Department Long Range Plan: Hiring Plan 2007-2012

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Department of English

Engineering
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Program Review 2008 (Appendix P)

California State University, Los Angeles

College of Arts and Letters

Department of English

Hiring Plan, 2007-2012

Summary

From 1995 to 2001, the Department of English at CSU Los Angeles went from the fourteenth largest undergraduate program in the CSU to the ninth largest, increasing the number of undergraduate degrees awarded by 61%. Since 2001, the Department has managed to maintain those advances despite losing nearly 25% of its full-time faculty. However, maintaining those advances has come at a significant cost. The present lack of full-time faculty has resulted in the following:

A strained graduate program poised to grow significantly but held back by lack of graduate seminars in areas of student interest

A strained undergraduate major that cannot grow because of cuts in and inconsistent staffing of lower and upper division courses for the major

Significant reduction of full-time faculty participation in 400-level service courses and upper and lower division general education courses

Elimination of full-time faculty participation in first-year writing courses

To reverse these dangerous trends, the department must prioritize its hiring needs, concentrating first on resolving problems with its graduate program and undergraduate major, since damage to these programs effectively undercuts the department itself. In terms of priority, the department should think of hiring in three ways: hiring necessary now; hiring necessary in the future; and hiring necessary for growth. The first two categories address hiring needed simply to maintain the department’s graduate and undergraduate degree programs; the last category moves the department beyond simply maintaining its current programs and into potential areas of growth. This plan recommends:

Current Hiring Needs—Specialists in

Restoration and eighteenth century British literature (search in progress)

Linguistics, with preferred subspecialties in ESL or composition/rhetoric

Projected Hiring Needs (2007-2012) (these needs are based on the possibility of retirement and so are contingent)—Specialists in

American literature to 1860

American literature of the twentieth century

Hiring Necessary for Growth (2007-2012)—Specialists in

Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Anglophone literatures

Drama (genre)

Additional faculty in literature

Composition and rhetoric (assuming no hire as part of current hiring needs)

Table of Contents

Introduction *

Profile of Current Faculty *

Trends in Enrollment *

Undergraduate Degree Programs *

Graduate Degree Programs *

Service Offerings *

Projection of Department Hiring Needs *

Current Hiring Needs *

Projected Hiring Needs *

Planning for Growth *

Table of Figures

Figure 1: Composition of Department by Area of Specialization *

Figure 2: Area of Specialization as Percentage of Full-Time Faculty *

Figure 3: Number of Literature Faculty by General Field *

Figure 4: FTES Associated with Different Program Areas *

Figure 5: FTES Associated with Different Program Areas (Winter Terms Compared) *

Figure 6: Enrollment Decline in Single Subject Credential Option *

Figure 7: Enrollment Increase in Creative Writing *

Figure 8: Number of BAs Awarded in English at CSULA *

Figure 9: Graduate FTES by Program Area *

Figure 10: Graduate FTES from Winter Terms Compared *

Figure 11: Percentage of Course Sections Taught by Full-Time Faculty, by Type of Institution and Course *

Figure 12: Percentage of 400-level Courses Staffed by Full-time Faculty *

Table of Tables

Table 1: FTF Headcount from 2002 Self-Study *

Table 2: FTF Headcount from University Catalog Listings *

Table 3: FTF Headcount from Rank and Catalog Year *

Table 4: Number of Literature Faculty According to Subspecialty *

Table 5: FTES of Different Program Areas *

Table 6: FTES of Different Program Areas (excluding general education) *

Table 7: Percentage of Students in Each Undergraduate Option *

Table 8: Comparing Campus Rank in Number of Bachelor's Degrees Awarded *

Table 9: Enrollment in English 500 and in all Graduate Seminars (2001-2005) *

Table 10: Service Course Enrollment (excluding pre-baccalaureate and first-year writing) *

Table 11: Projected Number of Literature Faculty According to Subspecialty *

Table 12: Areas of Specialization for Graduate Students 1989-2006 *

Table 13: Number of Graduate Students in Areas of Specialization Compared to Number of Graduate Seminars Offered *

Introduction

The hiring of new full-time faculty is the single most important factor in determining the future direction of a department, and yet in the past this decision-making process has been conducted almost entirely on an ad-hoc basis, a discussion item on a department meeting agenda, squeezed between announcements on excessive paper use and planning for the year-end party. Seeking a more rational procedure for deliberating on both the need for hiring and the type of candidates to pursue, the Policy Committee has at the request of the department produced this document.

While the following data and analysis were accurate at the time of writing, human and institutional factors can significantly alter both what has been analyzed and the conclusions to be drawn. Because of the potential effect of human factors—such as unanticipated changes in the make-up of the full-time faculty of the department—and institutional factors—such as budget restraints and significant enrollment changes—the Policy Committee recommends that the department regularly revisit this hiring plan.

