## Sources for Some Thoughts on Undergraduate Expansion

Professor of Mathematics
mt324@columbia.edu
March 2021

Today, Columbia is already one of the larger Ivy League undergraduate schools.
Fall 2019 Columbia College headcount enrollment: 4675
Fall 2020 Columbia College headcount enrollment: 4461
Fall 2020 General Studies headcount enrollment: 2660, and 4461 + 2660 = 7121
Notes: Since many GS students are part-time, a better measure than the headcount is the number of full-time equivalents (calculated by the Provost's Office as the number of full-time students plus one-third the number of part-time students). For most purposes I have used the number of FTEs. Nevertheless, for comparisons with other institutions, I have used the headcount, because FTE numbers for other institutions are not readily available.
Figures 1 and 2 use Fall 2019 enrollment figures, which for Columbia are not dramatically different from Fall 2020, but which are significantly different for a few other schools (notably Harvard and Yale) where enrollments plunged due to the pandemic.
Fall 2020 Barnard enrollment: 2631, and 7121 + 2631 = 9752
Note: No Fall 2020 enrollment figure appears to be available on the Barnard website.
Fall 2020 SEAS headcount enrollment: 1721, and 9752 + 1721 = 11473

Fall 2002 Columbia total undergraduate headcount enrollment (CC + GS + SEAS): 6929
Fall 2019 Columbia total undergraduate headcount enrollment (CC + GS + SEAS): 9001, and 9001/6929 = 1.2990
Fall 2020 Columbia total undergraduate headcount enrollment (CC + GS + SEAS): 8842, and 8842/6929 = 1.2761
Note: Fall 2002 was chosen as a basepoint because it is the earliest semester for which enrollment figures from all Ivy League schools are readily available. Fall 2019 provides a better basis for comparison than Fall 2020 because of the (presumably temporary) dislocations caused by the pandemic.

The primary driver of this growth has been General Studies, not Columbia College.
2603/1484 = 1.7540, so long-term growth = 75%, and 1.75401/17 = 1.0336 (where 17 = 2019 - 2002), so average annual growth is 3.4%
2002 GS full-time equivalents: 888
2019 GS full-time equivalents: 1998
Likewise, 1998/888= 2.2500, so long-term growth is 125%, and 2.25001/17 = 1.04885, so average annual growth is 4.9%

The growth of Professional Studies has further augmented our undergraduate class sizes.
Professional Studies (formerly known as Continuing Education) had headcount enrollments in 2002, 2019, and 2020 of 2182, 3709, and 3189 respectively, and 3709/2182 = 1.6998.

Nevertheless, Columbia College has also undergone two significant expansions in recent years.
Lerner Hall opened in 1999, Broadway in 2000.
Fall 2009 Columbia College headcount enrollment: 4376
4657, and 4657/4376 = 1.0642

The University Hall gym opened in 1897.
Dodge Physical Fitness Center opened in 1974.
Total Columbia student enrollments were 3,340 in 1900, compared with over 29,000 in 2019, but the 1900 figure includes students at affiliated institutions, which the 2019 figure does not, not to mention faculty and staff.

The shortage of classroom space is an emergency situation.
Registrar-managed classrooms have a total of 6457 seats of which, to the best of my personal recollection, only the 519 seats in Chandler, Knox, and Northwest Corner have been added in the 21st century (any further information would be welcome), and 519/(6457-519) = 0.0874.
Total undergraduate growth at Columbia from 2002 to 2019 was 30%: see Figure 3
Overall Morningside student growth at Columbia from 2002 to 2019 was 42%: Headcount in 2002 was 20391, headcount in 2019 was 28927, and 28927/20391 = 1.4186.

Faculty numbers have struggled to keep pace with student growth.
Columbia full-time faculty numbers from 2001-2011
Columbia full-time faculty numbers from 2011-2020
Note: Arts, SIPA, and SPS faculty are listed separately on both documents, so the relevant numbers are obtained by adding Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences figures.
For Fall 2002, 253 + 199 + 144 = 596; for Fall 2019, 379 + 288 + 211 = 878, and 878/596 = 1.4731

The most prestigious institutions do not use undergraduate growth as a tool to produce revenue.
Princeton faculty figures: in Fall 2002, 441 full + 59 associate + 182 assistant = 682 tenure-track faculty (data obtained from IPEDS); in Fall 2019, 517 full + 115 associate + 185 assistant = 817 tenure-track faculty (data obtained from Princeton Dean of the Faculty), and 817/682 = 1.1979