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Goodbye to all that academic planning

6/17/2012 update.

Latest rumors say we will have ~25,200 students on campus next fall, that doctoral enrollment is flat at less than 1200 instead of the 1500 in the plan, and that there will be ~30 more tenure-track faculty, for a total of about 725 instead of the ~796 in the plan.

To get back to the 1995 student/faculty ratio would take 961 tenure track faculty.

5/11/2012: Jim Bean’s 2009 academic plan is supposed to be UO’s working plan for our academic future. It’s mostly the usual JH yada-yada, but it does have a few numbers, all of which have been subsequently ignored:

Institution Size. We intend to increase the size of the incoming freshman class and to grow the campus to a total of 24,000 students (from 20,300 students). This managed and marginal growth …

Graduate Students. We intend to increase the proportion of graduate students (excluding law) from 15 percent to above 19 percent, which is more reflective of our AAU peers. …  Even more importantly for our viability as a world-class research institution, we seek to reverse the decline in doctoral student enrollment (down by eight percent since 2003) and reach a stable enrollment of 1500 doctoral students within five years (in Fall 2007 there were approximately 1100 doctoral students).

Faculty Size and Quality.
Any increase in student numbers must be met by an increase in faculty if we are to preserve our core educational mission — especially because UO faculty/student ratios are already low, relative to our AAU peers. We seek to increase the number of faculty by 100 to 125 tenure-track faculty lines …

The baseline year was 07-8. All numbers are for fall of the AY, from UO Institutional Research. Rumor has it that the administration is now planning on 25,200 students for 2012. If the student rumor is correct, we will need to have 97 new TT faculty hires, net of retirements and departures, coming to campus fall 2012 to return the Student/TTF ratio to its 2007 baseline, or a total of 795.

Year Students TT Faculty Student/TTF ratio
2007-08 20,376 642 31.7
2011-12 24,447 696 35.1
2012-13 25,200(?) ? ?

That’s not going to happen – our provosts have already spent too much money on guns, lawyers, their Johnson Hall renovations, raises, sabbaticals, cars, and sports junkets and subsidies. Here’s the plot of the number of students per TTF, through fall 2010:


  1. Anonymous 05/11/2012

    In your table above you should also show the administrator head count and the student/administrator ratio for comparison with the student/TTF ratio.

    • UO Matters 05/11/2012

      This is not the first referee report I’ve ever got with a similar comment. I’ll put it in the hopper.

  2. Anas clypeata 05/11/2012

    Back when Provost Bean was shopping around the draft Academic Plan, a number of us from the support staff side asked where the rest of the infrastructure planning was. Adding 15% faculty when there are 20% more students is fine, but there would also need to be corresponding increases in support infrastructure: child care facilities, support staff, counseling staff, admissions and registrar staff, bike racks, classrooms, IT staff, department administrators, and on and on….

    We were told by Provost Bean at the time that the plan for those infrastructure improvements would follow the Academic Plan, as part of a broader campus plan. As far as I can tell:

    1. That broader plan was never created (although some of the necessary hires and improvements may have been made, but not in a systematic, planned, thoughtful way). Anecdotally: I have noticed additional bike racks in various places on campus, for example, and the cops sure have greatly enhanced their vehicle fleet and ordnance.

    2. Faculty hiring is way behind the plan.

    3. The damn post office closed. Still grumpy about that. And I’m not old enough to be grumpy yet. Get off my lawn!

    Maybe Peter Keyes is right that process is the product, instead of plans that are actually implemented.

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