Generation CS: The Challenges of and Responses to the Enrollment Surge
management strategies that have been done or are being con-
sidered by the fewest units.
ACTIONS TAKEN TO MANAGE TEACHING RESOURCES
Figures 6(a) and 6(b) show how units are managing their teaching resources in response to the growth in student enrollment.
The top four actions already taken by
more than 65% of doctoral-granting
units are increasing: ( 1) the use of existing undergraduate TA programs, ( 2) the
use of adjuncts and visitors, ( 3) the use
of advanced graduate students to teach
courses, and ( 4) the number of teaching
faculty. The two largest actions already
taken for managing teaching resources
at the non-doctoral-granting units are an
increased reliance on adjuncts and visitors (44%) and beginning a new undergraduate TA/tutor program (45%, which
is the same level of response for this action from doctoral-granting units).
The two most rejected or not-allowed
actions at doctoral-granting units include
increasing teaching loads and modifying
the administration cost of teaching buy-outs. Some of the possible actions listed
in the survey are not applicable for many
non-doctoral-granting units, making it
difficult to interpret the most-often rejected actions by these units. Like doctoral-granting units, a notable number of
non-doctoral-granting units (25%) have
increased the teaching loads of their faculty. A slightly larger percent has considered this action but rejected it.
In both doctoral- and non-doctoral-granting units, the largest “Considering” action to manage teaching resources is hiring
tenured/tenure-track faculty. The sharp increase in the number of open tenure-track faculty positions at both doctoral- and
non-doctoral-granting units suggests that units are having difficulties filling open positions [ 7]. Since only about one-third of
new PhDs pursues an academic position [ 3] and industry continues to hire researchers from academia [ 6], filling open faculty
positions will continue to be a challenge.
MANAGING FACULTY WORKLOADS
Figures 7(a) and 7(b) show actions that units are taking to manage faculty workloads. For doctoral-granting units, the responses are diverse and no action was taken by more than 50% of the
units. Approximately 50% of the units avoid assigning junior
faculty to large classes and accept that increased workloads
are a fact of life. Indeed, more than 60% of both doctoral- and
non-doctoral-granting institutions units reported they are accepting or beginning to accept the increase in workloads as a
new normal. Few units have thought of eliminating or reducing
ACTIONS TAKEN TO MANAGE COURSE OFFERINGS
Figures 5(a) and 5(b) list possible actions related to managing
the courses a unit offers. The survey asked units to rate each
action using six criteria, from “Done this” to “Don’t know/NA.”
We list the actions by the largest responses for “Done this” in
The top two actions taken by both doctoral- and non-doctoral-granting units to manage increased course demand are not
surprising: increasing the number of sections and significantly
increasing class sizes. More than 80% of the doctoral-granting
units as well as 47% and 61% of non-doctoral units have already
taken these two actions.
More than 50% of the doctoral-granting units are offering
extra summer courses, while few of the non-doctoral-granting
units are employing this strategy. More than 50% of the doctoral-granting units and 34% of the non-doctoral-granting units
have also reduced the number of low enrollment courses offered. Neither result is surprising; for example, 4-year colleges,
which seldom have summer programs and who pride themselves in offering small classes, are highly represented in the
survey. Less than 11% of the units stated that they have raised
the bar for doing well in a course. In fact, raising the bar and
spinning off service courses to other units are the two course
(a) Doctoral-Granting Units
(b) Non-Doctoral-Granting Units
Figure 5: Actions taken to manage the courses a unit offers.