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2000 Conference: Sector Meetings

Friday, April 14th, 2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

In the Sector Meetings, conference participants were asked to address the issues of Re-envisioning the Ph.D. in the common language of their own professional peer groups, to focus on the specific concerns, interests and needs as diverse stakeholders in doctoral education, and to contribute ultimately to a more informed and consensual agenda for change.

The nine sectors deliberated to formulate responses to the question, "What can our sector do to contribute to changing doctoral education?" Whether you are a professor, a doctoral student, an administrator or a corporate VP for R&D, you'll find the recommendations for change issued by your peers a crucial step towards continuing and further developing concerted, collaborative action. We invite you to contact us with your reactions or responses to the ideas proposed. Recommendations by Sector

Research-Intensive Institutions
Teaching-Intensive Institutions
K-12 Education
Doctoral Students
Business and Industry
Private Foundations
Government Agencies
Disciplinary Societies
Educational Associations

Research-Intensive Institutions

Session Chair: George Walker, Vice President of Research and Dean of the Graduate School, Indiana University

Question: "How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?"

  1. Make the system less opaque to students. Clarify the time to degree and expectations.
  2. Measure doctoral student learning and satisfaction in surveys.
  3. Incorporate multicultural understandings into teaching and training.
  4. Promote educational experiments in doctoral education.
  5. Recognize disciplinary differences regarding issues such as time to degree, teaching requirements, role of TAs/RAs, and mentoring relationships.
  6. Consider different admission mechanisms, making the process less department-specific. This would allow students more choice upon arriving on campus.
  7. Recognize the difference between mentoring the research experience and career planning. Identify what career appeals to the student and help her or him to prepare for that career. A mentoring committee may be best suited to this purpose.
  8. Ensure that students can communicate in lay terms to various publics.
  9. Recruit community college students for research experiences.
  10. Understand what the other sectors/stakeholders want in the Ph.D., perhaps through research-intensive faculty internships in the respective sectors.
  11. Use the disciplinary associations to leverage faculty to achieve reformation of Ph.D. training.
  12. Limit admissions to programs that do not provide effective mentoring&emdash;make it part of campus program reviews.
  13. Include mentoring success in evaluation of faculty&emdash;need to change metric for measuring faculty success.
  14. Acknowledge and assume responsibility to society.
  15. Provide leadership training for doctoral students.
  16. Invite alumni in nonacademic careers to speak on career opportunities.
  17. Advocate more cooperation and consensus among higher education sectors in Washington, D.C.
  18. Organize and require more workshops on effective mentoring.
  19. Encourage departments to take on responsibility for culture change collectively.

Teaching-Intensive Institutions

Session Chair: William Plater, Dean of Faculties and Executive Vice Chancellor, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

Question: How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?

1. Institutional value:

Our sector must value the role it plays and not see itself as second best. The PhD institutions must recognize how diverse our sector is: doctoral-granting, master's-granting, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges.

2. Preparation for teaching:

  • Require teaching portfolios and references.
  • Value teaching of all types.
  • Require a teaching portfolio when hiring
  • Create comprehensive "professional portfolio" to include evidence of teaching, research and service.
  • Provide internships for predocs; pay them.

3. Increased communication with doctoral universities:

  • Help the major Ph.D.-producing universities to recognize clearly the research and scholarship that is done at other institutions.
  • Establish formal relationships between community colleges and doctoral institutions.

4. Our sector must think globally. The US trains Ph.Ds that return to their countries of origin to teach.

5. Help major research institutions to pay attention to the market place, and not simply to leave career preparation on the shoulders of students.

6. Inform research institutions of the accomplishments of their graduates in our sector.

K-12 Education

Session Chair: Rudy Crew, Executive Director, U. of Washington Institute for K-12 Leadership

Question: "How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?"

We have never been asked for our input before. In order to be able to address the issue of what the role of this sector might be in changing &endash; or having a greater impact on &endash; doctoral education, it is important to take a look at the ways in which K-12 is currently "disconnected" from the Ph.D. and the needs of K-12 and doctoral education that relate to both groups.