Profile of Current Faculty

In the self-study produced for the most recent program review, the department reported the following numbers on full-time faculty:

Table 1: FTF Headcount from 2002 Self-Study

Academic Year

FTF Headcount at Start of Fall Term

1996-97

22

1997-98

22

1998-99

22

1999-2000

25

2000-2001

27

2001-2002

25

These numbers in Table 1 mostly coincide with headcounts derived from faculty listings in the university catalog, with one important difference: the FTF headcount above includes faculty participating in the early retirement program (FERPs) while the catalog listing excludes FERP faculty. The catalog listings therefore provide a more accurate measure of the actual number of available full-time faculty. These figures are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: FTF Headcount from University Catalog Listings

First Year of Catalog

FTF Headcount

1995

21

1997

21

1999

21

2001

26.33

2005

21.33

2006 (Current)

20.33

In the 2002 self-study, the department claimed that the "traditional number of full-time faculty" has been "approximately 26-28 full-time faculty." As Table 2 shows, only once in the last decade has the department approached this "traditional number," suggesting that "traditional" refers to the time before the near-catastrophic budget crisis of the early 1990s. While in the years surrounding the beginning of this decade the number of FTF in the department approached the pre-1990 staffing levels, by 2003 the number of FTF had dropped to near its present level.

While it is tempting to blame the lack of institutional resources for the department’s current FTF understaffing, such a view gives only a partial picture. Another significant factor is retention. Table 3 shows the distribution of the department by rank and by catalog year.

Table 3: FTF Headcount from Rank and Catalog Year

First Year of Catalog

Assistant

Associate

Full Professor

1995

7

3

11

1997

6

3

12

1999

4

7

10

2001

8

6

12.33

2005

4

4

13.33

2006 (Current)

3

6

11.33

Comparing the probationary faculty in 1995 to the probationary faculty in 2001 locates one source of our current understaffing. In 1995, the department had seven assistant professors. By 2001, one had left the department and the other six had been granted tenure. All six are still active in the department. In 2001, the department had eight assistant professors. By 2006, four had left the department, and four had been granted tenure. Of the four granted tenure, three are still active in the department. Of the 1995 cohort of probationary faculty, 86% are currently active in the department. Of the 2001 cohort, only 38% are active. While the 1995 cohort might represent an unusually high level of retention, the 2001 cohort would seem to represent an unusually low level.

Over the last decade the composition of the department as determined by area of specialization has undergone some change. Historically, the full-time faculty of the department can be assigned to one of four areas of specialization: literature, creative writing, composition and rhetoric, and linguistics. While there is some overlap between these areas in terms of individual faculty who teach across these sub-disciplinary boundaries, actual hiring practices treat these areas as somewhat autonomous. Figure 1 shows the composition of the department by year and area of specialization.

Figure 1: Composition of Department by Area of Specialization

 

As shown in Figure 1, the department has been and continues to be literature based. In fact, if we compare the percentage of the department faculty in each of these four areas, we see very little change from 1995 to 2006. Figure 2 shows the distribution of full-time faculty by area of specialization expressed as a percentage of the total number of full-time faculty.

Figure 2: Area of Specialization as Percentage of Full-Time Faculty

Expressed as a percentage of the department, full-time faculty specializing in literature has been by the far the largest part of the department, accounting for around 75% of the department. Within this area of specialization, however, significant shifts in distribution have occurred since 1995. Figure 3 shows the number of literature faculty who teach primarily American, British, or world literature.

Figure 3: Number of Literature Faculty by General Field

Figure 3 shows a decided shift in the distribution of literature faculty, which can be illustrated by comparing 1999 to 2005. In 1999, the department had five faculty members working primarily in American literature and ten working primarily in British literature. By 2005, the department had eight faculty members working primarily in American literature and seven in British literature. This shift, however, should not be seen as the realization of departmental hiring objectives. Rather, this shift can be at least partially attributed to the poor retention of the 2001 probationary faculty cohort.

Looking more carefully at the distribution of literature faculty based on faculty subspecialty, we can identify patterns of coverage, from which the department has not varied over the past decade. Table 4 lists the American and British literature subspecialties and the number of full-time faculty in those subspecialties. The cells are colored to show the number of faculty in that subspecialty relative to the historically most common number of faculty in that subspecialty. If the number of faculty in that subspecialty is less than the historically most common number of faculty in that subspecialty, the cell is colored yellow (understaffed). If the number of faculty in that subspecialty equals the historically most common number of faculty in that subspecialty, the cell is colored green. If the number of faculty in that subspecialty is greater than the historically most common number of faculty in that subspecialty, the cell is colored blue (overstaffed).

Table 4: Number of Literature Faculty According to Subspecialty

1995

1997

1999

2001

2005

2006

Medieval

1

1

1

1

1

1

Renaissance

2

2

2

2

2

2

Restoration/18th Century

3

2

2

2

1

1

19th Century

2

2

2

3

2

2

20th Century

2

2

3

3

1

1

American 19th Century

2

2

2

3

3

3

American 20th Century

3

3

2

3

4

4*

Unclassified

0

0

0

1

1

0

* Includes one currently inactive faculty member.

