Saturday, June 20, 2009

A&M faculty need to spend more time teaching basics

In the letters to the Eagle:
There was an important error in a column by Morris Foster, chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents (Eagle, June 18). The goal of the Faculty Reinvestment Plan initiated by former A&M President Robert Gates was to hire 400 new faculty with the goal of reducing the average class size.

When combined with faculty retirements and turnover, however, the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty increased only 14 percent, not 30 percent, from 1,649 in the fall of 2004 to 1,884 in the fall of 2008.

In that same time period, student enrollment increased 8 percent. It is not surprising that the professor-to-student ratio has not changed significantly.

If the Chairman of the Board of Regents (Mechanical Engineering '65) can make this kind of mistake, the faculty are not doing their jobs as teachers.

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