News: Faculty Senate Committee considers academic future

The Faculty Senate Financial and Phsyical Planning Committee (FPPC) met April 2 to discuss the progress made toward understanding the effects of the budget cuts on academic quality.The meeting covered the manner of calculating faculty-student ratios as well as a discussion on the fact finding on schools and colleges on ratio and effects of schedule changes.Fred Curran, Assistant Provost, informed the board of how the calculations are made, although this gave rise to some debate among members of the board.Several members shared their concern on the the calculations, saying that the formula does not accurately portray the situation.We can do it with parking, just make a head count, said Mathew Bovee, an assistant professor at the school of business administration. “It’s not so simple to do that about instruction.”Members also discussed ways in which the deans could strive for a specific ratio to meet the requirements while neglecting another aspects of education.For deans, it creates behavior that is unintended about what programs you want to support, said Deane Wang, an associate professor at the Rubenstein school.Over the next few weeks, members of the FPPC, ranging from all different schools, will be gathering information from departments to be put into an upcoming report.”We’re going to ask some specific questions of the department chairs, so then those [effects] will be defined out in more detail,” Chair of the FPPC, Bud Meyers said.