BGSU faculty voice concern PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 11:29
Ongoing concerns about the effects of reductions in the size of the teaching staff were aired at the Bowling Green State University faculty senate meeting Tuesday.
Provost Rodney Rogers reported that statistics show only a slight drop in the number of courses taught by full-time faculty. He said 74.3 percent of courses were taught by full-time faculty this semester as compared to 75.6 percent the same time last year. He noted a few more courses were taught by part-time faculty, and the number of courses taught by graduate students fell from 3 percent to 1.9 percent.
The average class size was 21.4 students, up from 20.7 students last year.
But faculty senators questioned how this could remain so if the size of the faculty was expected to decline.
Judith Edminster, of the English Department, wondered if the administration had a plan to maintain the size of classes.
Rogers responded that part of the answer was looking at the course sections offered to meet students' general education requirements.
Some have low enrollment, and it is possible that they could be offered only one, rather than, two semesters.
He also said students may not have as many choices.
The administration is "constantly thinking about was we can do it better ... a little more efficiently," Rogers said.
Julie Haught, also of the English Department, questioned when the administration would know the fate of non-tenure track faculty. She said the deadline for notifying them their contracts may not be renewed is Dec. 1.
The uncertainty takes an emotional toll, she said.
Rogers said administrators would be traveling to Columbus on Nov. 19 to get a sense of how much State Share of Instruction money would be headed to BGSU. Until then he would not want to project the impact on the ranks of the non-tenure track faculty.
Charles Stelle, who teaches in the gerontology program, asked what was being done to increase enrollment.
While university officials have touted the incoming class of first year students as one of the best ever in terms of academic preparation, the number of students enrolling was lower.
Rogers said that the university's "yield rate," the percentage of students accepted who actually end up attending BGSU, has "drifted down."
Administrators will focus on programs that have particularly low yield rates, he said.
They will also look at better targeting of merit scholarships, he said, putting more emphasis on high school GPA. The idea is to better identify those students who will enroll at the university.
Rogers said more attention will be placed on those students who come to BGSU with the expectation they will transfer to another school before graduating.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 20:20

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