Trends in Enrollment

Data on student enrollment that would be most helpful for planning purposes is not currently available. Access to past and current data on the number of majors, and the distribution of those majors amongst both undergraduate and graduate options, would be helpful in determining how well our current staffing levels and the distribution of that staff meet the needs of our current students.

The Department of English serves four constituencies: students seeking an M.A. degree in English; students seeking a B.A. degree in English; students from other degree programs enrolled in English courses (service courses); and students enrolled in general education English courses including composition.

Historically, general education has accounted for a significant portion of the number of students served by the department as measured by FTES. As such, the department’s FTES totals are to an unusual extent tied to undergraduate, especially first-time freshman, enrollment. When first-time freshman enrollment declines for the campus, the FTES totals for the department decline, and at times these declines can be striking. For example, a comparison of the department’s FTES total in 2001-2002 to the total for 2004-2005 would show a decline of 11%. A comparison of FTES totals for Winter 2001 and Winter 2007 would show a 16% decline. What such comparisons fail to take into account is the impact of campus enrollment on the department’s FTES totals. Table 5 shows the FTES associated with different program areas of the department (undergraduate and graduate combined).

Table 5: FTES of Different Program Areas

01-02

02-03

03-04

04-05

Pct Change 01-02 to 04-05

Composition

1608.4

1701.3

1550.5

1300.6

-19%

Creative Writing

34.5

36.6

43.5

59.2

72%

General Education

443.3

356.0

360.8

389.1

-12%

Linguistics & Comp/Rhet

133.5

141.9

130.5

154.7

16%

Literature

746.7

792.5

812.2

745.7

0%

Other

29.1

25.3

23.5

17.5

-40%

Total

2995.5

3053.6

2921.0

2666.8

-11%

FTES totals increased for two of the department’s areas (creative writing and linguistics and composition and rhetoric), stayed the same for the literature core and declined markedly for general education (composition and general education courses). Declines in composition and general education account for greater than 100% of the department’s 11% decline in FTES registered between 2001 and 2005. Figure 4 displays the above information graphically.

Figure 4: FTES Associated with Different Program Areas

That declines in composition and general education FTES continue to have a negative impact on the department’s FTES totals is made clear by Figure 5, which shows FTES totals associated with the different program areas of the department from the last six Winter terms.

Figure 5: FTES Associated with Different Program Areas (Winter Terms Compared)

If composition and general education are excluded, the department registers a nearly 5% increase in FTES when 2001-2002 is compared to 2004-2005. This "core" FTES total, calculated by excluding composition and general education FTES from the department’s total FTES, also provides a more accurate view of the current curricular heart of the department. When we take this "core" FTES and examine how it is distributed amongst the different program areas of the department, we can produce a reasonably accurate reflection of the demand created by the current configuration of the graduate and undergraduate degree programs. Table 6 lists this distribution along with each area’s share of the "core" FTES.

Table 6: FTES of Different Program Areas (excluding general education)

01-02

02-03

03-04

04-05

Total

Pct of 04-05 Total

Pct of 4-Year Total

Creative Writing

34.5

36.6

43.5

59.2

173.8

6%

4%

Linguistics & Comp/Rhet

133.5

141.9

130.5

154.7

560.6

16%

15%

Literature

746.7

792.5

812.2

745.7

3097.1

78%

81%

Total "Core" FTES

914.7

971.0

986.2

959.6

3831.5

The above figures suggest that to meet the demands of the current programs, as indicated by each area’s total FTES expressed as a percentage of all "core" FTES from 2001 to 2005, the ratio of full-time faculty who only teach in the above program areas would be one in creative writing, three in linguistics and composition and rhetoric, and sixteen in literature. More recent data suggests, however, slight increases in creative writing and linguistics and composition and rhetoric, and a decrease in literature.

The following subsections examine more carefully enrollment trends in our undergraduate program, graduate program, and service (including general education and composition) offerings.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

The only figures available on the number of majors in the department and their distribution amongst the options are hand-counted totals that probably are in error. When these figures were compared to other English departments in the CSU, the totals for CSULA were disproportionately high. However, while the totals might be in error, if we assume that errors were spread evenly amongst all of the options, the proportion of one option to the others is probably reasonable accurate. Table 7 shows the undergraduate and graduate student populations expressed as percentages of total headcount in each option.

Table 7: Percentage of Students in Each Undergraduate Option

Option

Percentage of
Total Headcount

Undergraduate: General

Single Subject

Creative Writing

37%

51%

12%

Graduate: Literature

Creative Writing

Composition and Rhetoric

81%

10%

9%

In the 2002 self-study, the department reported that two-thirds of the department’s majors were single-subject credential students and in conversation and policy the department has proceeded under the tacit assumption that the single-subject program option is central to all curricular considerations. However, the distribution of majors in Table 7 suggests that students are more evenly distributed amongst the undergraduate options. While specific headcount numbers for both the undergraduate and graduate program are unreliable, other data suggests that the single-subject credential is no longer the dominant portion of the undergraduate major. Figure 6 shows enrollment in two core classes (English 417 and English 441) graphed against enrollment in the capstone course for prospective teachers (English 494).

