By Christina Manuel and Melissa Lopez
The university is on track toward increasing the number of tenure-track faculty over the next three to five years, according the Academic Master Plan released in January 2018.
The goal is to hire more tenure-track faculty to reach tenure density to a 66 percent level, previously obtained at CPP in the academic year of 2008-09.
Tenure density is the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty divided by the total number of faculty at CPP.
“What we are committing to doing is to have a multi-year tenure hiring plan,” Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Planning Sepehr Eskandari said. “We are planning to increase tenured density two percent every year.”
A tenured faculty position is a faculty member who is granted a permanent job contract with an institution after a period of probationary years and a tenure-track faculty is an employee who is guaranteed consideration for a tenure position.
In the academic year of 2008-09 at CPP, the total tenured and tenure-track faculty numbers for all colleges and departments amounted to a total of 481 members.
This is the 66 percent level the Office of Academic Planning is aiming to reach again. The CPP roster information is released from the College Faculty Roster Counts Tenured and Tenured-Track Report developed by the Institutional Research and Academic Resources reports released in 2016.
Each college at CPP faced a decline of tenured and tenure-track faculty beginning around the academic year of 2009-10 as a major effect of the Great Recession and is still slowly increasing in numbers to the present day.
Peter Kilduff, Interim Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture, acknowledges this trend impacting his department and the California State University system altogether.
“The CSU system has had a very significant financial squeeze put on it as a result of the great recession,” Kilduff said.
“That impacted everything. It’s recovered since then as you’ve seen in the numbers.”
With roster numbers currently under where the 66 percent density level goal is, the Office of Academic Success is intent on executing a three-through-five-year plan to get back to the tenure density reached in 2007-08.
Actions for increasing tenure diversity are already in place.
There are currently 43 ongoing tenure-track searches.
The faculty members that are granted tenure-track positions will begin their jobs in the Fall 2018 semester.
Forty-six new position searches are planned to be executed the next academic year of 2018-19 and will start their jobs in the Fall semester of 2019.
The tenure-track hiring process is a lengthy procedure that each college goes through and is overseen by search committees, the Department Chairs and Deans of each college, the Diversity Office, the Provost Sylvia A. Alva, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Eskandari.
“Each year we get approved for a certain number of searches in the fall for position announcements,” Dr. Erika De Jonghe, Interim Associate Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences said.
“There is a lot of attention and thought in making sure we have an appropriate, diverse faculty.”
This lengthy procedure of hiring new tenure-track members is to ensure each step in the hiring process is equal and fair to every candidate and is sticking to CPP standards.
Currently, the College of Science and the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences consist of the highest number of tenured and tenure-track granted faculty members.
As semester conversion draws closer than ever, it’s questionable whether there will be an increased number of tenured faculty retiring before the switch.
Currently there is no released information on the exact number of tenured faculty members retiring this year from CPP.
De Jonghe did not disclose the private information about how many tenured faculty members are retiring this year in CLASS.
However, she stated that the number of tenured faculty retiring in CLASS before semester conversion is not as high as she thought it would be.
Listing the importance of the three-through-five-year plan, Eskandari stresses the importance of tenured and tenure-track faculty at CPP.
“Tenured and tenure-track faculty drive student success initiative and play a big role in scholarly and student activities,” Eskandari said.
Eskandari also states that tenured and tenure-track faculty add additional support to student scholarship opportunities and play a major role in each curriculum goal and design at CPP.
Student to Faculty Ratio
The most recent major to faculty ratio report for fall 2017 prepared by CPP’s Academic Research and Resources shows a wide range from college to even majors.
According to the report the overall student to faculty ratio across the entire campus is 53.2 students to one faculty member.
The report is released every fall.
When Academic Research and Resources was asked about the ratio prediction for fall 2018, they said that there can be no true prediction as they only report the data after information has been collected from each college.
There is a significant difference across the university once colleges and majors are looked into closer.
According to the report for every 176.5 students in the liberal studies discipline there is only one faculty member.
Priscilla Rivas a third-year liberal studies student believes that the department is doing as much that is in their power with the resources available to them to aid their students.
“The number of faculty is smaller than in other departments but it’s easier to communicate with them because we basically know everyone and who to go to,” Rivas said.
The liberal studies department has the highest student to faculty ratio across the university.
The Philosophy department has the best student to teacher ratio with 12.8 students to one faculty member.
Departments in the end are the ones who determine what the ratios will be.
Felicia Avila, a records specialist at the Registrar’s Office says that the office plays no role in the ratios.
“We have nothing to do with what the ratios will be as departments are the ones who determine if they need to take on more faculty for their students depending on their own personal standards.”
As this quarter is nearing its end and the semester system is closer to its induction there is no clear indicator on whether the ratios will be impacted.
For more information about this report and more, visit Academic Research and Resources at https://www.cpp.edu/~arar/
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