Fans, Critics Author: Karen Young Kreeger
In the last couple of weeks, university public relations departments have been issuing press releases and campus newspapers have been publishing front-page articles extolling how well their graduate programs fared in a long-awaited National Research Council (NRC) report rating doctoral research programs.
Scientists, higher-education observers, and university officials who have made it at least through the executive summary of the 740-page, five-pound document have lauded it for its breadth, scope, and, in some instances, candor in acknowledging its own limitations. The massive volume was released last month.
READ BETWEEN THE LINES: CPST director Catherine Gaddy suggests that students look "beyond the ratings." Critics of the report, however, contend that concerns expressed in the text and by its authors over those limitations are well placed. Chief among their complaints is that some...