Re: Four fields - a cynical view

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Thu, 6 Apr 1995 00:02:59 -0400

I am real sorry to hear about your husband. Having sort of started this
thread on the four-field approach (Columbia University got rid of
Linguistics several years ago, like lock,stock, barrel,
anthropology and the Dept. of Linguistics and when Bob Austerlitz died a
couple of years ago, that was the end of linguistics at Columbia) I've
done so because I am damned concerned about the enormous number of PhD's
we have put out over the years and the lack of suitable jobs for all
those students. I thought the 4-field (or 3) approach made those students
with such a background more marketable. I guess I am wrong, from what my
colleagues at Columbia tell me. I can understand the cynicism from a
personal standpoint. When I graduated from UNM in 1959 with a BS in
Geology, minors in Anthro and Engineering, I couldn't get a job to save
my soul, and that was with about a years experoience in the oil fields
and seismic exploration and laboratory experience in a professional
capacity. There was a recession and too damn many geologists... Ralph