Oct 212003
 
Authors: Seth Davis

Because of the recent reductions in faculty and the growing

number of students, the student-to-faculty ratio at CSU is slowly

rising.

The current ratio is 17:1.

Leslee Becker, an English professor, said she feels spread thin

by having more students.

“Since I have more students, many of them can’t make it to my

office hours,” Becker said. “I’ve been using e-mail to contact some

of them. I’m afraid this is going to come across as teachers

whining, but it’s a big issue.”

Becker said she is not the only one who has noticed the

proportion of students to faculty becoming more

disproportionate.

“I’ve noticed and, more important, students have noticed. I have

students who are in huge sections. Some people take classes because

they think they will be more intimate. From my standpoint, I feel

shackled,” Becker said.

She said she is having a harder time finding time to give her

students and their work enough individual attention.

Keith Ickes, associate vice president for Administrative

Services, said the ratio has not increased much, since it was

16.6:1 in 1991. This means CSU is doing okay, Ickes said.

“A 17:1 ratio means we’re okay. Actually, if we were to stay at

17:1, we would feel pretty good about things,” Ickes said.

He thinks the ratio might be slightly higher soon.

“We’re likely to see the number go up because of reductions in

faculty positions last year,” Ickes said. In his opinion, though,

CSU is still far from needing to be concerned about the ratio. He

said that he does not think a school is out of balance until the

ratio reaches 22:1 or 23:1.

The student-to-faculty ratio may just seem like a number at

first glance, but Ickes said it affects students’ ability to

interact with faculty.

“Technically, for a major institution it’s one measure of how

many resources you have for a student,” Ickes said. “The lower the

ratio, the more likely the student can find time to meet with

faculty.”

Ickes named the University of Denver as one Colorado school with

a low ratio. Its 9:1 ratio gives students a lot of opportunity for

contact and interaction with faculty, which is also why it costs so

much to attend the college, he said.

Thomas Wanebo, a senior English and history major, said he has

not noticed any big problems with the number of faculty.

“I’d say it’s pretty good. I’m not a student who goes to see

professors during office hours. Most of my professors will answer

e-mails pretty quickly, though,” Wanebo said.

He did say that he suspects freshmen are noticing bigger class

sizes because of faculty reductions.

CSU administrators might have a difficult time if the ratio

rises enough that they try to lower it, Ickes said.

“There are only two ways to lower the ratio: fewer students or

more faculty. Both are hard choices, almost impossible. Fewer

students means less tuition. More faculty means we need more money,

and money is the source of the problem in the first place,” Ickes

said.

 

 

 

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