How university endowments predict, and don't predict, teaching loads

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It’s typically exciting to find out that your hypothesis is wrong – and I was wrong! Here’s my back-of-the-metaphorical-envelope analysis of the poll that y’all completed a few weeks ago.

I predicted that teaching loads were negatively associated with endowment size. I expected that the more money an institution had, the less that the faculty taught. I also thought that this effect would be most robust at small liberal arts colleges (SLACs). But, nope, that’s not the case.

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Why do some places have high teaching loads and others have low teaching loads? [poll]

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Of course, institutions with more money have lower teaching loads. I have a specific hypothesis: Endowment size predicts teaching loads, like this:

But is this true? If it’s true, how true is it? How much variance is there? Does enrollment matter, such that it’s endowment-per-student? I’d like an answer to these questions, in the realm of non-PhD-granting institutions. If you have a minute, and you’re faculty at one of these places, could you humor me by filling out this quiz? If you have another minute, maybe pass it to colleagues at other institutions? The reward will be a post with the findings. It’s embedded below, but if you want a direct link, here you go.

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