Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,
I want to begin this communication with an invitation to the campus community to take in the upcoming production Of Mice and Men on the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Running from May 3rd through May 6th, the offering of this entertainment spectacle is only the latest of many cultural events that our campus offers up to faculty, staff, students, and our at-large community of performing arts patrons. I proudly note as well that the Children's Theatre Foundation is partnering with our Theatre Department to bring school groups to our campus for a Friday morning matinee. Please find the time to enjoy and support this production!
I began my previous biweekly report with the recognition that three major committees – APT (Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure), POA (Pattern of Administration), and CIP (Campus Implementation Plan) – were reaching the final stages of preparing documents that soon will be shared with the entire campus community. Due to the close proximity of these documents’ releases, I had shared some “food for thought” regarding our enrollment and graduation trends over the last decade. This week, I wanted to provide some assistance for our campus community regarding employment trends over this time period (or at least since 2005, the point in time that hiring data was most accessible). I also wanted to provide some sort of context in terms of what has been occurring on the other three regional campuses at the same time.
Since my arrival on campus eighteen months ago, I have heard anecdotal statements that staff hiring has skyrocketed while faculty employment has drastically declined in the last decade. It also has been suggested that the ratio of staff to faculty employees on the Mansfield campus is far more “imbalanced” than the other regional campuses. I thought this might be an appropriate time to look at some numbers to help guide and direct our conversation about these related topics. Hence, I asked Cathy Stimpert, our Human Resources Officer, to obtain some statistics for me in order to share the landscape of employment on our campus. Thank you Cathy for your quick and able assistance on this project!
What are the important points of reference if we look at employee type since 2005 from the graphs1 above? In essence, the following trends may be most notable:
• Staff employment: The Mansfield & Newark staff employment numbers have seen essentially no change (1% increase) over this time period, whereas Marion staff employment has increased substantially (9% increase) & Lima staff employment has decreased substantially (9% decrease) over the same time period.
• Tenure track employment: The Mansfield tenure track faculty employment number has decreased more (8% decrease) in comparison to the other regional campuses (average 2-3% decreases).
• Non-tenure track employment: The Mansfield TNT faculty has increased less (6%) in comparison to Lima (12% increase) and more in comparison to Newark (2% increase). Marion, in contrast, has experienced a 7% decrease in TNT faculty over the same time period.
Overall, the total employment on the Mansfield and Lima campuses have grown by a small amount over this time period (net gain of 8 and 10 employees, respectively), whereas there were big increases in total employment numbers on the Marion (26) and Newark (38) campuses.
You will recall from the Dean’s biweekly report of two weeks ago that our overall enrollment last year (n = 1,368) reflected a 6% decline from 10 years ago (n = 1,451) on the Mansfield campus. Everything else held constant, it would be expected that our campus would have experienced a small net loss in employment of between 6-8% over this time period. However, a loss of that modest magnitude was found only in tenure track employment (8% decrease). Over that time period, our non-tenure track faculty had increased by almost that same amount (6% increase). In the meantime, staff employment was basically static (1% increase).
How do we make sense of all this? On the one hand, it may very well be the case that our campus will continue to have to “right size” itself over the course of the coming year that would be reflected in an overall drop in employment numbers that would match any further enrollment decrease. At the same time, however, our campus might also have to be strategic in its investments for the future, which would mean hiring additional employees who would be most likely to provide the assistance we would need to reverse the enrollment numbers in our favor. In essence, I am pointing to the need for us to make some “educated bets” on certain new hires that would most likely be able to ignite or otherwise deliver essential support services to those students who would comprise an expanded enrollment pool.
Please note that our Campus Implementation Plan in particular will be chock full of ideas about how to expand our enrollment in the next five years. As a result, our initial planning activities for the 2012-2013 academic year budget largely will be an exercise in shifting scarce resources to those initiatives most likely to expand (or support) student enrollment. So much so, in fact, that we all might as well get comfortable with the mantra I will be saying over the next several months: “If it ain’t much about enrollment growth, it ain’t getting much support.”
Dean Gavazzi is now on Twitter! Login or sign up for Twitter now to follow him (@StephenMGavazzi).