I don’t see a reference to student-faculty ratios in the new criteria? What ratio is expected for compliance?

The Council chose not to include an aggregate student-faculty ratio (SFR) as a reporting element in the 2016 criteria based on a number of factors. First, there is limited evidence for the correlation between aggregate SFR and quality. More importantly, calculating an aggregate SFR has proven to be inadequate for capturing the complexity of our schools and programs, particularly in terms of interdisciplinary teaching and in terms of teaching across multiple degree levels.

For instance, if a school offers multiple, department-based MPH degrees and a schoolwide bachelor’s degree, how do we accurately apportion faculty effort in a way that makes a meaningful aggregate SFR calculation?

Therefore, the 2016 criteria focus on SFR for key “touch points” in the curriculum: advising, supervising integrative learning experiences, etc. At this point, we do not have a target number in mind for these figures. This is partially because these indicators are new to our process, but is largely because our emphasis has shifted to a holistic review. A single data point, such as SFR at key points, will be read alongside other narrative information and data, so that reviewers will be making a holistic assessment of faculty resource adequacy based on multiple inputs.

What is the definition of “teaching” faculty? For example, if a faculty member teaches one elective every three years but advises MPH students and facilitates non-course-related MPH activities with students, would this person be counted as a primary instructional faculty member?

If teaching is a regular component of this individual’s responsibilities (ie, if his/her annual evaluations and promotion considerations examine classroom teaching as a key component of performance), we do not define a minimum frequency of course offerings. That said, the accreditation peer-review process relies on transparency and good faith on both sides. We would ask the school or program to be clear about its rationale for identifying this individual as a primary instructional faculty member and then consider that in the context of the school or program.