While San Diego State president Elliott Hirshman and California State University trustee vice-chairman Adam Day jockey behind closed doors for a costly new football stadium in Mission Valley, statistics aired last week at a meeting of the university’s faculty senate point to a growing academic crisis at the school.
“Numbers of faculty and staff have not recovered from losses during the great recession, whereas numbers of graduate teaching assistants and administrators have increased,” says a report by professor Anne Donadey of SDSU’s Diversity Equity and Outreach Committee. “The loss of 164 faculty members (from 1,871 down to 1,707, an 8.8 percent loss) between Fall 2008 and Fall 2015,” the report notes, “explains the increase in student-faculty ratio, which has been 28:1 since Fall 2013 and was 22:1 in Fall 2009 (and 17:1 in Fall 2001).” The recommended ratio is 18.1, says the Donadey document. “The decrease in faculty numbers is cause for concern, as is the fact that percentages of female and underrepresented faculty members have not increased in spite of retirements and regular hiring since 2014-15.”
On the other hand, the number of high-dollar campus bureaucrats is shooting skyward. “Numbers began increasing to 285 in Fall 2014 and ballooned to 316 in Fall 2015,” per the findings. “Overall, the large spike in administrator numbers in recent years, coupled with the loss of faculty and staff, is cause for concern.”