Tuesday, March 11, 2014
In doing my research on law schools’ 509 disclosures for today’s post, I noticed something odd. For 2013, Hofstra had a student/faculty ratio of 18.19 to 1. I had remembered Hofstra as having a ratio of about 15 to 1 for the last few years, so I decided to double check. For 2012, Hofstra’s student/faculty ratio was 15 to 1. This is a very significant decline of over 20% for one year. (In 2009, it was 15.4 to 1 (U.S. News April 2010).)
Let me give you an example of how much it takes to cause a change this significant in the student/faculty ratio. Say a law school has 1,000 students and 50 faculty (as counted under the ABA standards interpretation 402-1). That school would have a student/faculty ratio of 20 to 1. Assume that next year, the school loses 100 students. The student/faculty ratio would improve to 18 to 1. Instead, assume that the school gained 100 students. The student faculty/ratio would decline to 22 to 1. On the other hand, if a law school had 1000 students and 55 faculty, the student/faculty ratio would be 18.18 to one. This is junior high math.
For Hofstra’s student faculty ratio to have declined 20%, they would have admitted a significant number of new students, lost a significant number of faculty, or a combination of both. Over the last few years Hofstra’s enrollment has declined, and I don’t think they have lost a significant number of faculty members so Hofstra’s decline in student faculty ratio is a mystery. If anyone has an explanation, please make a comment.