Class sizes could increase

Administration recently tasked department heads with assessing the possibility of increasing classroom sizes.

The increase would be in all departments. Collectively, the English department doesn’t know how it could handle that.

“It affects us and we are being asked to address this issue and to come back to the administration on class maximum size,” said Dr. Dale Simpson, head of the English philosophy department. “We believe they want to increase class size radically.”

The plan is to cut costs by having more students per teacher.

“The financial crisis that colleges and universities across the country are facing is forcing creativity in the delivery of instruction,” said Dr. Brad Kleindl, interim vice president of Academic Affairs, in a phone interview with The Chart.

Kleindl also said the intended goal is cut costs this way without decreasing the quality of education at Missouri Southern.

“We don’t want them to develop class sizes that are so large that we cannot deliver education as effectively and efficiently to the students,” Kleindl said.

However, some instructors are concerned they may not be able to maintain the quality of their teaching with a larger class size. They said with more students in a class, there is less opportunity for one-on-one interaction.

“Any of our students need that extra contact with their professors to help them be successful,” said Holly McSpadden, professor of English and philosophy.

Kleindl did not say if a University-wide limit on class size would be imposed. There is no “magic number” of how many students they will try to fit into a class. He didn’t rule out the possibility of class sizes increasing 50 percent or doubling, but he did say there are only so many students who can fit in one place.

“I don’t see us running classes of 300 because we don’t have venues that can offer that kind of section size for students,” he said.

In order to accommodate larger classes, walls may be torn down for more room.

Bob Harrington, director of the physical plant, said he has heard “in passing” about the possibility of tearing down walls, but he hasn’t been asked to provide administrators with those cost estimates.

“They have mentioned that we may have to go to larger classes and that we may have to make rooms larger, but none of that decision is mine, that’s all administration,” Harrington said. “All we do is, if they tell us to take down a wall, do it.”

One of the English department’s main concerns with more classes is how difficult it would be to evaluate student work on a timely basis. Dr. Carl Toliver, English and philosophy professor, said it takes “all the time you have when you’re awake” to grade all the eight page essays in a 25-student class, and doesn’t see how it will be possible to get through all of them with a larger class.

“Look at our Web page, it says ‘Small Classes, International Mission,’ ” Toliver said. “It appears to us that the keystones of our institution are being altered.”Duip elenim quat laorpero od tatie feugait lorper se vent prat, quisis augiamet, corer sum vullum incipit vulputat. Ute doloreet at, vel do odiam, sismod magna ad magna facipit, vendio odiatie consequipit ad et la facilis augiam, veniam num dolor susto ero eum vel ilit, conseniam volesequamet nulluptatis doloreet, quat lumsand ipsummo luptat, quamcommy niam dolobor se ming enim iure modolorper il ing ea aciliquisit verit irillut dunt acincipit dolendit, sed dolorem zzriuscil eugait, vel ipit aliquipsusci eros alit illaorem dit alit vero dipit vullam quis nonsect etuerat lobore molor sit, quisi tat.

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