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TABLE 9.-Range of teaching loads of home economics staff members of 38
institutions reporting, 1927–28
A study of Table 9 shows a third of the 31 heads of home economics units carrying 6 to 10 class-hours per week. Another fourth carry less than five hours. Almost half of those reporting show less than 100 student clock-hours per week. It is apparent that home economics heads are keeping in touch with the student body through some teaching. This is made possible and indeed necessary by the fact that the size of home economics staffs in such a large proportion of the land-grant institutions is small.
Of the staff of all ranks 8 per cent have a class-hour load of less than 5 hours; 23 per cent from 6 to 10 hours ; 29 per cent from 11 to 15 hours, 27 per cent from 16 to 20 hours ; 6 per cent from 21 to 25 hours; 3 per cent from 26 to 30 hours; less than 1 per cent from 31 to 40, and 3 per cent from 41 to 50 hours.
Among the most important features of institutional management of the staff is the provision made for maintenance and improvement of faculty quality by means of attendance at professional meetings, study while in service, and leaves of absence for graduate work elsewhere. These matters are of special significance for the home economics unit in view of the need for research experience and development of higher standards of staff training.
Reports from 39 institutions show a total of 206 home economics staff members in attendance at professional meetings of one sort or another during 1928. These institutional reports are confirmed by individual statements which show 317 staff members of 697 in attendance upon such meetings. This is a very good representation indeed, approximately half of the home economics staffs. It is evident that such meetings must be attended more generally by the lower academic ranks than is usual with many of the institutional divisions. However, further examination of the reports shows that this participation in professional discussion was more largely due to the individual initiative of staff members than to substantial institutional encouragement. Two-thirds of the reports show that the head of the home economics unit paid her own expenses to such meetings and that more than half of the professors and instructors were also unassisted by the institutions. Although differences in local conditions and in the accessibility of institutions to the usual centers for professional meetings make uniformity of practice in regard to travel of staff members impractical, many State and institutional regulations that now restrict out-of-State travel should be removed and more serious efforts should be made to secure funds to assist staff members to retain their professional associations by attendance at important educational gatherings. The more remote the institution is from the usual meeting places, the greater the need for such institutional assistance. Perhaps keener administrative appreciation of the importance of such contacts might result in the development of regional conferences that might be attended at less expense or at any rate might result in more urgent efforts to secure important meetings at places more convenient to their institutions.
Provision for graduate study within the institution in which staff inembers are employed is reported by 27 institutions. However, three institutions definitely state that the practice is not allowed. That there is relatively little liberality in adjusting staff duties in order to provide time for such study is evident from the fact that only 6 of the 27 that permit it encourage the practice. Undoubtedly attendance at institutions other than those in which the staff are employed has decided advantages. However, study within the institution itself is preferable to conditions of institutional management which discourage attempts at self-improvement.
This matter is of special importance in view of the fact that so few of the land-grant colleges have institutional provision for leave for study. Only 12 of 30 institutions reporting indicate that home economics staff members have been entitled to such leave during the past five years. During this period in 11 of these institutions 26 inembers of the staff actually received such leave with pay or part pay. Five of these were heads of home economics units, 8 professors, 3 associate professors, and 10 assistant professors. In addition 14 3 institutions report that 26 home economics staff members took leave equal to sabbatic leave during these years but without pay. Six were heads of departments, 1 a professor, 3 associate professors, 10 assistant professors, 1 associate, and 5 instructors.
It is apparent that the tendency to stay on the job is not seriously affected by institutional staff management. The extent to which home economics staff members obtain fresh surroundings, and new experiences by shifting about between institutions is, of course, an important factor in the expenses incident to rapid turnover. Perhaps more generous provision of leave for study would prove less expensive than the continuous process of hiring and training new home economics teachers.
Turnover.-During the same 5-year period for which leaves were reported, a total of 124 home economics staff members, exclusive of heads of department, left to take teaching positions elsewhere; 41 to go into business; 64 have married and left their institutions. A total of 229 changes. The largest turnover is among instructors. This is serious since these are the young and vigorous element in the staff and should provide the stimulating influence of new blood.
No home economics staff members have been retired with pension during this period, according to reports from 27 institutions. Five have been retired without pension. Only five of the total staff in all institutions reporting hare died during this period. Only two institutions report no change in staff in the 5-year period. Both of these, however, have very small staffs.
