American colleges and universities simultaneously face large
numbers of faculty retirements and expanding enrollments. Budget
constraints have led colleges and universities to substitute
part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty for tenure-track
faculty, and the demand for faculty members will likely be high in
the decade ahead.
This heightened demand is coming at a time when the share of
American college graduates who go on for PhD study is far below its
historic high. The declining interest of American students in
doctoral programs is due to many factors, including long completion
times, low completion rates, the high cost of doctoral education,
and the decline in the share of faculty positions that are tenured
or on the tenure track. In short, doctoral education is in crisis
because the impediments are many and the rewards are few; students
often choose instead to enroll in professional programs that result
in more marketable credentials.
In Doctoral Education and the Faculty of the Future,
scientists, social scientists, academic administrators, and
policymakers describe their efforts to increase and improve the
supply of future faculty. They cover topics ranging from increasing
undergraduate interest in doctoral study to improving the doctoral
experience and the participation of underrepresented groups in
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