Monday, September 6, 2010

A Plan to Rebuild the Full Time Faculty Contingent by 2020

Jim Wright presented the plan at the 9/1/2010 senate meeting. A few of the highlights (lowlights?):
  • For the 2007-2008 school year, Ohlone had 152 full time faculty, about 8500 FTES, and 68% of our sections were taught by full time instructors.
  • At the start of the 2010-2011 school year, Ohlone has 127 full time faculty (the report says 128 but the unfortunate passing of Curtis Bressler makes it 127), about 9000 FTES, and about 50% of our sections are taught by full time instructors.
  • Ohlone has a significantly lower number of full time faculty than California community colleges of similar size.
Dr. Wright's plan calls for us to get back to a level of 152 full time faculty by 2020.

We will be discussing, and hopefully approving the plan at the 9/15/2010 senate meeting. If approved, we will put together a committee that will have 3 faculty to begin this work.

The full plan can be found at this link:

The graph below shows the distribution of full time faculty employment in years. The key thing that I noticed is that the block from 6 to 15 years makes up 60% on the faculty. Over the next many years, that chuck of the graph is going to move to the right and be followed by a gap where very few faculty will be.


  1. Just to clarify one of the statistics in the summary above... What the plan states is that Ohlone has a fulltime faculty obligation number (FON) that is significantly lower than other college's FON. There is no data presented about how many actual fulltime faculty the other colleges have. And since the FON seems to be an unrealistic, fabricated number anyway, I'm wondering if it's appropriate to even use it.

    Instead, since the 75/25 ratio is based in the % of our course sections that are taught by fulltime faculty, it seems to me that any statistical analysis about numbers of faculty should be based in numbers of sections, not in FTES or WSCH. The tables in the full plan seem to imply that decisions about which departments get how many fulltime faculty should be based on WSCH. But we already know that WSCH/FTEF ratios vary tremendously from department to department, based on variations in class sizes (some of which are mandated). I think there should instead be a table showing what % of sections in each department are taught by fulltime faculty, and we should be trying as a college to get back toward the 68% number that we had in 07-08.

    I'm also concerned that the plan seems to have no data analysis about the counseling and library faculty. Numbers of faculty from these areas are proposed without any explanation as to how the numbers were chosen (0 additional for counseling and 2 additional for library). According to Data Mart, our overall FTES has risen about 10% from 8437 in 2007-08 to 9273 in 2009-10, and so it seems like there should be some kind of similar increase in counseling fulltime faculty, especially considering that they are now operating without any adjunct faculty at all.

    I recognize that this plan is intended as a starting point for dialogue and for the proposed committee to begin its work, but if the Faculty Senate is going to be "approving" the plan, then I think it should be as reflective of the faculty's needs as possible and I would suggest that it be revised before approving it.

  2. The formula for establishing the FON for each college may be hard to pin down (and some might call it fabricated), but in fact there is a formula (I don’t know what it is exactly but in involves enrollment as at least one of the variable) and college’s are held to their FON and fined if they go below it.

    I will see if Mike Bowan can come up with the Full Timer to Adjunct ratio for the various disciplines. That would be important data.

    The numbers for Counseling are stated as 20 because that is how many there are now and to go below it would mean layoffs. Librarians was set at five, since that’s where they were when we were at 152. Of course, if someone left, there would need to be dialogue about it. Data Mart does not include numbers of Tenure Track Positions for Counseling or Librarian that I could find. However, know how many Counselors and Librarians other colleges have (say those of our similar size, or some kind of ration between Counselors, Librarians and Classroom) would be helpful and I will also ask Mike to look into this.

    Of course, I encourage everybody to explore all data that is available.

    This will be a ten-year project and the variables involved with be dynamic (e.g. people will be leaving over the next 10 years and it will be random as to who is ready to retire or who leaves). The dialogue about needs must be ongoing and the more analysis and feedback we can get, the better the ultimate decisions will be.

  3. I received a question about what FON stands for and I thought I would post the answer here:

    FON stands for Faculty Obligation Number. It is the minimum number of full time faculty that the state says we must have. It is determined by the number of students and several other factors which I have never gotten a clear explanation of. The state will penalize any college that goes below their FON and the penalty is equivalent to the price of hiring the full time faculty to reach the FON so there is no benefit to going below the FON.