Figure 6: Enrollment Decline in Single Subject Credential Option

While enrollment in core courses has increased slightly (3%) from 2001-2002 to 2004-2005, enrollment in English 494 has declined by nearly 40% in the same period. Even though enrollment in English 494 rebounded slightly, the decline from 2001-2002 to 2005-2006 was still nearly 24% and enrollment in this course for 2006-2007 remains down. In the past, such an enrollment decline would hardly have passed unnoticed, and yet this decline mostly escaped our attention. The reason is twofold. First, the decline in the single subject option—at present more of a seasonal disturbance related to shifting job prospects for teachers than a long-term trend, but potentially a long-term decline due to changes in teacher certification—has been modestly offset by increased enrollment in creative writing courses. Second, the decline in the single subject option has been significantly offset by considerable growth in the traditional major. The result is that despite significantly lower demand for the single subject option, the program as a whole has grown significantly over the last ten years.

Increased enrollment in creative writing courses is probably mostly if not wholly due to an increase in the number of students choosing the creative writing option. However, there appears to be no evidence that growth in creative writing is coming at the expense of other programs in the department. Figure 7 reproduces the enrollment data from Figure 6, adding the average enrollment in English 406, English 407, and English 408.

Figure 7: Enrollment Increase in Creative Writing

The 40% decline in the single subject option is paralleled by a 40% in enrollment in creative writing courses. However, in terms of actual students, this increase in creative writing enrollment is small compared to the decrease in single subject enrollment. To offset the decline in single subject option enrollment, a significant increase in general option enrollment must have occurred.

The strongest evidence for such an increase can be found in the number of undergraduate degrees awarded. In fact, the increase in degrees awarded in English from CSULA is so pronounced that it would indicate significant growth in the program regardless of a decline in single subject option enrollment. Figure 8 shows the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in English at CSULA from 1995-1996 to 2005-2006. During this period, the number of degrees awarded increased by 59% when comparing 1995-1996 to 2005-2006, and 42% when comparing the first tertile (1995-1998) to the last tertile (2003-2006). This increase in number of BAs awarded is the second largest percentage increase in the CSU, trailing only the new and still growing San Marcos campus.

Figure 8: Number of BAs Awarded in English at CSULA

This increase in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded cannot be attributed to a rising tide of enrollment, either systemwide or campuswide. In the CSU system, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in English has increased 15% from 1995 to 2006. At CSULA, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in all disciplines has increased 9% from 1995 to 2006. The English Department’s increase of 59% means in terms of degrees awarded the department is growing four times faster than the CSU and seven times faster than CSULA.

These differential growth rates can be more easily shown by comparing how each campus ranked in terms of number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in English. Table 8 shows each campus’s ranking in the CSU for 1995-1996 and 2005-2006. The campus awarding the most bachelor’s degrees is ranked 1 (San Diego in 1995-1996 and Long Beach in 2005-2006). The campus awarding the second-most number of bachelor’s degrees is ranked 2 and so on.

Table 8: Comparing Campus Rank in Number of Bachelor's Degrees Awarded

 

1995-1996

2005-2006

Bakersfield

19

18

Channel Islands

21

Chico

6

15

Dominguez Hills

18

14

Fresno

10

11

Fullerton

4

5

East Bay

15

17

Humboldt

13

16

Long Beach

5

1

Los Angeles

14

9

Maritime Academy

21

22

Monterey Bay

21

22

Northridge

3

4

Pomona

16

19

Sacramento

8

6

San Bernardino

7

7

San Diego

1

3

San Francisco

2

2

San Jose

11

12

San Luis Obispo

12

8

San Marcos

20

12

Sonoma

9

10

Stanislaus

17

20

Between 1995-1996 and 2005-2006, the English Department at CSULA moved from the fourteenth largest undergraduate program in English in the CSU (as measured by degrees awarded) to the ninth largest program. What makes this growth more striking is that it has occurred independent of the campus’ enrollment fortunes. In 1995-1996, CSULA ranked twelfth in the CSU in terms of the number of all bachelor’s degrees awarded. In 2005-2006, CSULA remained twelfth in this ranking.

The effect of the department’s marked increase in degrees awarded while the campus’s growth has merely kept pace with systemwide growth is an increased share of the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded on the campus. In 1995-1996, 2.2% of all CSULA bachelor’s degrees were in English, a percentage which translates to 1 out of every 45 undergraduate degrees. In 2005-2006, 3.2% of all CSULA bachelor’s degrees were in English, a percentage which translates to 1 out of every 31 undergraduate degrees. It is difficult to overestimate the extraordinariness of this shift. In the entire CSU, only three English departments have managed to increase their share of the degrees awarded on their campuses: Humboldt by 4%, Dominguez Hills by 22%, and Los Angeles by 32%. During this same period, the percentage of all bachelor’s degrees that are English degrees decreased systemwide by 13%.

