- Doctoral Education and the Faculty of the Future
A 2009 op-ed article in The New York Times ridiculed the state of graduate education in the United States, stating that "graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning" (p. A23), pointing specifically to outmoded understandings of the job market and the skills needed for the "real" world. In their edited book, Doctoral Education and the Faculty of the Future, Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Charlotte V. Kuh present a different view of doctoral education today, instead offering a call to action in regard to what we have learned about producing faculty members and how the academy needs to change to respond effectively. Resulting from a 2006 conference at Cornell University, topics in the book span the collective pipeline from undergraduate education to the faculty career by addressing important issues such as recruiting and retaining underrepresented faculty members.
The book is divided into five sections. The first part of the book includes authors who were integral to the many initiatives and large-scale studies that graduate education witnessed in the past two decades and the role of graduate education in the production of faculty members. Chapters document the collective knowledge gained from the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI), the PhD Completion Project, the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, the large-scale study by Nettles and Millett, and the findings from the PhD 5 and 10 Years Later studies.
The second portion of the book views the influence of the undergraduate experience upon potential faculty members, a fairly new addition to the understanding of the faculty pipeline. In this section, chapters connect the liberal arts college and the undergraduate research experience to doctoral education and beyond.
The third and fourth parts of the book examine issues of underrepresented students of color and women, particularly as they relate to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Chapters include lessons learned from existing research as well as projects such as NSF ADVANCE, the Mathematical and Theoretical Biological Institute, the American Economic Association Summer Program, the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Science and Engineering, the National Research Council's Committee on Women in Science and Engineering, and effective programs at Tufts University. [End Page 614]
The final part of the book examines the influence of internationalization on the production of faculty members as it relates to the increase of international doctoral recipients and the effects of post-9/11 upon these populations. In these final chapters, data are reviewed from the Survey of Earned Doctorates in regard to international doctoral students in the United States, international doctoral production and its effect upon U.S. production, and the influence of new policies and regulations as they apply to international doctoral students in the wake of the U.S. "War on Terror."
To be sure, the collection of authors represented in the volume is impressive. These individuals represent a wealth of insight and experience with doctoral education across disciplinary, institutional, and programmatic perspectives. The strength of the assembled chapters is that they collectively view the issue of doctoral education and the faculty pipeline from multiple perspectives: undergraduate education, graduate education, demographic underrepresentation, and international perspectives. In addition, many chapters provide not only data but also specific programmatic interventions and strategies for change, something that will be of great interest to departments and institutions seeking effective practices. It is also refreshing to see chapters that provide a more holistic view of the faculty pipeline, including chapters that speak to the undergraduate influence as well as the perspectives of internationalization—issues that are often overlooked in the existing literature.
While the editors have done a commendable job in representing the myriad of demographic perspectives on the faculty pipeline, the book could have been further strengthened by including a few chapters featuring the doctoral student voice, as in the tradition of Austin (2002, 2006), Nyquist et al. (1999), and Wulff and Austin (2004). Moreover, while the heavy emphasis on...