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Doctoral Education and the Faculty of the Future

Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Charlotte V. Kuh

Publication Year: 2008

American colleges and universities simultaneously face large numbers of faculty retirements and expanding enrollments. Budget constraints have led colleges and universities to substitute part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty for tenure-track faculty, and the demand for faculty members will likely be high in the decade ahead.

This heightened demand is coming at a time when the share of American college graduates who go on for PhD study is far below its historic high. The declining interest of American students in doctoral programs is due to many factors, including long completion times, low completion rates, the high cost of doctoral education, and the decline in the share of faculty positions that are tenured or on the tenure track. In short, doctoral education is in crisis because the impediments are many and the rewards are few; students often choose instead to enroll in professional programs that result in more marketable credentials.

In Doctoral Education and the Faculty of the Future, scientists, social scientists, academic administrators, and policymakers describe their efforts to increase and improve the supply of future faculty. They cover topics ranging from increasing undergraduate interest in doctoral study to improving the doctoral experience and the participation of underrepresented groups in doctoral education.

Published by: Cornell University Press


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pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 3-8


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pp. vii-x

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pp. 1-12

American colleges and universities are simultaneously facing large numbers of faculty retirements and expanding enrollments. Budget constraints, especially those at public higher education institutions, have led colleges and universities to substitute part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty for tenure-track faculty. ...

I. Improving Doctoral Education

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1. Changing the Education of Scholars: An Introduction to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Graduate Education Initiative

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pp. 15-34

In 1991 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI) to improve the structure and organization of PhD programs in the humanities and social sciences and to combat the high rates of student attrition and long time to degree completion prevailing in these fields. ...

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2. The Council of Graduate Schools’ PhD Completion Project

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pp. 35-52

John Houseman earned an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a National Board of Review award for best supporting actor as the uncompromising Professor Kingsfield in James Bridges’s The Paper Chase, the 1973 movie based on John Jay Osborne’s novel dramatizing his experiences at Harvard Law School. ...

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3. Advocating Apprenticeship and Intellectual Community: Lessons from the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate

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pp. 53-64

Despite a well-established reputation for excellence internationally, doctoral education in the United States faces growing competition from emerging centers of educational innovation abroad. Recent reform efforts have addressed the ability of doctoral programs to serve the development of their students and their preparation for various professional positions, ...

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4. Three Ways of Winning Doctoral Education: Rate of Progress, Degree Completion, and Time to Degree

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pp. 65-79

The timeliness with which students progress through and complete doctoral programs has been frequently studied and debated (Hartnett and Willingham 1979; Spurr 1970; Wright 1957). As doctoral degrees are the least prescriptive of higher education degrees, the amount of time that students are expected to take to complete them has never been established. ...

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5. Confronting Common Assumptions: Designing Future-Oriented Doctoral Education

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pp. 80-90

Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis; one would think that this Latin proverb—“The times are changing and we are changing with them”—applies to all sectors of life and all societies. However, in the United States, doctoral education is, for the most part, still structured as if it were meant to prepare students for life as university professors— ...

II. Attracting Undergraduates to PhD Study

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6. Generating Doctoral Degree Candidates at Liberal Arts Colleges

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pp. 93-108

Liberal arts colleges are an important source of PhD candidates. While these colleges award about 11 percent of all undergraduate degrees in the United States, almost 17 percent of all PhDs awarded to American students are to graduates of liberal arts colleges. ...

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7. Undergraduate STEM Research Experiences: Impact on Student Interest in Doing Graduate Work in STEM Fields

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pp. 109-120

Does participation in undergraduate research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) affect the likelihood that participants will enter STEM graduate programs and succeed? This is one of many questions addressed in the literature on the effects of undergraduate research (UGR). ...

III. Increasing the Representation of People of Color in the PhD Pool

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8. Minority Students in Science and Math

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pp. 123-134

Why do so few Hispanics and African Americans enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, which are essential to the economic and social health of the nation? Simply put, the educational system grows increasingly unresponsive to America’s Hispanic and black populations as the degree stakes go up. ...

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9. The Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute: A Successful Model for Increasing Minority Representation in the Mathematical Sciences

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pp. 135-145

William Yslas Velez—a distinguished professor of mathematics at the University of Arizona, a past president of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, and a recipient of a White House President’s Award for his documented efforts to mentor and support minority students— ...

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10. Curriculum Intensity in Graduate Preparatory Programs: The Impact on Performance and Progression to Graduate Study among Minority Students in Economics

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pp. 146-159

Considerable resources are devoted to preparing students for doctoral study, particularly in quantitative disciplines. This is especially true in the United States, where most domestic students come from the liberal arts, which have not given them the complete background necessary for success in doctoral programs with substantial prerequisites. ...

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11. Assessing Programs to Improve Minority Participation in the STEM Fields: What We Know and What We Need to Know

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pp. 160-172

In this chapter we focus on evaluations of programs designed to improve the participation of underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities ( URMs) in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM ) disciplines in the United States ( U.S.). Our goal is to review selected published studies and unpublished reports ...

IV. Increasing the Representation of Women in Academia

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12. First a Glass Ceiling, Now a Glass Cliff? The Changing Picture for Women in Science and Higher Education Careers

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pp. 175-181

Fifty years ago very few women chose careers in academic science or as leaders in higher education. Almost without exception, pictures and reports of major scientific events or societies depicted men—and mostly Caucasian men. Consequently there were few role models or exemplars for young women to emulate. ...

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13. Increasing Women’s Representationin the Life Sciences

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pp. 182-191

In academic employment, women are not yet present in numbers that would be expected given the level of degree attainment over the past few decades. According to the 2003 Survey of Doctorate Recipients, women constituted 45 percent of junior faculty (assistant professors) and 29 percent of senior faculty, ...

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14. Attracting and Retaining Women in Engineering

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pp. 192-206

In the United States, engineering is an academic field that has been, and continues to be, predominantly male. In recent years, only about one in five PhD recipients has been a woman. As the Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development notes, ...

V. The Internationalization of Doctoral Education

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15. Do Foreign Doctorate Recipients Displace U.S. Doctorate Recipients at U.S. Universities?

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pp. 209-223

Many people believe that foreign students are crowding out U.S.-citizen students from graduate—especially doctoral—programs at U.S. universities. Borjas (2003) has documented that the share of nonresident aliens enrolled in graduate programs in the United States rose from 5.5 percent in 1976 to 12.4 percent in 1999. ...

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16. Opening (and Closing) Doors: Country-Specific Shocks in U.S. Doctoral Education

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pp. 224-248

The representation of students from abroad among doctorate recipients—particularly in science and engineering—in U.S. universities has increased dramatically in recent decades, rising from 27 percent in 1973 to over 50 percent in 2005. This growth has not been uniform across source countries, ...

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17. What the “War on Terror” Has Meant for U.S. Colleges and Universities

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pp. 249-258

A number of the chapters in this volume have directly addressed the perceived decline in the attractiveness of graduate professional education in the United States, offering a multitude of observations and proposing a number of solutions. As is the case with so many complex problems, virtually all of the diagnoses and prescriptions ...

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Looking to the Future

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pp. 259-262

The chapters in Doctoral Education have provided a road map for improving the functioning of doctoral education programs in the United States. Money matters, but it is not the only thing that matters; even well-funded doctoral programs have dropout rates that are higher than desirable. ...


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pp. 263-276


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pp. 277-292


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pp. 293-296

Author Index

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pp. 297-300

Subject Index

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pp. 301-308

E-ISBN-13: 9780801461569
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801445439

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: 1