New Study of Post-Baccalaureate Programs in the CSU

AS-2534-01/AA - March 15-16, 2001


RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University reaffirm its support for Recommendations on Study of Graduate Education (AS-1987-91/AA, attached); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University reaffirm its support for Recommendations on Study of Graduate Education (AS-1987-91/AA, attached); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU recommend that its Executive Committee and the Office of the Chancellor develop a new collaborative study of post-baccalaureate programs in the CSU, for the purposes of updating the Study of Graduate Education completed in 1990, determining which of its recommendations have been successfully implemented, developing new recommendations as appropriate, and developing a parallel study of post-baccalaureate programs not part of graduate degree programs; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU recommend that the new study of post-baccalaureate programs, as a part of developing new recommendations, address the need for and capability and feasibility of expanding existing master's programs and of developing both new master's programs and applied doctoral programs.

RATIONALE: In 1991, the Academic Senate CSU supported a set of recommendations on graduate education in the CSU that were developed over the preceding several years. At the time, however, state funding precluded implementation of several of the recommendations that required additional funding. After an interval of ten years, it is appropriate to reexamine those recommendations. The original resolution and the recommendations are attached.

At its meeting of April 2-3, 2001, the Education Policy and Programs Committee of the California Postsecondary Education Commission took up the current state of graduate study in California's public institutions of higher education. The report is attached. Among other points, the report states:

The need for increased attention to the graduate level, including research, has been advanced as an area of growing concern not only within institutions of higher education but externally as well. Business and industry leaders in biotechnology, engineering, computer science, and other fields have expressed concern about the availability of graduate students and the linkages between research--be it pure or applied--and the needs of the State. . . .

The Commission believes that a major effort in this decade should be devoted to strengthening graduate education. The exercise of program selectivity, the improvement of the quality of graduate programs, and the recruitment of well-qualified graduate students depend in large part on the academic leadership provided by department heads, deans, and institutional leaders. It depends, also, in the case of public institutions, on the collective will and vision of policy makers, their sustained commitment in terms of financial support, and the expectation that the public interest will be best served by distinguished programs or centers of excellence.

The report notes that nearly all CSU campuses have smaller graduate programs, proportionately, than do comparable institutions such as Arizona State, Wayne State, Georgia State, or SUNY Albany. The report concludes:

The ability of California institutions, public and independent, to meet the competition emanating from a global economy and educational opportunity is limited. To be competitive and fulfill the State's interest as well as contribute to the economic vitality of the state and its citizenry, full attention needs to be given to strong graduate programs. . . . Outstanding graduate students invest their energies and knowledge in institutions boasting strong faculty, sophisticated research equipment and up-to-date library and information resources. Fresh graduate talent should be treated as a serious and ongoing priority. . . .

The Commission believes that by having additional information and discussion as anticipated at this Commission meeting it will be well served to plan for how it can best advise and counsel State policy-makers and educational leaders.

To meet the needs of California residents for advanced degree programs, a careful study needs to be made not only of the needs of the state and of its people for post-baccalaureate study, but, most importantly for the CSU, of the capability (in terms of faculty specialties, support resources, and the like) and feasibility (especially financial feasibility) of the CSU to offer programs to meet those needs. Such a study of needs, capability, and feasibility can be advantageously combined with a study of other aspects of post-baccalaureate education.


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