I think we need the courage to ignore parts of the Delaware report. One goal of the Delaware report is to garner glory and prestige for the Delaware report and perpetuate the research machine of the Delaware report. They're not very self-critical even though there are flaws you can drive a truck through. Like selection bias. The non-representative sample of paying "volunteers" may skew the data toward those institutions who can present themselves well or who want to prod "unproductive" departments with the data.
Another fatal flaw is ignoring NTT faculty. The rationale is that TT salaries are expensive and stable. But ignoring NTT faculty and graduate students in a study of instructional costs and expenses is ridiculous. There have been massive shifts away from TT to NTT instructors since the Delaware report started in 1992. I predict that instructional costs per credit hour are much lower when NTT, adjunct, and graduate student instructors are factored in.
Apparently 2 of 3 credit hours is taught by TT faculty at research/doctoral universities. In my department (> 800 majors) we would need about 20 more TT faculty.
Finally, the Delware report is based on a flawed premise: "What is the return on investment?"--combined with a focus on TT faculty and instructional costs. I'll tell you the return on investment--terrible. You'll have lower instructional costs with all adjunct or NTT faculty, like for-profit online "universities." You don't hire, evaluate, or promote TT faculty for their instructional efficiency. If there's no research/scholarship then why are they TT faculty?
Ultimately, the conclusions of the Delaware report are:
1) have a smaller TT faculty
2) have them teach a lot
3) have really big classes
But I do not thing that these are the goals or ambition of Kent State University.
Posted Nov 15, 2012