1. Some elements of the "disconnect:"

  • K-12 makes contact with the doctoral program in pedagogy primarily because the degree is required for those interested in administration.
  • Doctoral students from other disciplines find their interest in K-12 blocked by certification requirements.
  • Programs that might provide opportunity for exchange and mutual learning between K-12 and the university have typically:
    • lacked a field-based approach that brings doctoral students and disciplinary expertise into the schools;
    • failed to create a synergy between teaching and content knowledge;
    • ignored the "intellectual capital" represented in the experience of retired teachers in the community.
  • In addition, these programs are generally
    • short term
    • poorly funded
    • not linked to each other or to the "power circles" of the university
    • dependent on the vision and energy of a single person, and die out when that person is no longer available or supported to keep a program going.

2. K-12 needs:

  • Teachers with research experience, skills, and depth
  • Academically bright and wise individuals
  • Individuals who are also "street smart" about teaching in K-12 as it is right now.

3. Ph.D.s need:

  • The kinds of knowledge (beyond that of their discipline) that will enable them to work in the K-12 environment, to "share space in the K-12 landscape."

4. A "melding" of these needs could happen if it is possible to create a new doctoral degree that would be based in:

  • Community (all parties with a stake in K-12 education)
  • Research that is initiated and driven by the needs and interests of K-12; reflective and field-based.
  • Pedagogical and disciplinary depth, as well as interaction across these concerns.
  • An approach not be driven by a single champion within the University but come from a real and continuing commitment on the part of the University.
  • Students who value "justice," the democratic promise of equal opportunity.

Such a new doctoral degree may also include post doc residencies, which could be a means to rejuvenate teachers as well as an opportunity for doctoral students to explore the wisdom that practice affords; a benefit built into the structure for both.

Doctoral Students

Session Chair: Debbie Davis, University of California, Irvine

Question: "How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?"

Regarding power and ethics:

  1. Define explicit ethical standards; compose an explicit statement of mentoring expectations.
  2. Create an environment open to risk, mistakes, vulnerability.
  3. Initiate and seek more central administrative involvement in putting problems on the table.
  4. Help faculty educate governance boards, trustees, regents, legislature about graduate education; create orientation forums on university government.
  5. Explore and evaluate partnerships with business and professional associations and their potential positive and negative effects on graduate education.
  6. Research and propose alternative paradigms for graduate programs; help promote flexible tracks which respect to where students wants to go.
  7. Identify best practices; investigate and propose implementations of successful models for change.
  8. Use initiatives such as PFF to circulate new information to other graduate students.
  9. Learn not to internalize actions/comments from advisors and faculty.
  10. Need to trust, and be able to trust, relationships with advisors and mentors.
  11. Support provision of financial incentives for mentoring and enhancing faculty advocacy for students.
  12. Value service as an academic endeavor, for graduate students and faculty.
  13. Pursue more active recruiting for education jobs and viable humanities jobs.

What do we need from other sectors to make change happen?

  1. More invitations to serve meaningfully in graduate education initiatives and conferences.
  2. Improved financial rewards as well as funds for creating change.
  3. Less teaching and more support for timely progress (not punitive actions).
  4. Value varied experiences other than research, e.g., teaching and mentoring outreach.
  5. Conduct relationships with faculty based on diverse values and experiences.
  6. Validation of graduate students and faculty as whole people.
  7. Recognition that power differences exist and have honest, collaborative conversations between graduate students and faculty on expectations and ethical standards; safeguards against reprisal.
  8. Equitable, not equal, treatment.

Business and Industry

Session Chair: W. Michael Gallatin, Vice President and Scientific Director, ICOS Corporation

Question: How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?

  1. Target characteristics that business and industry need in Ph.D.s:
    • Technical competence
    • Breadth
    • Team work
    • Diversity
    • Communication ability
    • Value variety of career options
    • Ability to apply theory
  2. How business and industry can impact doctoral education:
    • Fund consortia; provide for faculty internships
    • Conduct outreach through professional societies
    • Support community college outreach
    • Rewards for institutions/faculty
    • Provide leadership training
    • Play a role in mentorships
  3. What is needed from other sectors:
    • Enhance math/science education and skills in K-12
    • Enhance language skills (English)
    • Leadership training and opportunities
    • Communicate with non-specialists
    • Change the faculty reward system to value more than research
    • Higher Education needs to disclose statistics for diverse successes of its graduates.
  4. Actions business and industry can take:
    • Industry should provide support for sabbaticals for faculty to obtain real exposure in industrial settings. Support of internships is also important for students, but the more major disconnect is in faculty preconceptions of "what industry is like."
    • Work collaboratively with faculty and administrators to change the reward system for faculty to promote better alignment with student interests in a larger variety of job opportunities.

