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Fall Teaching – Course Caps and the Question of Modalities


Dear FSU Members,

Below is (hopefully) clarification on two issues that faculty have raised:

Course Capacity: Faculty have noted the possibility of increased pressure to raise course caps due to financial constraints and the fact that course sizes are no longer limited by physical space.  Some faculty have already experienced such pressure at the department level.  To reaffirm, for both in-person and distance learning courses, once course capacities are reached, only the individual faculty member may admit additional students (see Article 15.4 of the contract for more information). Faculty members have full discretion in this regard.  Maintaining or even reducing class size is vital for our students, and also has implications for the number of course sections, and hence the number of jobs available (especially important to those who received non-reappointment letters).  If you experience any pressure to increase your course caps, and feel this is problematic, please feel free to contact the FSU.  And please consider signing this pledge to hold the line on class size:

Synchronous or Asynchronous?  To clarify (or reaffirm): Faculty members decide how to teach their courses – synchronously, asynchronously, or in some hybrid form.  The Provost’s office believes it is vital for faculty to keep students engaged as we continue to teach remotely, and believes that for many of us who have not been trained in online teaching the easiest way to do so is by teaching synchronously.  Face-to-face is what most of us are used to.  However, as we all know, such engagement can also happen through asynchronous or hybrid teaching.  Engaging our students is, as always, key – how to do so is up to the instructor.  

Steve Striffler

FSU, President

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