Miami University Provost Jeffrey Herbst, who will soon leave his position to become president of Colgate University, took time to clarify Miami’s position on class sizes during the June 9 board of trustees academic and student affairs committee meeting.
According to data provided, the average course size on the Oxford campus in 2009 was 31.8 students, compared to 29.9 students in 2001. The median course section size, however, is 24 students, the same as it was in 2001.
“In general, we’ve had a creep up in class size,” Herbst said, “but we’ve tried to maintain the small end of classes. We haven’t moved the entire distribution that much.”
Herbst said this is because of an increase in class sizes that were already large. He said, for example, a class of 50 students might have increased to 65, because that difference in size was minimal.
“We have tried, at the high end, to increase class size as a way of saving money,” Herbst said. “The average is increasing but the median isn’t increasing nearly as much.”