In recent years, some very smart people—like Michael Bérubé, Marc Bousquet, Anthony Grafton, and William Pannapacker, to name a few—have offered on these pages their thoughts about how to fix graduate education and, by extension, the academic labor market, which, we all seem to agree, has “unraveled” (as Bérubé recently put it).
I approach this issue from a different perspective: as someone who does not work at a prestigious research university but rather at a two-year teaching college; as someone with several decades of experience on faculty search committees; and as someone who does not hold a Ph.D. but instead something much closer to what Bérubé describes as “a rigorous four-year M.A.”
Indeed, it was that passage from his Chronicle essay in February, “The Humanities, Unraveled,” that prompted me to enter this particular fray. Bérubé wrote: “Should there now be two doctoral tracks, one hard-core, old-school research with a traditional dissertation, and another more like a rigorous four-year M.A.?” <Read more of this commentary.>