Friday, October 2, 2009

Vinnie From Vineland Wonders About the Veracity of "Fast Facts."

Looking at a single page linked to the section for “future students” finds on our web page the following “Fast Facts” that in no way describe my department and my college:


“Selective.” I guess that denotes freshmen applications. Many of our students transfer to us from community colleges—pardon!!! County colleges. We may be selective about what freshmen we admit, but we’ll take any and all transfer students—because we base that process on how many students we need to fill up classes. The best of them have already selected their schools when we scramble to fill our seats—with those students who haven’t been accepted anywhere else by late August.

"Student/Faculty Ratio: 15:1." What does this number mean? We have ten fulltime, tenure track faculty for 500 majors, and 71 classes each semester. Does number include adjuncts? Who don’t advise, mostly because they never know if they have jobs the next semester, and have no offices to advise students anyway? Does that number include administrators who hold faculty status in departments but who never teach or advise? What does this number mean?

"Average Class Size: 20 students." The smallest class in our major is 15. The majority of our classes are 35, small I know in comparison to other schools. But looking at the general education courses in other department—all capped at 35—and “major” electives—all capped at 24—makes me wonder where are the small classes bringing this ratio down to 20.

"All classes are taught by professors." Please! Oh! I get it: that includes adjuncts. It has to because adjuncts teach sixty percent of the classes in my department and 100 percent of the general education courses. (I like that whoever wrote this web page uses passive voice here.) Having no graduate students teaching our classes is better than having recent graduates and/or graduates who haven't been able to find jobs is better because..... Actually, I'm not sure.

"58% of classrooms are tech enabled." Lights and electrical sockets must be included in the definition of “tech.”

"Average SAT I range: 1,190-1,360." What an interesting way of avoiding the true AVERAGE. RANGE: the highest average SAT score is 1,360? And the lowest average SAT score is 1,190? Is that what that means? What’s the average SAT?


When I read the web page and the admission brochures, I always think, “GOD! I wish I taught there!”

What are the “fast facts” on your school’s web page?