I love you folks for this kind of consultation. For those of you who like thinking strategically (which I'm really bad about), here's my question...Please bear with the long explanation. :)
I teach a first-year course. (Well, actually, I teach two: part one and part two.) Part one was initially capped for next year at 80, and I was watching enrolments. It maxed out. And all of a sudden the cap had been raised to 100. I was pissed off; I had no idea who had authorized raising the cap. I certainly hadn't been consulted. (Hmmm, I sense a theme. Do you?) The course quickly maxed out at 100. I have just the one TA, so was concerned - and pissed off about the continued lack of consultation. But was also happy, because higher numbers make it easier for me to argue for a new hire in my program; as you'll recall, I'm the only one, and I desperately need a colleague in a particular area to make the program a viable option. So I've been ambivalent, but decided not to fight the raising of the cap (if I could even figure out who had authorized it) in the interest of growing the program.
I've had one student query about whether there is any possibility of over-enrolling the course, which indicates that if the cap were to be raised even higher, there would probably be students to fill it. There is no possibility of letting anyone else in, though, because the room it's scheduled in only holds 100.
But today my Chair emailed me and asked if I wanted to change the room so we could raise the cap even higher. I'm torn. Part of me wants to because of the way this will help me argue for program growth. But part of me doesn't want to because of the workload it would entail. My instinct is to reply by explaining my qualms about it and asking if I could have another TA - if I could have another TA, I'd support raising it to 140.
Here's the thing: Resource scarcity. My Chair and I are potentially going to be pitted against each other in the fall...He'll be advocating for a hire in his area and I'll be advocating for one in mine - through him. It is he who will make the case to the Dean for another hire. Given that he already has several people in his program, and I have only one in mine, I think I have a better case. But still. I need as much justification as I can possibly muster for getting a new hire; the more students I take on, the better the chances. Do you, oh wise people who have administrative savvy, think that it is okay, given that, for me to not immediately go for a raising of the cap, but only on the condition that I get another TA?
As I type this, I think, of course, dummy!! Do not think of this as a game of sacrifice! Do not get into the strategic game at any cost, taking on an unmanageable number of students for some "greater good" in an institution that hasn't been very good to you! That you don't even want to stay at!
Am I right? No further raising of the cap unless I get another TA, even if I harm my chances of another hire?