Given these clear signs of overall growth, it is not surprising that a short-term decline in enrollment in the single-subject option, even one potentially as significant as 40%, has had little impact on the department’s overall enrollment. While the single-subject option remains a significant part of the undergraduate program, it no longer appears to be the dominant force in undergraduate enrollment. Growth in the creative writing option, while not significant in real numbers, has made that program a significant contributor to undergraduate enrollment. Increased enrollment in the traditional English major, however, would appear to play a significant role in the sustained growth of the department’s undergraduate program.

Graduate Degree Programs

As shown in Table 7, the Literature option accounts for over eighty percent of enrollment in the M.A. program, with the remaining twenty percent split between the Creative Writing and the Composition, Rhetoric, and Language options. In terms of FTES, enrollment in graduate literature courses accounts for about 78% of graduate enrollment, enrollment in graduate linguistics and composition and rhetoric courses accounts for about 9%, and enrollment in graduate creative writing courses accounts for just over 4% (based on data from 2001-2005).

The graduate program has grown over the last five years. Enrollment data from 2001 to 2005 indicates fluctuations in enrollment but a general increase. Figure 9 shows FTES from graduate courses with program areas distinguished.

Figure 9: Graduate FTES by Program Area

More recent data, though partial, indicates continued growth in the graduate program. When FTES totals from the last six Winter terms are compared, the trend is unmistakable. Figure 10 shows the marked increase in graduate FTES from Winter 2002 to Winter 2007.

Figure 10: Graduate FTES from Winter Terms Compared

While figures on the absolute size of the graduate program are not available, enrollment in English 500, the introduction to graduate study in English, serves as an effective measure of the growth of the program. Table 9 shows enrollment in English 500 along with total enrollment in graduate seminars.

Table 9: Enrollment in English 500 and in all Graduate Seminars (2001-2005)

Academic Year

Enrollment in English 500

Enrollment in All Graduate Seminars

2001-2002

32

232

2002-2003

64

300

2003-2004

47

338

2004-2005

52

308

While these enrollment figures are very impressive, they also raise some concerns. Clearly, enrollment in the graduate program, as measured by enrollment in English 500, has significantly increased, though just as clearly the fluctuations from one year to the next create a significant planning challenge. It becomes increasingly difficult to allocate limited instructional resources when the graduate program cohort increases 100%, decreases 26%, then increases 11%. While wild entry-level enrollment swings can be handled at the undergraduate level through the use of part-time faculty, they cannot be accommodated at the graduate level, especially when schedules are submitted long before the size of the incoming cohort is even known.

That enrollment management in the graduate program might already be a problem is suggested by the number of M.A. degrees awarded. Like the undergraduate program, the graduate program has improved its ranking in terms of degrees awarded, though the gains have been more modest. In 1995-1996, the Los Angeles campus ranked tenth in the CSU in the number of M.A. degrees awarded. In 2005-2006, the campus ranked eighth. If enrollment in the graduate program has increased significantly and the number of degrees awarded has increased slightly, then the possible explanations are that the graduate program has a serious retention problem, or students are having difficulty finding courses to complete their program. So while increased enrollment is generally considered a positive development for a department, there is some question whether the current growth in the graduate program is either beneficial or sustainable.

Although reliable numbers on department size are hard to come by in the CSU, by available measures the undergraduate English program at CSULA is approximately the ninth largest in the CSU and the graduate program is approximately the fourth largest. Combining both programs places the CSULA English Department about seventh in the CSU in terms of program size.

Service Offerings

As outlined earlier, the Department of English serves four constituencies: students seeking an M.A. degree in English; students seeking a B.A. degree in English; students from other degree programs enrolled in English courses (service courses); and students enrolled in general education English courses including composition. Increasingly, these constituencies have come to represent a hierarchy of values in the department. All classes at the graduate level are staffed by full-time faculty; most classes in the major are staffed by full-time faculty; some service classes are staffed by full-time faculty; and few general education classes (specifically composition) are staffed by full-time faculty.

In examining the impact of enrollment trends on the department’s ability to serve these last two constituencies we must look not merely at demand but supply. In brief, lack of instructional resources and increased enrollment in its graduate and undergraduate degree programs has forced the department to rely increasingly on part-time faculty to staff composition courses, lower division general education courses, upper division general education courses, service courses, and more recently even lower and upper division courses in the major.

However, this trend, though more pronounced at CSULA, is not unique to CSULA. The 1999 Report of the ADE Ad Hoc Committee on Staffing detailed the rapid exodus of full-time faculty from undergraduate education. Figure 11 reproduces a chart from the 1999 ADE report on staffing, with CSULA added in for comparison.

