Officials praise quality of instruction on campus

Although UNA prides itself on many aspects, the quality of its professors is of the university’s biggest bragging rights, officials said.

A faculty profile compiled by the Office of Institutional Research showed 77 percent of faculty members had obtained a terminal degree in their respective fields as of fall 2013. Terminal degrees are considered the highest available.

“In some (creative) fields, degrees that are not doctorates are considered terminal degrees,” said Director of Institutional Research Andrew Luna.

Full-time faculty members teach about 80 percent of all courses at UNA, Luna said.

“(Students) are getting a high quality instructor in all of their classes,” said Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Calhoun. “We do not employ graduate students or teaching assistants to teach the classes.”

Student Milton D’az agreed the faculty members provide students the best possible education.

“I am very happy with the faculty here at UNA,” D’az, a transfer student from Orange County, California said. “I feel they go above and beyond in helping students succeed and in

giving instruction.”

A 2014 study conducted by the Office of Institutional Research showed many students accepted to UNA chose to attend other schools because they perceived the value of a degree from UNA as lower than those awarded at other institutions.

“We want people to know that when they come to this university, they are coming to a university where they are going to get a highly qualified faculty member in every class,” Calhoun said. “That is something that we need known because that is not the case at every university.”

Officials are working to develop a marketing strategy for the university as enrollment numbers have fallen during the past five years.

Calhoun said professor quality will play a major role in that strategy

The university provides a “quality education” and will continue to go above and beyond in the future, he said.

Junior Blake Hollimon, a transfer student from Auburn University, said smaller universities allow students to connect with faculty better than large universities where class sizes prevent personal interaction.

“I feel like the faculty at UNA is a lot more personable and approachable,” Hollimon said.