Data on a changing college: Info from the All-CALS meeting

Well over 100 CALS faculty and staff members attended the All-CALS meeting on Dec. 18. Dean VandenBosch began by presenting a CALS situation and outlook report. Faculty positions was a key topic, including recently completed searches and hires and searches underway. Notable trends: Faculty FTEs have declined more than 25 percent since 1979, and there’s been a dramatic shift in sources of funding: State funding is down, while federal and gift sources are rising.

Undergrad enrollment was another focus of the presentation. In the past 10 years the number of CALS undergrads has jumped by a whopping 45 percent; this year it reached a record 3,059. That surge has mirrored a steady climb in majors in biological sciences, including the biology major, which now accounts for about a third of the college’s undergrads.

The dean’s presentation laid the groundwork for the second portion of the meeting, in which participants met in table-sized groups to talk about a list of six themes being developed as part of the CALS strategic planning process. If you’d like to weigh in on the themes or suggest others, please add your comments to this worksheet and return it to Kara Luedtke at