Summer 2018

Attention to retention

Associate professor Colleen Manchester, one of the first Lawrence Fellows
Liz Banfield

Retaining great faculty is a high priority at the University of Minnesota. So when supporters Jim and Mary Lawrence realized they could do something to keep  valued professors at the Carlson School of Management, they acted quickly. 

In 2015, they established the Lawrence Fund for Emerging Faculty Leaders to help retain junior and mid-level faculty until they get tenure. This is the time when prestigious schools may try to lure them away. “It’s a critical time to keep faculty happy and give them extra salary or some unencumbered time to do research and to let them know we appreciate what they are doing,” says Mary, an ophthalmologist who taught at the U of M Medical School. 

Five inaugural Lawrence Fellows were named in 2017, including Colleen Manchester, an associate professor who studies the effects of workplace practices on workers’ careers. She’ll use her fellowship to study ideas such as how skills transfer between work and other settings—for example, how skills acquired through parenting affect performance on the job. 

Jim, a former General Mills vice chair and longtime member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers, says deepening ties with faculty will further the school’s national ranking and ultimately attract better students and employers to hire them. “It’s a virtuous circle,” he says.