Because of the recent reductions in faculty and the growing
number of students, the student-to-faculty ratio at CSU is slowly
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
“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
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