Sunday, March 16, 2014

Update on Hofstra's Sharp Decline in Student/Faculty Ratio

Last week, I noted Hofstra's sharp decline in student/faculty ratio over the past year.  It's student/faculty ratio went from 15 to 1 to18.19 to 1 in just one year, a 20% decline.  This is especially surprising since Hofstra's enrollment has been declining, which should cause improvement in its student/faculty ratio.  Although the post received several comments, none satisfactorily explained the decline.

I did receive additional information from a correspondent.  Hofstra's ratios reported to the ABA over the 8-year period from 2006 (which would have covered the ratio for academic year 2005-06) to 2013 (covering AY2012-13) were 18.5; 17.9; 18.7; 15.6; 15.2; 15.4; 15.1; 18.19.  As you can see, Hofstra's student/faculty ratio was relatively steady for four years, then it declined to 18.19 to 1 in one year.

If anyone can explain this, please comment below.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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First, I wouldn't cite Wikipedia as a reliable source. More importantly, I think the 51 figure in Wikipedia includes deans who also teach, librarians who are tenured or on the tenure-track who teach, and others who teach who have security of position, while the 41 number you mentioned does not include these. According to Hofstra's current website, Hofstra has a distinguished full-time faculty of 53 professors. ( That's two more than the Wikipedia cite for 2010, which I believe is using the same method of counting.

While Hofstra has lost faculty, it has also gained faculty. I think Simon left in 2010 or 11, and Fortney replaced him. Manta, Nevins, Campagna, McElroy are relatively new. I also believe that one of the former deans, Albert, went back to full-time teaching.

In any event, for Hofstra’s student/faculty ratio to have declined 20% as it did, it would have had to have lost 20% of its faculty (8 or 9 professors) in a year while keeping the same student population. I don’t think this happened.

Posted by: Scott Fruehwald | Mar 17, 2014 10:40:30 PM

The answer apparently is that they had more FT faculty earlier - the wikipedia page from 2010 lists 51 and the comments to your earlier post list 41 (I think) in 2012. (It is calendar year, not academic year, which counts for faculty/student ratio - I am surprised you do not know this if you are doing a project examining these). The new dean and vice dean count as losses for the faculty, and were not replaced because the old dean left and the old vice dean got another administrator position. Simon went to private practice about that time. I am sure there are others.

Posted by: Pompeii | Mar 17, 2014 6:10:05 PM

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