If you've read Mark C. Taylor's New York Times opinion piece on American higher education, End the University as We Know It, follow up with Marc Bousquet's persuasive reply, More Drivel From the New York Times.
Graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist).Says Bousquet:
In fact, there are plenty of teaching positions to absorb all of the "excess doctorates" out there. At least 70 percent of the faculty are nontenurable. In many fields, most of the faculty don’t hold a Ph.D. and aren’t studying for one. By changing their hiring patterns over the course of a few years New York or California — either one — alone could absorb most of the "excess" doctorates in many fields.70% of U.S. college faculty are indeed nontenurable. In 2007, tenured and tenure-track professors composed 31.2% of college teaching personnel.
The problem isn’t an oversupply of qualified labor. It’s a restructuring of "demand" so that work that used to be done by people with doctorates is being done by persons with a master's or a B.A., or even by undergraduates.
I recommend Bousquet's How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (New York University Press, 2008) to anyone interested in American higher education.
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