The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 5th, 2015
Academe is conservative with a small
"c," meaning that it’s suspicious of change. And that’s a good thing. We
wouldn’t want colleges and universities to be driven by the latest
fads. But graduate school is conservative even by academic standards.
Its structure has barely changed in more than a century. That goes
beyond conservatism to fossilization.
There have been exceptions, though. I wrote last month
about the success of the professional science master’s (P.S.M.) degree.
Carefully planned and thoughtfully designed before its creation, in the
late 1990s, the P.S.M. received prolonged support during its fledgling
years from the Sloan Foundation. The degree soon took flight on its own
and has been a boon to both students and institutions.