A Student of History

January 22, 2008

Too many Ph.D.’s?

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 10:59 am

An AP Story says:

College students are getting a raw deal, a recent New York report asserted. The problem is they’re taking too many classes from part-time, or adjunct, professors.  But that same report unwittingly revealed something about how higher education is more culpable than it likes to admit when it comes to creating the problem.

The issue is a huge one in higher education far beyond New York, with about half of the nation’s college faculty now on part-time contracts. Adjuncts are cheaper for colleges, but they often lack the time and resources for focused teaching, and research shows students’ performance suffers if they are taught by part-timers too often.

In its report last month, a 30-member commission called for New York’s state (SUNY) and city (CUNY) systems to alleviate the over reliance on adjuncts by hiring 2,000 more full-time faculty for their 87 campuses.

But just one page away, the report also called for adding at least 4,000 new doctoral students.  There’s a connection between those numbers that deserves more attention.

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