Figure 11: Percentage of Course Sections Taught by Full-Time Faculty, by Type of Institution and Course

The comparison data in Figure 11 is from surveys conducted by the ADE in the late 1990s and from the Department of English’s 2002 self-study. Even then, the percentage of first-year writing course sections taught by full-time faculty was lower even than that found at Ph.D.-granting institutions. Since 2002, this trend has accelerated and this acceleration is due to reduced instructional resources and increased demand in the major. For example, excluding honors sections of English 101 and English 102, the percentage of composition courses taught by full-time faculty is rapidly approaching zero.

Given the significant difficulties the department has encountered in staffing even its core offerings with full-time faculty, the department will probably not be able to consider the regular use of full-time faculty in first-year writing courses, at least for the foreseeable future. This retreat from general education, however, is not limited to first-year writing. Table 10 lists the service courses offered by the department (excluding pre-baccalaureate and first-year writing courses) along with information on enrollment and staffing for these courses.

Table 10: Service Course Enrollment (excluding pre-baccalaureate and first-year writing)

Service Courses

01/02

02/03

03/04

04/05

Pct Staffed by FTF in 04/05

Pct Staffed by FTF in 05-06

English 250

569

380

400

393

50%

27%

English 258

38

70

68

87

33%

33%

English 260

16

26

100%

English 301

92

122

167

203

50%

43%

English 377

43

18

42

59

33%

50%

English 379

108

102

147

144

50%

100%

English 381

38

38

46

39

0%

50%

English 382

19

31

18

40

50%

50%

English 383

74

40

32

24

0%

0%

English 385

40

73

45

72

0%

0%

English 389

33

83

42

49

50%

0%

English 401

260

261

203

222

67%

83%

English 430

346

463

487

341

55%

50%

Two trends can be isolated from the data in Table 10. First, enrollment in the department’s general education offerings, both lower division general education and upper division theme, is declining. Second, the department increasingly is relying on part-time faculty to staff service courses. In 2004-2005, full-time faculty taught nine of the eighteen lower division general education course sections. In 2005-2006, they taught four of fourteen. Full-time faculty now teach only about one-third of the upper division theme course sections.

Increasingly full-time faculty in the English department have little contact with students outside of the department’s graduate and undergraduate degree programs. This retrenchment has potentially serious long-term consequences for the department, and while perhaps fiscally attractive is not without hidden costs. To paraphrase some of the findings of the 2002 Report of the ADE Ad Hoc Committee on Staffing:

The use of graduate students in the composition program and adjunct faculty at all levels of the program increases the management, training, and supervision burden on full-time faculty.

The reliance on graduate students and adjunct faculty removes full-time faculty from participation in and responsibility for service courses, which often form the department’s public face in the wider university community.

The withdrawal of full-time faculty from lower division courses denies students a significant resource and negatively affects student recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.

Given the significant growth in the department’s graduate and undergraduate degree programs and the department’s present inability to meet the demands of that growth, it appears unlikely that the exodus of full-time faculty out of general education courses can be halted let alone reversed. Immediate hiring would be necessary to slow this trend and a serious, sustained, and long-term commitment to hiring would be necessary to reverse it.

Projection of Department Hiring Needs

Any discussion of projected hiring in the department needs first to acknowledge past and present needs. As detailed in the previous section, the present lack of sufficient instructional resources in the form of full-time faculty has resulted in the following:

A possibly strained graduate program with the department unable to offer enough sections of graduate courses to ensure completion of an M.A. degree within two years

Cuts in lower and upper division courses for the major and the staffing of some lower and upper division courses for the major with adjunct faculty

Erosion of full-time faculty participation in upper division service courses

Erosion of full-time faculty participation in lower division general education courses

Elimination of full-time faculty participation in first-year writing courses

Ideally the department would engage in the hiring of full-time faculty sufficient to erase all of the above deficiencies. Realistically, the department must prioritize its hiring needs, concentrating first on resolving problems with its graduate program and undergraduate major, since damage to these programs effectively undercuts its ability to act on the others. Potentially, efforts to staff more effectively courses for the graduate and undergraduate degree programs will also to some degree allow the department to staff service courses with full-time faculty.

Current Hiring Needs

Nearly a decade of understaffing, at least partially the result of poor retention of recent probationary faculty, has left significant gaps in the current program. These gaps affect both the department’s ability to staff courses in the undergraduate and graduate degree programs with full-time faculty, and the availability of full-time faculty to administer programs.

These gaps are found in

the literature core of the graduate and undergraduate degree options

the language and linguistics offerings that are supplemental to the degree options

the composition and rhetoric offerings that are supplemental to the single-subject undergraduate option and to one of the M.A. degree options

In addition to these curricular needs, the department also has program administration needs, specifically related to

the developmental writing program

the first-year writing program

the single-subject option

These current needs are based on the current configuration of the department and the current curricular demands of the program. Of course both can be changed, and a significant agent of change is the hiring of full-time faculty. However, until such changes actually occur, the department needs to hire faculty who can support the department as it is now as well as help shape the department as it will be in the future.

