D’Arms briefs Assembly on national study

By Mary Jo Frank

Major universities need to find out how well they are training doctoral-level researchers, John H. D’Arms told Senate Assembly members last Monday.

To that end the National Research Council is establishing a Committee for the Study of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States. The Council is the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine.

D’Arms, a committee member, says the group’s assignment is to update the assessment of research-doctorate programs issued by the National Research Council in 1982 in the areas of the humanities, the physical and mathematical sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, the life sciences and engineering.

According to D’Arms, who is vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the study has been expanded and will cover 40 fields. There were 31 in the 1982 survey.

The survey instrument will be improved, he said, and will include responses from industrial employers in several fields.

D’Arms said it is appropriate for the National Research Council to evaluate doctoral programs, instead of leaving all the reputational rankings to news magazines. The study will take three years, concluding in August 1994.


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