Turn-over rate of academic faculty at the College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University: a 20-year analysis (1991 to 2011)
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- Human Resources for Health
DOI 10.1186/1478-4491-11-61
  1. Faculty turnover rate
  2. Ethiopia
  3. Addis Ababa University


Faculty turn-over affects both workers and organizations. Turnover of faculty and researchers is increasing alarmingly and costing the universities and the country at large. Fast turnover of health professionals from the health system and from academic institutions has recently received substantial attention from both academia and health sector managers. This paper calculates the faculty turnover rate at the College of Health Sciences of Addis Ababa University during the period of September 1991 to August 2011.


The study was conducted at the College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University. Retrospective analysis of employee records was done. All records of the faculty that were working in the College during the 20-year period, starting from September 1991 to August 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Data were collected from the employee records accessed from the College’s human resources database and supplemented by payroll sheets and different reports. A structured checklist was used to extract the required data from the database. The crude turnover rate for academic faculty was calculated.


Within the 20-year period of September 1991 to August 2011, a total of 120 faculty members left. The overall turn-over rate was 92.8 %. The rate in the most recent five years (172 %) is 8.5 times higher than the rate for the first five years (20 %). The average retention period before the termination of an employment contract was 4.9 years. The top five departments where employment contracts were relatively higher include: Nursing 15 (15.6 %), Internal Medicine 12 (12.5%), Public Health 10 (10.4%), Pediatrics 9 (9.4%) and Surgery 9 (9.4%). About two thirds (66.6%) of the faculty who were leaving were at the ranks of assistant professorship and above.


This study revealed that outflow of faculty has been continuously increasing in the period reviewed. This implies that the College had been losing highly skilled professionals with considerably higher costs in monetary terms. In this regard, an urgent response is required to retain or significantly decrease the outflow of faculty. Different motivation and retention mechanisms should be identified and implemented. Various modalities of faculty development programs should also be initiated.