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Cuts, closes, and balances for Fall 2017

Topics/tags: Registration, disjoint

Preregistration for Fall 2017 is now over. Cuts, closes, and balances are now over, and add/drop period has started. Do you wonder how things went? Let’s see …

American Studies

Katya cut Cultural Politics of Fashion down to 15.

Studio Art

They cancelled the over-enrolled section of ART 111, Introduction to the Studio[1]. There are seven slots remaining in remaining two sections, but those are now closed, presumably to leave room for intro students.

Art does not seem to have been able to offer another section of Drawing. That’s too bad. Seventeen students who wanted to do art can’t [2].


Biology seems to have mostly handled the over-enrollments in BIO 251, Molecules, Cells, & Organisms w/lab, although each section is now over-enrolled by about two students. They also cut one section, presumably to deal with the over-enrollment in 300-level classes.

At the 300 level, Biology seems to have tried an interesting approach. They’ve taken the twelve-person seminar/lab classes and turned two of them into eighteen-person seminars with separate labs of nine students.


They’ve added a fifth section of Organic Chemistry I and two additional sections of the corresponding lab. Even with that expansion, every section is over-enrolled by three or four students [3]. Let’s hope that they are able to hire for the course and labs!

They’ve left Instrumental over-enrolled by four and Physical Chemistry I over-enrolled by sixth [4]. But they do seem to have added another section of lab to help balance things out.


MC seems to have cut a bit, but still has twenty-six students in her History of Ancient Greece.

Computer Science

We balanced the two sections of Algorithms and Object-Oriented Design. We have three open slots between the two sections.

We cut a bunch of students from Computer Organization and Architecture. We have twenty-six students in a twenty-four student, lab-based class.

We balanced the two sections of CSC 301, Analysis of Algorithms. I think I signed an add slip today, so we’re down to four open slots.

We left CSC 321 over-enrolled by seven students, CSC 322 over-enrolled by eleven students, and CSC 341 over-enrolled by three students [5].

We left CSC 395 over-enrolled by one student. I think Titus promised a slot to another student, too.


Economics continues to look like it’s in reasonable shape. One of the seminars even has some room. But that doesn’t make sense, since I know that they had more folks sign up for seminars than they could hold.
Perhaps some students forgot to enroll.


They cut The Craft of Fiction back down to fifteen. Twenty-two students will not get a chance to do creative writing. I wonder if they’ve offered those students another option.


It looks like the History department has mostly managed to balance things out. HIS 266, History of Modern Middle East is over-enrolled by two students and Sarah’s seminar remains over-enrolled by three.


The faculty teaching our Humanities special topics are clearly generous. The Politics of Human Thriving is over-enrolled by fourteen [6] and Mental Health Policy/Outreach is over-enrolled by four.

Mathematics and Statistics

MAT 209, Applied Statistics, seems to have closed. That’s strange. There was some room when last I checked. But they are over-enrolled by one between the three sections.

MAT 215, Linear Algebra, has seven open slots after balancing. Let’s hope that’s enough for the incoming class!

As I expected, they bumped some students from Graph Theory to Number Theory.

They balanced the two sections of MAT 310, Statistical Modeling. I think that means they had to cut eleven students. It looks like they also cut nine students from Prob Stats I. Our Statistics concentration is popular, and the College needs to find ways to support it better.


They’ve left Music, Mind, & Brain over-enrolled. They’ve cut the nine extra who were in Mark’s Topics in American Music: Hip Hop [6]


As expected, they’ve balanced the two sections of Modern Physics Lab.

They’ve left Electromagnetic Theory over-enrolled by six and Ad Lab by one.

Political Science

They’ve cut twenty-two students from ConLaw to bring it down to its cap of 25. They’ve cut eleven from Politics of International Relations to bring it down to 26, one over its cap. Wayne has left US Foreign Policymaking Process over-enrolled by eight students. I wonder where the students cut from the other courses went.


Health Psychology and Cross-Cultural remain over-enrolled.

Religious Studies

The Crusades is back down to its cap of 20. It looks like 19 were cut.


It looks like they balanced intro.

It looks like the had to cut twenty-two from Deviance and Social Control [8].

I wonder where those twenty-two students went.

Social Studies

Politics of Human Thriving and Ethical Leadership remain over-enrolled.

Did I learn anything from that exercise? I learned that the College needs to find more avenues for student creativity. We cut large numbers from Studio Art and The Craft of Fiction, and it doesn’t look there’s much else available. I saw, more clearly than ever, that there are some departments that say Screw it, students need to take our courses, we’ll just let them over-enroll or find a way to add sections and there are departments that say We have caps for a reason. There are also a few faculty who say If students want to take my class, I’ll let them. You can guess which camp I fall into.

I also understand the We have caps for a reason group. The experience is less good for students in a class that is over-enrolled. The workload is higher on the faculty member. And, in the end, it sometimes seems like if you keep making accommodations, there’s no incentive for others [9] to give you the resources you need.

You may be wondering where all the students who were cut for classes go. I wonder the same. But we’ve just started the add/drop period for those students, so I’m going to wait until the end of that period before doing a more careful analysis [10]. We will see.

[1] Now, I don’t think the Art department did this voluntarily. The College places some strange unexpected demands on departments, and Art got it by one.

[2] Actually, it’s 37 students, if we include the students who were in the now-dropped section of ART 111.

[3] They have 136 students between the five sections.

[4] 30 students in a 300-level Chemistry class seems excessive.

[5] CSC 341 already has a cap that’s about four too big, so that’s particularly problematic.

[6] Caleb is also teaching the over-enrolled History of Modern Middle East.

[7] My previous notes say five too many, but the spreadsheet I kept says nine. Oh, that’s right, the musing used 6 p.m. data, and the spreadsheet is from the next morning, after the remaining six hours of changes were made.

[8] How’s that for social control?

[9] Or, as faculty normally phrase it The administration.

[10] I also need to wait until I have more time.

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