The department needs to address first the literature core of the undergraduate and graduate degree options. Returning to the coverage model outlined earlier in Table 4, the curricular demands of that model suggested that at present the department requires at least two full-time faculty members specializing in British literature: one in the literature of the Restoration and eighteenth century and the other in literature of the twentieth century. However, in the current program undergraduates are not required to take any courses in twentieth century British literature and the department has only recently added undergraduate courses in this area (English 469A and 469B). In terms of undergraduate demand, it is unclear whether a second specialist is immediately needed in this area. Minimally then,

The department needs to hire a specialist in Restoration and eighteenth century British literature (Presently, the department is conducting a search for a specialist in eighteenth century British literature with a focus on drama.)

In addition, the department needs to address deficiencies in program offerings that are supplemental to the department’s core offerings but essential to parts of the undergraduate major and/or the graduate program.

The department needs to hire specialists in the following fields of English studies

o

Language and linguistics

o

Composition and rhetoric

The department might consider searching for a specialist in linguistics who has some background in ESL and composition and rhetoric. If the department undertakes to combine the two positions into one, an additional search for a composition/rhetoric specialist will probably be necessary later in the five years covered by this plan.

Finally, the department might want to consider hiring additional specialists in literature to enable curricular development, additional graduate sections, and provide coverage for existing 400-level literature classes in the major. The areas of specialization for these literature specialists should be drawn from those outlined as projected hiring needs or as hiring necessary for growth. See later sections for more information on these areas.

Projected Hiring Needs

Satisfying the department’s current hiring needs only remedies the severe understaffing that is currently threatening the undergraduate and graduate degree programs. If the department is to sustain its present growth and consider other areas of growth, additional hiring over the next five years will be required. In addition, during the next five years both expected and unexpected events will necessitate careful planning to ensure the continued success of the department’s programs.

One event that we can plan for with some confidence is retirement. Using the data from Table 4 on page * we can add in the effect of future retirements to create the coverage model outlined in Table 11.

Table 11: Projected Number of Literature Faculty According to Subspecialty

2001

2005

2006

2008

2010

2012

Medieval

1

1

1

1

1

1

Renaissance

2

2

2

2

2

2

Restoration/18th Century

2

1

1

1

1

1

19th Century

3

2

2

2

2

2

20th Century

3

1

1

1

1

1

American 19th Century

3

3

3

2

2

2

American 20th Century

3

4

4

3

3

2

Unclassified

1

1

0

0

0

0

Table 11 shows the effect future retirements might have on the department’s coverage model, assuming no new faculty members are hired between now and 2012. By 2012, other gaps in the program, specifically in early American literature and possibly in twentieth century American literature, will emerge, suggesting that any long-range hiring plan will need to prepare for the loss of specialists in both early and twentieth century American literature.

It is anticipated that during the period covered by this hiring plan, to maintain its current curricular offerings the department will need to hire the following specialists in literature:

Early American literature

Twentieth century American literature

Planning for Growth

Between 1995-1996 and 2001-2002 the number of undergraduate degrees awarded at CSULA increased by 61% and the number of graduate degrees increased by over 40%. These significant increases have been maintained but not extended. In 2005-2006, the number of degrees awarded at both the undergraduate and the graduate level was about the same as in 2001-2002. It is surely not coincidental that this period of growth coincided with a nearly 24% increase in the number of full-time faculty. As discussed earlier, those gains in the number of full-time faculty were short-lived. Yet while the number of full-time faculty fell below even 1995 levels, the number of degrees awarded remained at or near their 2002 peaks.

As discussed earlier, the department has already grown and at present further growth is only limited by its inability to offer additional upper division and graduate level courses. This difficulty is illustrated in Figure 12, which shows the declining percentage of 400-level courses taught by full-time faculty. The 400-level courses are almost entirely courses for undergraduate majors in English.

Figure 12: Percentage of 400-level Courses Staffed by Full-time Faculty

Enrollment data covering the last decade makes clear that given the necessary resources the department is capable of significant growth, and even without the necessary resources is capable of sustaining that growth. Once the historical understaffing is remedied, the department can consider whether to add faculty to the following program areas.

Literature

One area where growth is both possible and threatening is at the graduate level, where the lack of specialists in particular areas of literary studies is most visible. Staffing for the undergraduate major can be tied closely to the present undergraduate curriculum. At the graduate level, it is the inverse: the graduate curriculum is tied closely to the availability of full-time faculty. As that availability has decreased unevenly the department’s graduate course offerings have become increasingly idiosyncratic. It is surely not by design that between Fall 2002 and Summer 2006 the department offered as many graduate seminars in Latin American literature as in the English Renaissance, or as nearly as many graduate seminars in medieval literature as in the Renaissance and eighteenth century combined.

Such course offering patterns are also not tied to areas of specialization generally sought by graduate students. Table 12 shows the area of specialization selected by graduate students in literature as determined by their choice of Part 1 Comprehensive Exam period or the focus of their theses.

