May 062003
Authors: Patrick Crosslan

Many students will arrive at CSU next year and be greeted by larger classes.

Which students, which classes and by how much those classes will increase remains a mystery.

The College of Engineering has 10 open faculty positions which they do not intend to fill, said Steven R. Abt, executive associate dean of the College of Engineering.

Budget cuts will prolong the hiring of faculty positions needed to address the number of enrolled students next fall. The College of Engineering may hire temporary staff, while other faculty members may teach one or more additional classes, Abt said.

“Faculty and staff have to go the extra mile to make ends meet,” Abt said.

Adjustments will be made to regulate class materials with class size and labs will remain the same size in order to address specific questions related to the material.

“There has been a reduction in the number of sections, but not in the number of seats,” said Thomas Siller, associate professor of civil engineering. “In our own courses, we’re going to a different model of having larger sections.”

Despite budget cuts, the College of Engineering has remained open about changes in class sizes and said they have made an effort to protect the quality of their programs for students.

The College of Agricultural Sciences has also made significant changes to its staff structure next fall.

“We’ve done some fairly significant restructuring for staff positions,” said Lee Gray, associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

The college has downgraded some positions to save money, reducing staff members from full- to part-time, he said.

“We have not had to release any faculty members,” Gray said.

Teaching positions left open as a result of retiring faculty members will remain open next fall, requiring some teachers to teach additional classes, he said.

“You cannot continue to do everything you were doing in the face of cuts like we’ve had,” Gray said.

Unfortunately, sometimes the results affect students, Gray said.

The College of Veterinary Medicine will also have open faculty positions, which will result in larger classes next fall.

“We’re not canceling classes or reducing the number of students who can enroll in the classes,” said Lance Perryman, dean of the college. The college will not be eliminating class sections, he said.

Kim Spencer, a journalism instructor, is planning to look for a job in the field of journalism after she was told she could return next year only on a part-time basis.

“Higher ed is in such a crisis, I am kind of hesitant (to find other work in higher education),” she said. “I don’t want to be stuck in the same position again.”

Spencer like other instructors in the journalism department were working on a year to year full-time contract which was not renewed for next fall. They can only return as part-time professors.

Colleges are not the only one to make changes next fall. The HELP/Success Center will be merging with the Center of Life Sciences and the Undergraduate Student Retention program next fall.

“We will have a couple of positions of people who are leaving,” said Gaye Digregorio, assistant director for Advertising Services. “We may be doing more with less people.”

Because of the merger, some jobs will shift and individuals who had previously been advising may no longer do so.

“Our goal is to offer all of the same services,” Digregorio said.

With a week and a half left of school, some colleges at CSU have not yet released information about downgrading faculty and class size.

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