University Business October 2017 - 19

New faculty hires will help reduce crowded classrooms
While most states faced with continuing
budget shortfalls have put a cap on new
faculty hires, Florida is taking a different
approach.
Throughout the state, colleges and
universities are hiring faculty to accommodate growing high-demand fields like
health and engineering-and, in some
cases, to boost their prestige. New hires
are expected at the University of Florida,
the University of South Florida, Florida
Atlantic University, Florida State University, Florida International University
and the University of Central Florida.
Altogether these institutions will add
about 1,500 largely tenure-track faculty
members in the coming years.
The University of Florida, for example, will bring on an additional 500
faculty members. But this doesn't necessarily mean adding students. The school
plans to hold its residential undergraduate
population constant, while allowing its
UF Online program to grow without
limit. That combination will lower
student-faculty ratios.
The added faculty will also allow the
university to redesign its first-year calculus program completely, Provost Joseph
Glover says. These sessions currently
take place in large lecture auditoriums,
but next year the class will change to a
smaller "flipped" format. "This means we
need additional classrooms suitable for
that purpose," Glover says. Mathematics already has a new classroom and the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is
renovating another. "Many of the classes
will fit into current facilities, but where
we need to renovate existing classrooms
or create new instructional spaces, we
will do so," he says.
At the University of South Florida,
enrollment growth has outpaced faculty.
The school is hiring 300 additional
faculty to remedy that situation, and to
help it gain prestige. Officials hope the
institution will become a member of the
esteemed American Association of Uniwww.universitybusiness.com

versities, but its current student to faculty
ratio (24 to 1) is a stumbling block. The
university wants to bring ratios to 19 to 1
or lower.
Ralph Wilcox, provost and executive
vice president, says additional faculty
will help deliver what students say they
want: "Smaller classes will, in part, be
accommodated through more efficient
scheduling of existing classrooms and
through addressing students' demand
for expanded access to online delivery
and learning."
Officials do anticipate needing additional research labs to accommodate
new faculty in the colleges of engineering
and medicine, or in natural sciences and
mathematics.
"Additional space will be addressed
through new construction, renovation
and leasing," Wilcox says.

Understandably, the plan to increase
faculty is not without cost. At the University of South Florida, for example, the
combination of new faculty (recruiting,
salaries and benefits), plus renovations or
new construction, is expected to cost as
much as $388 million over five years.
-Tim Goral
DATA POINT

21:1 TO 30:1
-

R a tio
s tu d e n ts to
a t m o s t o f
in s titu tio n s

ra n
te
th e
a d

g e o
a c h e
F lo r
d in g

f

rs
id a
fa c u lt y

Source: U.S. News & World Report
Best Colleges Guide

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October 2017 | 19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business October 2017

University Business October 2017 - Cover1
University Business October 2017 - Cover2
University Business October 2017 - 1
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