Table 12: Areas of Specialization for Graduate Students 1989-2006

Period

89-90

91-92

93-94

95-96

97-98

99-00

01-02

03

04

05

06

Total

American Literature to 1860

4

3

4

5

1

2

3

2

0

2

0

26

American Literature 1860-1914

4

1

1

2

2

3

3

0

3

5

2

26

American Literature 1914 to present

5

12

7

7

11

8

13

5

5

3

10

86

British Literature: Medieval

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

2

0

0

5

British Literature: Renaissance

0

0

2

2

2

4

3

0

4

0

0

17

British Literature: Eighteenth Century

1

0

2

0

0

6

0

1

0

0

1

11

British Literature: Nineteenth Century

1

1

5

3

2

3

5

3

4

2

4

33

British Literature: Twentieth Century

6

0

3

2

1

2

1

1

3

2

0

21

World Literature: Classical

2

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

5

World Literature: 1800-1900

0

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

World Literature: 1900-1945

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

2

World Literature: 1945-present

2

0

0

1

2

2

0

0

1

1

1

9

World Literature: Third World/Independence and After

0

1

0

1

1

4

3

2

4

0

1

17

Folklore

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

3

Table 13 shows the totals from Table 12 along with the number of graduate seminars offered in that area.

Table 13: Number of Graduate Students in Areas of Specialization Compared to Number of Graduate Seminars Offered

Period

Students With Comp Exam or Thesis in this Area (1989-2006)

Number of Graduate Seminars Offered in this Area (2002-2006)

American Literature to 1860

26

3

American Literature 1860-1914

26

4

American Literature 1914 to present

86

12

British Literature: Medieval

5

6

British Literature: Renaissance

17

3

British Literature: Eighteenth Century

11

4

British Literature: Nineteenth Century

33

5

British Literature: Twentieth Century

21

4

World Literature: Classical

5

0

World Literature: 1800-1900

3

0

World Literature: 1900-1945

2

0

World Literature: 1945-present

9

4

World Literature: Third World/Independence and After

17

3

Folklore

3

1

The information presented in Table 12 and Table 13 establish an unsurprising truism: graduate students are more interested in focusing on American literature and are more interested in focusing on British and American literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, what Table 13 also points to are potential gaps in full-time staffing at the graduate level that are not apparent at the undergraduate level. Based simply on course offerings of the last five years, students wishing to specialize in American literature (other than twentieth-century), the English Renaissance (and seventeenth century), British nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, and postcolonial world literature are at present underserved by the department.

These underserved areas might occasion additional faculty sometime over the next five years, though, to some degree such need is dictated by a) growth, and b) changes in the undergraduate major. Another avenue of growth is curricular development, specifically the offering of new classes in either existing curricular areas or in new curricular areas. Taking into account these potential opportunities the department has identified the following areas of specialization as holding considerable potential for growth and as being, at present, underserved:

Genre, specifically poetry or drama—The availability of FERP faculty with genre specialization in poetry suggests that the need for a specialist in drama takes precedence; though, a specialist in poetry might be sought later.

Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Anglophone literatures—New faculty in this area would supplement current Anglophonic literature offerings at the graduate level and assist in curricular development in this area at the undergraduate level. It is expected that new faculty hired in this area would not duplicate expertise already available in the department.

Ethnic literatures—This area also requires curricular development and the popularity of such courses is at present limited by the lack of electives in the undergraduate major.

Global literatures—This area is at present undefined.

Contemporary literature—This area might be partially covered by hiring in genre (poetry and/or drama), Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Anglophone literatures (above) and by present staffing in Twentieth Century American and British literatures. However, this area is one with considerable potential for growth and might necessitate additional hiring in the future.

Children’s literature—This area is at present not adequately staffed and might offer considerable opportunity for growth. At present, the department hopes to address this area through use of existing faculty or through hiring of new faculty able to teach in this area.

Specialists hired to provide graduate seminars in their area of expertise will also teach undergraduate courses in the major in both their fields and in other areas, as well as staff general education courses (upper division theme and lower division general education). Potentially, a specialist in one of the above fields could also satisfy department needs in program administration, and children’s literature.

Creative Writing

Over the next five years demand for creative writing courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level is expected to grow. In the 2002 self study the department claimed that the creative writing program would naturally and voluntarily be capped at between 50 and 100 students. While exact numbers on the graduate and undergraduate creative writing program are unavailable, enrollment in creative writing courses has increased nearly 40% over the last four years. Despite this growth, creative writing still accounts for only between 5% and 8% of the department’s FTES. Assuming no loss of creative writing faculty, the program would have to more than double in size during the next five years to require additional hiring in this area.

Linguistics and Composition and Rhetoric

The department needs in linguistics and composition and rhetoric are detailed in "Current Hiring Needs." As outlined above, if the linguistics and composition/rhetoric hiring needs are combined into a single search for a linguistic with some experience with composition/rhetoric, the department should leave open the possibility of hiring a composition/rhetoric specialist later.