COAS Courses

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Earle Traynham, Interim Provost Academic Affairs

Given the recent shortfall in the projected FTEs combined with the proposed recalculations of the allotment faculty lines that may result in the moving some lines from COAS to the professional schools, how will these factors impact the faculty and the departments that participate honors program? Using the honors courses offered in Fall 2013 as a sample, approximately 60% of the courses were taught by COAS faculty, is this factored into the FTE calculations? Honors courses require significantly small class sizes and may affect the FTE calculations. This may prevent departments from participating in the honors program in the future.


Written response from Dr. Earle Traynham, Interim Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs:

Before responding directly to the questioner regarding the potential impact of faculty line reallocations on COAS support of honors, allow me to provide a brief explanation of the basis for reallocation of faculty positions among the colleges.

Recently, a decision was made to reallocate a few (4) faculty lines from the College of Arts and Sciences and one from the College of Education and Human Services in response to sustained enrollment decreases in those two colleges, and to shift these positions to the Brooks College of Health and the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction.

This decision followed a thorough and careful analysis of enrollment trends and full-time faculty utilization in each of the colleges over the past five years. The analysis compared colleges only to themselves over this five-year period. This point is very important, since it ensures that those factors that influence differences in average classroom sizes among the colleges are taken as given. In other words, each college was compared only to itself in terms of Student FTE per Instructional FTE. To illustrate, since the average ratio of Student FTE per Instructional FTE in the Coggin College of Business equaled 26.1 during 2008-2013, then CCB was expected to meet that standard. Since the ratio averaged 20.0 in COAS during 2008-2013, it was expected to meet that standard. And, so on for each of the five colleges.

Since most Honors courses are taught by faculty in COAS, and Honors courses typically have lower-than-average enrollments, which fact is built into the overall average ratio for COAS. COAS is not penalized for offering Honors courses.

If COAS offers more Honors courses, its ratio might decrease, and the number of faculty required per student FTE would increase. The opposite is also true. If COAS offers fewer Honors courses, its average enrollment per class might increase, its ratio would then increase, and the number of faculty required per student FTE would decrease.

If COAS is uncertain or uncomfortable as to how offering Honors courses might impact its appropriate faculty allocation, it is relatively easy to strip all student FTE and faculty associated with Honors courses out of the equations. This option will be discussed with the Dean of COAS.

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