Department Expansion

As expected, the size of the Mathematics Department has grown over the years to match the growth in the student body. Size is not an easy thing to assess since often there are sabbatical leaves and several times over the years mathematics faculty have split their time between teaching and administrative work. Finally, throughout the life of the department there have been shorter term appointments to supplement the regular faculty. Nevertheless, if one concentrates on tenure track faculty members (the college began offering tenure in the early 1920's), then the following table gives a sense of department growth. (The years listed in the table were selected only to illustrate changes in faculty and students.)

Year Faculty Students
1917 2 600
1921 3 620
1928 4 680
1941 4 780
1956 4 1100
1961 5 1200
1971 8 1700
1979 8 1900
1988 9 1900
1998 9 1900

The actual growth of the department was not as orderly as the table might suggest. Increases often lagged corresponding increases in the student population, and often when faculty moved to administrative positions or retired, they were not immediately replaced with tenure-track positions. Throughout the century, non-tenure-track positions were used to ease the staffing needs. In most years there was at least one such position, sometimes two or more.

By 1951 the number of tenure-track positions had slipped to two, just Leech and Hansman. With a student population hovering around 1100, the situation couldn't last and indeed by 1956, Rawles and Gateley had joined the department. By 1971, the continuing growth of the college had doubled the number of tenure-track positions. The 1970's and 1980's saw considerable turnover in the department, and through the 1980's and 1990's non-tenure-track positions were usual.

For photos of the department through the years click here.

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Report an issue - Last updated: 01/09/2024