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Have your course caps been raised?


Dear FSU Members,

Two things regarding course capacities.

As the Spring semester approaches some faculty have noted the possibility of increased pressure to raise course caps due to financial constraints, enrollment concerns, and the fact that class sizes are not limited by physical space in the virtual world.  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.  Class size has implications for the number and diversity of courses offered. It therefore has consequences for student learning, NTT faculty employment and overall faculty job satisfaction.  If you experience any pressure to increase your course caps, and feel this is problematic, please feel free to contact the FSU. 

In addition, the FSU would like to know if your course CAPs have recently been raised prior to being entered into Wiser – that is, prior to registration.  Faculty do not control this, and it is a problematic way in which course capacities are raised.  Have you, for example, been teaching a course that was traditionally capped at 35 students only to find the CAP raised to 40 in Wiser prior to the semester’s registration?  Please let us know if this has happened to you in a recent semester.  Raising the CAP in this way is up to the discretion of Department Chairs (something the FSU is working on in bargaining).  It is also how course capacities can slowly balloon over time.

Thank you!

Steve Striffler

FSU President

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