Carolina State University
SACS Compliance Certification
August 15, 2003
2.8 (adequate faculty)
Faculty positions are provided for through three modes of funding at NC State University. The North Carolina General Assembly uses a funding formula based on student credit hours (SCH) to determine the number of additional full-time equivalent (FTE) instructional faculty needed to accommodate projected enrollment growth. The number of new FTE instructional faculty varies according to the discipline and level of the credit hours projected. For example, nine times as many FTEs are provided for doctoral-level engineering as for undergraduate liberal arts. This formula is used only to calculate the additional appropriation needed for new enrollment growth and is not applied to existing enrollment or the base budget.
Second, some contract and grant awards fund temporary faculty positions for specific teaching, research, or service purposes. Finally, additional faculty positions are funded through the extension and engagement appropriation to the university.
These three funding streams ensure that NC State University’s faculty is sufficient to maintain the quality and integrity of its academic programs. A common metric of faculty teaching workload—SCH delivered per FTE (SCH/FTE)—can be used also to evidence this claim. Table 1 presents a raw summary of the average number of SCH/FTE taught by the faculty in each college in the university for fall 2002.
Table 1. SCH/FTE by College and Level at NC State University
Overall, the average teaching load at NC State University is about 233 SCH/FTE instructional faculty. Teaching loads in the colleges range from 85 SCH/FTE in the College of Veterinary Medicine, where teaching involves significant clinical work at the graduate level that is not measured in credit hours, to about 343 SCH/FTE in Management. Distance education faculty and credit hours are included in these calculations.
To provide a context for this information, Table 2 compares the average undergraduate SCH/FTE in key disciplines of interest (by CIP code) to the average SCH/FTE in the same disciplines at selected peer institutions who also participate in the National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity (the “Delaware Study”). The disciplines shown in Table 2 come from colleges with the highest average SCH/FTE at NC State University (i.e., Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and Management). This evidence suggests that faculty workload at NC State University is competitive among these institutions.
Table 2. A Comparison of Undergraduate SCH/FTE in Selected Disciplines
NC State University’s faculty is comprised of both regular faculty and non-regular faculty. Regular faculty include tenured, tenure-track, and full-time off-track faculty whose primary employer is the university. 99% of the 1,576 regular faculty members hold full-time appointments. Non-regular faculty include adjunct instructors (part-time off track faculty) and administrators who teach. 97% of the 329 non-regular faculty members teach part time at NC State University. Part time faculty can be a valuable resource because they often bring current professional experience into the classroom; however, they remain a limited part of the instructional staff.
In addition to these metrics, students express satisfaction with the faculty on the graduating senior survey. Table 3-7 indicates that a majority of respondents rate as “good” or “excellent” several factors related to faculty-student involvement, including encouraging faculty-student interaction, providing prompt feedback, caring about their success and welfare, and encouraging active learning.
NC State University maintains an adequate number of regular faculty to carry on the non-classroom responsibilities of the faculty, including advising and research as well as curriculum development and governance. For example, during the 2001-2002 academic year, 82.4% of the faculty were serving in a regular, full-time tenured or tenure track capacity. Table 3 demonstrates that while there is variability among the colleges in their use of non-regular faculty, each has an adequate number of full-time regular faculty.
Table 3. Faculty Status by College for the 2001-2002 Academic Year
In addition to the instructional faculty, NC State University also maintains an adequate field faculty in support of the extension and engagement mission of the University. NC State stations Cooperative Extension Service field faculty in all 100 counties in the state plus the Cherokee Reservation. In comparison with its peers, the NC State University Cooperative Extension Service has the second-largest budget and personnel expenditures of all extension services in the nation, whereas the state of North Carolina is only 11th in the nation in population. Our ratio of citizens per field faculty is lower than other states with large extension services. Only Texas employs more extension agents than North Carolina, whose higher density of extension personnel ensures a density of field faculty that is adequate to meet the needs of the citizens of the state.
NC State University faculty members maintain an active research program that both support and enhance the institution’s academic programs. For 2000-2001, total expenditures exceeded $444 million and have increased 6.78% annually over the past four years (NC State University Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Reports, Table 1.1). Research awards exceed $168 million and have increased an average of 6.43% each year over the past three years (NC State University Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Reports, Table 1.3).
A number of compliance reports present additional information about the university’s faculty. For instance, employment policies are overviewed in Comprehensive Standards: Institutional Mission, Governance and Effectiveness #10. Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs #20 discusses faculty qualifications. Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs #21 discusses how the university evaluates its faculty members. Further, Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs #22 overviews the university’s policies on the professional development of its faculty. The role played by the faculty in university governance is discussed in Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs #24. An overview of faculty responsibility for the university’s academic programs is provided in Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs #12.