    Private Foundations

    Chair: Ellen Wert, Program Officer, Education, The Pew Charitable Trusts

    Question: "How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?"

    Given the level of our resources relative to the entire enterprise, and given the particular interests and mechanisms of each individual foundation, we should try to be "creatively subversive" to leverage change.

    1. We should use language of opportunity rather than that of deficit in speaking about the need for change.
    2. We should influence change through existing programs, such as the fellowships and scholarships we fund. Insure that fellowships do not remove students from important teaching and socialization experiences (e.g., provide clear expectations about the experiences of doctoral students and post-docs; build expectations for preparation for teaching into the funding agreements; expect documentation and follow-up about the students' training; expect stronger buy-in and commitment from institutions themselves; use contracts with institutions and departments, cf. Compact for Faculty Diversity.)
    3. Knowing that graduate faculty are key to change, work more closely with disciplinary associations.
    4. When making grants, take chances on radical ideas (e.g., arrange funding for education research so that the public schools choose the researchers they want and need).
    5. Use foundations' ability to convene over issues. Meet among ourselves to further this work.
    6. Fund information gathering and analysis of key issues; support timely reporting out to benefit programs and get feedback to institutions more immediately (e.g., web-based surveys).

    Government Agencies

    Session Chair: Susan Duby, Director, Division of Graduate Education, National Science Foundation

    Question: "How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?"

    1. Funding practices comprise a huge influence; we need to use that influence through training grants and program reviews.
    2. Collect information on effectiveness and outcomes. Interview students about experiences as part of program reviews.
    3. Seek out and promote best practices, e.g., IGERT
    4. Let federal labs act as incubators.
    5. Support continuing conversations related to the "stewardship of higher education." Include other sectors and foundations.
    6. Promote diversity.
    7. Establish policies to bring in doctoral students from under-represented groups.
    8. Publish characteristics of faculty excellence in mentoring and advising of doctoral students.
    9. Influence faculty behavior through changing the reward system.
    10. Collect long-term information on outcomes of funding.
    11. Determine more explicitly our multiple roles in doctoral education (funders, leaders, partners, employers, etc.)

    Disciplinary Societies

    Session Chair: Carla Howery, Deputy Executive Officer, American Sociological Association

    Question: "How can our sector contribute to changing doctoral education?"

    1. Take a more purposive role as bearers and circulators of information:
      • Summarize data sources on graduate education trends
      • Disseminate information on experiments and best practices
    2. Work to enhance the role of director of graduate studies in graduate programs
    3. Dedicate important space at association meetings for graduate education issues.
    4. Post/disseminate the outcomes (e.g., job placement) of graduate programs; apply "truth in advertising."
    5. Ask for more detailed information in directories of graduate programs.
    6. Make use of the legitimization that societies represent to effect change.
    7. Encourage diversity by establishing networks for underrepresented populations.
    8. Embrace the need to develop teachers for community colleges.
    9. Provide teaching fellowships.
    10. Make awards to outstanding introductory course teachers.

    Educational Associations

    Session Chair: Shirley Malcom, Director, Education and Human Resources, American Association for the Advancement of Science

    Question: "What can our sector do to contribute to changing doctoral education?

    1. We need to measure what we value; not value only that which we can measure.
    2. Work more closely with disciplinary and accreditation associations to encourage experimentation and improved practices.
    3. Perform the kinds of activities for change that a single institution cannot do alone:
      • Publicize/disseminate resources and models of best practices for diversifying faculty.
      • Encourage a diverse set of models of doctoral education in collaboration with disciplinary societies.
      • Develop and publicize memoranda of agreements with multiple points of accountability.
      • Use program reviews as levers for change.
      • Promote "codes of conduct".
      • Serve as an umbrella to articulate issues that cross sectors and disciplines.
      • Collaborate with foundations, with business and with communities to expand opportunities for doctoral students.
      • Through technology, enhance information exchange (about programs, about career and professional paths) between institutions and students.

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