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Undergraduate enrollments in kinesiology have grown over the past 20 years as the popularity of this major increased among students interested in the health professions. A panel discussion at the 2018 American Kinesiology Association workshop provided an overview of challenges facing kinesiology departments. Department leaders at four public universities discussed enrollment trends, faculty resources for teaching undergraduates, and budget models used at their universities. Comparisons were made with kinesiology departments at Big Ten universities to reflect more broadly on what is happening at U.S. public research institutions. At several universities, undergraduate kinesiology enrollments grew between 2008 and 2017, but at others, they leveled off or declined. In many cases, faculty resources have not kept pace with enrollments, leading to unhealthy student-to-faculty ratios. The panel discussed methods of coping with scarce resources for teaching undergraduates and how department leaders can use comparison data to stress the importance of adequate resources.
Bassett and Fairbrother are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Panton is with the Dept. of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Martin is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Swartz is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI.