by Charles Schwartz    Department of Physics
       University of California, Berkeley  -- May 1,1999


A large store of financial and personnel data recently put on the web
allows us to form a statistical map of where the faculty positions are
allocated among the many departments at Berkeley and to compare this
distribution with where the students are.  This research is introduced
by an exchange of email with the Executive Vice Chancellor.

Our main finding is that there is a large imbalance on this campus. The 
effective student/faculty ratio varies by over a factor of four from one
academic department to another.  This raises questions about the
priorities of Berkeley's leadership, especially regarding its public
responsibilities and obligations to our tuition paying students.

                PART I -- The Correspondence

Carol Christ                         April 19, 1999
Exec. Vice Chancellor & Provost
UC Berkeley

Dear Carol;

Near the end of your talk today at GSPP, I believe I heard you say that:
All faculty positions at the University are fully funded by the state
and the faculty positions are allocated on this campus according to
student enrollments, following the student/faculty ratio that is fixed
by the state.

If this statement is inaccurate, please correct it.

Also, please have the following information sent to me: Specific
detailed numbers for the Berkeley campus showing the student enrollments
and faculty position allocations for the individual departments.


Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 14:39:10 -0700
To: Charles Schwartz <schwrtz@socrates.berkeley.edu>
From: Carol Christ <cchrist@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Dear Charlie,

Yes, you are correct in your understanding of what I said; that is the
current policy.  There is a change of policy under consideration at OP
that would allow non-state funding of faculty positions.  Were this
proposal approved, campuses could expand the faculty budget through use
of other funds.

The information you've requested is available on the Web, in Cal

                               April 21, 1999
Dear Carol;

I followed the advice you gave in our recent email exchange and looked
up the data provided in Cal Profiles on the Web.

Here is a sample I collected, for six large departments on the Berkeley
campus, provided under the heading "Budgeted Faculty FTE Ratios -
Assigned Majors". The first column of numbers below is "Undergrad
Majors/Perm.Faculty FTE" and the second column is "Graduate
Majors/Perm.Faculty FTE."  In the third column I have added these two
numbers to get the total departmental student-faculty ratio, according
to this source.  These numbers are for 1997-98.

Physics 3.2 7.9 11.1
Mol.& Cell Biology
English 20.3 6.1 26.4
History 12.9 8.7 21.6
E.E.C.S. 25.1 12.8 37.9
Economics 26.0 8.6 34.6
[Correction:  All the numbers in this table should be divided by 2.
See Notes at the end of this paper.]

One is struck by the variations in these numbers from one department to
another. Clearly, this data does not show the student/faculty ratio that
is fixed by the state for UC at something around 18 or 19.

Would you please explain to me what I have done wrong in using this data
and point me to where I can find the numbers that will correctly explain
the original point of my inquiry: how are faculty positions allocated
among departments on the Berkeley campus?

Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999
From: Carol Christ <cchrist@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Dear Charlie,

I think you misunderstand how the ratios determine budget.  The ratio
controls the budget for the entire campus; it determines how many
faculty positions we have.  However, we don't try to maintain uniformity
of student/faculty ratio from department to department or school to
school. In deciding how many faculty positions to give a department, or
school, or college, we use a number of factors including enrollments,
programatic need, quality of the unit.  The Budget Committee produced a
document a number of years ago that defined criteria for FTE allocation;
if you're interested, you might ask the Senate for it.  It provides a
good guide to our practice.


                   PART II -- The Data

Cal Profiles, a rich source of statistical data on UCB finances and
people  (http://callisto.chance.berkeley.edu/calprofiles), was put on
the web over the last several months.  An organizational chart shows the
structure of the campus: 14 schools and colleges with their many
academic departments, which can be individually examined.  In the tables
below I have put selected data into three columns of numbers, called A,
B and C.  I'll describe the results briefly here, with further detailed
notes and comments placed at the end of this paper.  All data selected
here are for the year 1997-98.

Column A gives the count of Permanent Faculty FTE (full time
equivalents) for each School and College at Berkeley (Table 2), and
subsequently for each academic department within the College of Letters
& Science (Table 3).  These numbers tell where the faculty are.  The
largest department on this campus is E.E.C.S. with 71.3 Permanent
Faculty FTE.

Column B gives one kind of student/faculty ratio.  The numerator here is
the total enrollment of students (undergraduate and graduate) in
regularly scheduled courses (averaged per term).  This tells where the
students are. The denominator in this ratio is the Permanent Faculty
FTE, given in column A.  This counts each student several times since
the average undergraduate student takes about five courses in each term. 
Still, this is a very appropriate measure, and it is the best one
available, for making comparisons between different academic units.

Column C gives another kind of student/faculty ratio.  This number is
given in Cal Profiles as Assigned Majors (undergraduate majors +
graduate majors) divided by the Permanent Faculty FTE.  These numbers
are quite unreliable, however, because a great many undergraduate
students have not declared their major and so they are not counted here.

Therefore, it is most meaningful to study the numbers in column B; and
here I will focus on the College of L&S. The principal finding is that
there is a huge variation in this ratio - enrolled students per faculty
- among the 37 departments in L&S.  The lowest ratio is 41 and the
highest one is 173.  The overall average for the College is 97 and the
median value among the departments is 87.5.  Here is a list of the top
10 and the bottom 10 ranked by this ratio (column B). Remember that TOP
here means having the highest ratio of students/faculty.

                         Table 1
TOP 10

173 Dramatic Art
151 Ethnic Studies
143 Art Practice
130 Spanish & Portugese
115 African American Studies
115 Women's Studies
109 Anthropology (24.3)
108 East Asian Languages
104 Economics (36.0)
104 Comparative Literature


63 Art History
63 Linguistics (13.5)
59 Classics (13.6)
57 Molecular & Cell Biology
57 Demography (3.0)
54 German (11.5)
48 Slavic Languages
46 Near Eastern Studies
43 Scandinavian (5.0)
41 Geology & Geophysics

The number in ( ) is the faculty count (column A) for that department. 

