strategy is to hire the best people available, but it is not always possible to predict where the best opportunities for hiring will lie. One advantage of having so many vacancies at once is to attract a cluster of good academics in the same area. And, since we are growing rapidly, we will have other vacancies and another opportunity to fill any gaps."
Templeton College, Oxford, which describes itself as "a niche player in executive education", is looking to elect new fellows across a range of areas. Salaries are in the region of Pounds 60,000-Pounds 80,000 a year.
Unlike some business schools, which separate themselves from their university, conceptually as well as geographically, Templeton sees itself as very much part of Oxford and hopes its location is an added attraction.
Dean Michael Earl says that the fellowships could appeal to three types of candidate: academic experts from other business schools in executive education; businessmen or women with a doctorate and classical academic training; and mid-career academics who might like to specialise in executive education.
Templeton offers an applied research environment, Professor Earl says.
"People can develop theory, but it has to be related to managers' agendas in the business world. This means we are always renewing what we do in the classroom: we can talk to our financial sponsors about what they want and get access to businesses to do fieldwork."
The University of Central England Business School is seeking staff to reduce its dependency on visiting lecturers. Tony Elliot, head of the department of accountancy, business and finance, says his department is looking for a senior lecturer in financial accountancy. "We need a team of people available for student support and internal moderation of exams."