A Decision Support System for the Allocation of Faculty Among Academic Departments at West Point.
ARMY MILITARY PERSONNEL CENTER ALEXANDRIA VA
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A curricular change in 1980 sharply altered the distribution of workload among departments at West Point. To assist decision makers in the reallocation of faculty resources among departments, I used an electronic spreadsheet to formulate a decision support system DSS--a small mathematical model that assists decision-makers by clarifying alternatives. The DSS uses past data to estimate future enrollments, from which it calculates the future distribution of instructional workload among departments and subsequently suggests allocations of faculty, based upon parameters chosen by the decision-maker. The goal of formulating that tool was achieved however, an unexpected insight accrued as well. The model predicts that past irregularities of entering class size will be repeated in the future if West Point maintains its present policy regarding entering class size, attempting to fill the student body to its capacity every year. Under that policy, an irregularity in entering class size repeats itself in a four-year cycle that dampens only after 20 to 30 years. Irregularities in the entering class size quickly become irregularities in the size of the upper classes, and the workloads of individual departments fluctuate year-by-year as those irregularly-sized classes flow through West Point.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations