Self-Study Report 2003 I. Environmental scan a. Sociology, Anthropology & the World


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a. Space & Technical Support
The Department’s principal offices are located in the DM Building, anchored around DM 334. Currently, the entire 21-person faculty—including those whose formal appointments are at Biscayne Bay—primarily conduct its teaching, research, and service activities at University Park. The University Park staff is comprised of one full-time administrative assistant, one full-time senior secretary, and one half-time secretary.
The Department’s DM complex includes 17 faculty offices, as well as a graduate seminar/computer lab room. The space and facilities for faculty, staff, and graduate students are grossly inadequate. Table 10 presents space requirements that correspond to the Department’s current profile of faculty, staff, and students.
Office space for faculty and staff is cramped, commonly windowless, and lacking adequate storage space. In addition there are no offices for adjunct faculty, which imposes unfair burdens on the adjuncts and depresses the quality of undergraduate instruction. Moreover there are no offices for visiting faculty, which minimizes the Department’s opportunities to engage in this vital medium of scholarly exchange. Institutional support for the purchase of computer hardware and software is deficient (although the College of Arts & Sciences does an outstanding job of providing software service). Software training for the staff must be improved, too. For example, the department’s secretaries could be trained to update the departmental/faculty web sites, the maintenance of which is difficult given competing demands on faculty time.

The only departmental space for graduate seminars, study/research, computation, and discussion is a crowded, deteriorating room. Given that it is used for seminars and meetings, the graduate students do not have consistent access to the room for study/research, computation, and discussion. In addition, the seminar room’s computer and printer hardware is quite inadequate. The inadequacy of pace and facilities for the students is a serious detriment to the graduate program’s quality and national competitiveness.

The absence of office space for teaching assistants is a serious detriment to both the graduate and undergraduate programs. Besides impairing the quality of the Department’s undergraduate instruction, the absence of such space impedes the preparation and professional development of the graduate students.

Table 9

College of Arts & Sciences Systemic Space Allocation Policy: Department of Sociology & Anthropology Current Profile

Office Space Type

# Target

Sub Totals


Number of chairs/associate chairs

2 x 175 sq. ft.


= 350

Number of other full-time faculty

19 x 125 sq. ft.


= 2,375

Conference room (total from above 2 lines)

21 x 20 sq. ft.

= 420

Total number of full-time staff

2 x 130 sq. ft.

= 260

Total number of post docs

0 x 60 sq. ft.

= 0

Total number of graduate students on TA & RAs

18 x 60 sq. ft.

= 1,080

Total number of adjuncts and technicians

16 x 30 sq. ft. office

= 480

Office space justified from above

= 4,965

Office space currently available

= 2,190

Additional office space justified *

= 2,775

* Does not include anticipated new faculty hires in 2003-04.

FIU is far behind national standards in its institutional support for the growing variety of software that is integral to both quantitative and qualitative training. For example, Research I universities generally provide institutional access for graduate students and faculty to StatTransfer or DBMS/Copy, which have become essential for transferring quantitative data from one statistical software program to another. FIU does not hold an institutional license for either program, nor for Stata or Nvivo. In the Summer 2003 the Department did purchase a license to install Stata on its graduate seminar room computers (only three of which are current vintage). The Department also obtained NVivo for the same computers, through the license purchased by LACC; and it purchase StatTransfer for one lab computer. The Department is unlikely, however, to have the funds to purchase upcoming upgrades of Stata and NVivo. Software for GIS training and research will soon become integral to the Department’s needs. While the Green Library’s GIS facilities are excellent, the Department’s faculty and student research needs will require that adequate GIS facilities be located in the Department’s own physical space, or perhaps in shared space with the Geography Program within the Department of Interntional Relations.

b. Library Resources

As indicated in the “Assessment of Library Collections” (Appendix C), FIU’s coverage of the social sciences as a whole is slightly above average compared with similar institutions and libraries. Five of the 29 core journals deemed “collection-development” priorities are relevant to sociology and anthropology, including the journals Discourse and Society and Theory, Culture and Society. Because the department’s research directions include environmental issues, we recommend adding the journal Environmental History. We also recommend adding the Sociology SAGE Full-text Journal Database, as noted in the assessment report. The current film and video collections need substantial improvement.

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