                          -  -  - 

In conclusion, we have found that there is a large imbalance in the
distribution of academic resources on this campus.  The effective
student/faculty ratio varies by over a factor of four from one academic
department to another.  Some variation in this ratio is to be expected 
but to find this much is a jolt.  While there are further details of
this subject that need to be studied, this result raises serious
questions about the priorities of Berkeley's administrative and faculty
leaders. Such questions concern the public responsibilities of this
university and also its obligations to our tuition paying students.

                        Table 2
  Data on Academic Teaching Units at UC Berkeley for 1997-98
              compiled from Cal Profiles

A = Permanent Faculty FTE
B = Total Course Enrollments / Permanent Faculty FTE
C = Assigned Majors / Permanent Faculty FTE
C/Letters & Science
767.0 97 25.2
C/Engineering 198.3 65 18.9
C/Chemistry 63.5 96 16.2
S/Business 63.3 114 21.1
C/Environmental Design
61.5 53 15.8
S/Law 48.5 103 19.2
S/Public Health
42.8 69 10.2
C/Natural Resources
35.2 100 28.0
S/Education 33.3 91 12.1
S/Optometry 17.0 86 16.3
S/Social Welfare
15.0 96 15.4
S/Public Policy
12.0 54 8.5
S/Journalism 10.8 44 9.9
S/Info. Mgt. & Systems
8.3 22 6.2
Energy & Resources Grp.
3.5 63 13.5
"Open Provisions"
---Total Campus
1,485.0 84 20.2

(* These 103.4 Faculty FTE's are held by the Executive Vice Chancellor
and Provost (EVCP) presumably for future allocation to departments. 
According to Cal Profiles these positions are Budgeted at $5,263,000.)

                           Table 3
  Details for the College of Letters & Science -- 4 Divisions

Integrative Biology
35.0 75 13.6
Molecular & Cell Biology
70.2 57 14.0
P.E. Program
---Total Division
108.2 112* 13.5

(* This number is inflated by P.E. program course enrollments.)

Astronomy 11.8 70 3.7
Geology & Geophysics
16.0 41 3.9
Mathematics 53.8 98 5.3
Physics 51.0 65 5.6
Statistics 21.9 81 3.8
---Total Division
152.5 78 6.3

African American Studies
10.5 115 3.0
Anthropology 24.3 109 14.5
Demography 3.0 57 2.7
Economics 36.0 104 17.3
Ethnic Studies
17.8 151 11.3
Geography 12.8 87 7.3
History 50.3 73 10.8
Linguistics 13.5 63 5.5
Political Science
39.0 100 15.5
Psychology 37.0 95 19.0
Sociology 25.5 93 13.9
Women's Studies
4.8 115 4.4
---Total Division
275.3 96 13.9

Art History
12.0 63 10.2
Art Practice
5.0 143 15.2
Classics 13.6 59 4.6
Comparative Literature
9.0 104 16.2
Dramatic Art
5.0 173 10.6
East Asian Languages
11.2 108 5.7
English 60.8 78 13.2
French 10.3 74 6.0
German 11.5 54 4.7
Italian 4.0 93 5.3
Music 19.3 100 5.6
Near Eastern Studies
11.5 46 5.0
Philosophy 16.5 86 10.0
Rhetoric 10.4 94 14.8
Scandinavian 5.0 43 2.4
Slavic Languages
9.5 48 3.7
South & SE Asian Studies
5.0 86 5.2
Spanish & Portugese
11.5 130 11.7
---Total Division
231.0 86 9.6


Data in column A come from Cal Profiles, under the Header "Faculty and
Staff Summary" at Line Item #358 for each academic unit.

Data for column B come from Cal Profiles, under the Header "Course
Enrollment Activity." Add Line Items #1232 (total for Primary Courses)
and #1272 (total for Independent Studies) to get the total enrollment in
courses sponsored by each academic unit; and then divide this sum by the
number in column A.

Data for column C come from Cal Profiles, under the Header "Budgeted
Faculty FTE Ratios", adding Line Items #2311 (Undergrad Majors/Perm.
Faculty FTE) and #2312 (Graduate ditto) for each academic unit.  I have
taken out a spurious factor of 2, which may be recognized in this
excerpt from the Data Sources & Methodology section of Cal Profiles:
"Assigned Majors/Budgeted Permanent Faculty FTE is provided for graduate
and undergraduate majors. The numerator for graduate assigned majors is
line item 1140 and for undergraduate assigned majors is line item 1120.
This information is then divided by the permanent faculty FTE (line item
358). Because the assigned majors figure is provided as a year average,
the product of assigned majors/budgeted permanent faculty FTE is
multiplied by two."  This error was not noticed until after my April 21
letter above.

To see the large effect of "undeclared majors" look at the number given 
in column C of Table 2 for the entire College of L&S (25.2 majors/
faculty FTE) and then look at the numbers given in column C of Table 3
for each of the 4 Divisions of L&S (13.5, 6.3, 13.9, 9.6) and note that
the average of these 4 is less than half of the overall L&S number!

One other caveat concerns the interpretation of the numbers presented in
column B above.  It has to do with teaching programs that are outside of
the academic departments (i.e., have no budgeted faculty FTE of their
own) but enroll a sizeable number of students in their courses.  The
largest example is the L&S Division of Undergraduate & Interdisciplinary
Studies (UGIS), which contributes about 6% of the total L&S count of
course enrollments. This should be a negligible correction on the
average; but it might affect some departments in a significant way.