The Importance of Faculty Management: Class Scheduling Tips to Maximize the Bottom Line
Class scheduling and faculty management go hand-in-hand. When the registrar’s office knows how many students are signing up for each class, the school will know how many faculty members they need to instruct those classes.
If only 8 students sign up for an English class, for example, then you only need one instructor. If 50 sign up, however, then you likely will want two instructors.
While this may all seem rather obvious, many schools actually aren’t proactive with faculty management and end up with classes that are too large or too small—neither of which is ideal. In these cases, they also set themselves up for issues with profitability and creating a poor student and faculty experience.
Many schools and Higher Ed professionals are looking for new and innovative ways to differentiate their institutions and meet their enrollment goals in this competitive environment.
While it can be easy to get caught up in trends like TikTok and overly clever ads, too much emphasis on those tactics can put a school at risk of losing sight of fundamentals like class scheduling and faculty management.
Take the faculty-to-student ratio, for example. We know this is one of the most important metrics that schools monitor, how they get measured, and what students and their parentsconsider during the application process.
The implications of the faculty-to-student ratio go far beyond the average class size, however. The metric indicates many more important factors—such as faculty morale, student and faculty retention, and the student experience.
Let’s take a closer look at how to be proactive with faculty management and how it can have a major impact on your bottom line.
Why It’s Critical to Be Proactive with Faculty Management
Students in a class with 3-4 others simply won’t get the same experience as a class of 10 or more. The larger the class size, the more participation takes place and the wider the range of opinions and perspectives.
On the flip side, having 80-90 students in a class isn’t necessarily the best experience either. It’s important to find that ideal middle ground—which will vary depending on your school, the course being taught, and the classroom itself.
Without proper faculty management, you could also find yourself unexpectedly in need of more faculty members at the last minute. This not only costs more but also potentially decreases the quality of faculty because you don’t have the time to find the best addition possible, but simply whoever is available.
The majority of a school’s educational expenses are typically spent on faculty salaries, so this can either be a huge area of opportunity or something that can sink you financially. Like with a personal budget, your rent or mortgage is a hefty part of your expenses so it’s important to manage it appropriately.
Small class sizes can be incredibly costly to the school—after all, the faculty member gets paid the same whether they have 4 students in the class or 30.
So, being proactive with faculty management can have a huge impact on your profitability. If you’re looking for areas to improve your bottom line without having to raise tuition costs, this is the number one opportunity.
If you have 100 students sign up for a lab, it is not realistic for a single instructor to manage all of them. But, if you wait until the last minute to address this, then you’re stuck scrambling for teacher’s assistants (TAs) or other alternatives while adding unnecessary frustrations to your faculty member in the meantime.
On the other hand, you could run into a situation where you expected to offer two classes but only a handful of students signed up and you only need one professor. You have to tell the other faculty member, who was expecting to teach the class, that they no longer have that opportunity.
Improve the Bottom Line with Proactive Class Scheduling
The biggest way to avoid these pitfalls is to use a system that’s built to schedule students proactively and give the insights you need to make informed decisions.
Having the right software in place will allow you to schedule students for the entire academic year and can give you a report of classes by month, term, or year with accurate information on registrations and availability.
Being able to look forward proactively means that you can determine the total number of actual (and projected!) registrations for your classes and how many instructors you’ll need for each.
By being proactive, you can also avoid unnecessary expenditures, scrambling for last-minute solutions, and creating frustrations for students, faculty, and staff.
Say that you’re offering a Philosophy class for which 267 students register, but you only have 3 instructors. If classes start in a few weeks, this could be a nightmare to manage. If, however, you have the right software in place and can have these insights a whole semester ahead, then you’ll be able to take the time to hire quality instructors to teach those courses.
Here’s another example: say that you’re offering a summer class in July, but not many students signed up. There is, however, a great need for the course in September. By planning ahead of time, you’ll have the ability to close the July class and move those students to September without making those last-minute changes that create frustration for everyone involved.
Without the insight that comes with being proactive, the situations that arise always come at the expense of someone—whether that’s your students, faculty, or bottom line.
Solving the Class Scheduling Problem with a Software Solution
If you don’t have a system in place that lets you know how many students need to take a course 3 months from now, how else would you be able to figure that out? It would take a lot of manual effort and the accuracy of that effort would be questionable at best.
On top of that, students withdraw and register for classes all the time, so these realities change quickly.
Scenarios like these are why it’s so important to have the right software in place to help you plan. Many schools don’t have a way to view that information quickly, effectively, and accurately.
With Verity’s platform, you can run these reports in real-time by month, semester, or academic year so that you can make informed decisions with faculty management that will have a major impact on the bottom line.
But don’t just take our word for it! Book a demo with our team to see for yourself how the class scheduling tool allows you to manage staff, faculty, classroom facilities, and academic calendars all in one easy-to-use platform.