Table 10 shows the distribution of turnover among different ranks for the 5-year period 1923–1928.
TABLE 10.—Distribution of turnover of home economics staff members for the
5-year period 1923–1928 in 27 land-grant institutions
The home economics staff in land-grant institutions during the past five years has had a very large turnover. Factors operative are the low salaries paid and slow promotion, the increased interest of commercial firms in the home economics trained woman, offering larger salaries to successful people; marriage, which must always make fairly large inroads where the staff is composed to any considerable extent of young women; and the competition among colleges for
persons who have proved their worth. Constructive staff management might easily reduce the effect of some of these factors.
The emphasis of the present administrative viewpoint in regard to staff management is probably indicated with considerable accuracy by the aspects of such management that are apparent in the plans presented by 30 institutions for the development of their staffs during the next 5-year period. The points listed in descending order of frequency follow: 1. Increase in size of staff..
17 2. Increase of the number of departments 3. Advanced study and travel.
8 4. Better training of the staff-5. Provision of time for creative work. 6. Addition of research workers to staff.. 7. Staff promotion---8. Increases of salaries9. Require master's degree.. 10. Arrange for sabbatic leave--11. Require attendance at State and national meetings.. 12. More clerical assistance -13. Reorganization with head for each department--14. Require successful experience.-15. Relief from heavy teaching loads.
1 Ambitions for numbers and size are mentioned twenty-six times by these plans for development and six times with direct implication of better balancing of all aspects of home economics work. Phases of staff improvement that throw the burden of meeting higher requirements upon the individual staff members are mentioned by these plans for the future twenty-two times. Adjustments and arrangements by means of exercise of administrative action looking to better conditions and opportunities for the staff receive attention in 21 instances. It may be that the nature of these aspirations affords no legitimate basis for criticism. Certainly practically all the points suggested by the facts presented by preceding portions of this report as desirable steps are mentioned one or more times by this group of institutions. Criticism of desire for growth or of determination to require individuals to fit themselves properly for their duties would not be justified. Nevertheless, the fact that improvement through better exercise of divisional and institutional management is mentioned but twenty-one times raises the question as to whether the possibilities and the responsibilities of such means are fully realized or accepted.
Chapter IV.-Physical Facilities
Under modern conditions the impractical character of the popular saying about Mark Hopkins and the log becomes apparent in every element of the combination. Knowledge is so varied and so highly specialized that the accomplishments and interests of a small staff will bring to students an entirely inadequate measure of knowledge and wisdom. Seekers after learning are so numerous that the log must be developed into large and expensive buildings. The teaching process as a pouring out on the part of the teacher and absorption on the part of the student has given way to student learning through personal experimental experience with the materials of knowledge; laboratories and libraries are an essential factor that must be added to Mark and the log.
The fact that home economics objectives are in process of development is reflected in the character of its housing in the land-grant colleges. Although 18 of the institutions report their departments housed in 22 buildings used exclusively for this purpose, relatively few of these buildings were constructed with the specific requirements of modern home economics service in mind. Sixteen home economics units share buildings with other divisions, and in these instances expedients have in most cases been used to adapt the housing to home economics use.
Among the 22 buildings which are clearly shown by reports to be used exclusively for home economics instruction, 2 were erected before 1890; 5 between 1900 and 1910; 10 between 1911 and 1920; and 5 between 1920–1928.
One institution, the State College of Washington, reports a new 5-story home economics building under construction. The space provided is to be ten times that in the present building. Among buildings used exclusively for home economics instruction, considerable range in valuation is noted. At the University of California, a 3-story building erected in 1908 is reported to be valued at $17,000. A 2-story building at Colorado Agricultural College erected in 1910 is valued at $46,000. At the University of Nebraska, a 3story building erected in 1908 is valued at $55,000. At Kansas State Agricultural College, three buildings, one built in 1885, one in 1908, and the other in 1921, are valued at $79,000, $70,000, and $125,000, respectively. At Cornell University, the 4-story building in use since 1911 originally cost $154,000. At the present writing the central unit of a new building is under construction, the cost to be $475,000. At Oregon Agricultural College, two 3-story buildings erected in 1913 and 1920 are valued at $61,300 and $143,769. At the University of Minnesota, the department of home economics is housed in a 4-story building constructed in 1916 and valued at $9,000. The home eco nomics building at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College erected in 1920 is valued at $200,000. The University of Tennessee reports a 4-story