Hello everyone:

At the end of last semester, we sent around some information about how OCAD University compares to the other art and design schools in Canada in terms of student/faculty ratio and class size (in brief, not well).

Over the coming months, we will be sending you further information about the state of affairs here, as well as about institutional processes (such as performance reviews) that you need to understand.

The numbers below provide a snapshot of the growing pressure that we all feel — an increase in workload, and a decrease in resources. So, to begin with, there’s been a steady growth in student numbers over the last several years: 2005-06: 3467 heads; 2011-12: 4355 heads (4202 undergraduate, 153 graduate).

Meanwhile, there’s been a slight decline in the number of faculty: 124 Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty in 2005/2006; 118 Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty in 2012/2013.

So, while the number of students has increased by 25.6% over the last 6 years, the number of tenured and tenure track faculty has decreased by 4.9% during the same period, leading to a dramatic upturn in student/faculty ratio: Student to tenured and tenure track faculty ration in 2005/2006 = 28:1; Student to tenured and tenure track faculty ration in 2011/2012 = 37:1.

Of course, it’s very difficult to draw direct cause-and-effect connections between various phenomena. However, the recent auditor’s report on post-secondary education in Ontario emphasizes that there’s often a close correlation between student satisfaction and student/teacher ratios: the former goes up as the latter goes down, and vice versa.