reference to the Wall Street Journal

Wed, 15 Jun 1994 22:20:00 PDT

Bilby provides the following quote:

" Administrators complain that senior faculty also continue to clog the job
pipeline with new Ph.D.s, both as a mark of their prestige and as a source of
cheap research labor. `The reproductive role of a professor should be to
produce one new professor for the next generation, not 15,' says David
Goodstein, vice provost of California Institute of Technology."

If you agree with the sentiment of this quote, then you must accept its
consequence: drastically fewer admittees to graduate programs, hence vastly
increased competition and more arbitrary decisions when admission committees
must choose between applicants with essentially identical records. If you
don't agree with the sentiment of this quote than you must accept the
consequence: drastic oversupply of PhDs for the available positions, hence
feirce competition among applicants and more arbitrary decisions by hiring
committees who must choose betweeen applicants each of whom is well-qualified
for the position. In short, we are facing here at a small scale the kind of
dilemnas felt throughout our society, and any society based upon growth as
the basis for well being; namely, continual growth is not sustainable (in
the sense that it can't be maintained indefinitely) in the long run, and
accelerated growth (which may be the case with rate of PhD production) is
even harder to sustain. When growth ceases then hardship enters as we are
not geared to developing a system were the general well-being is based on

D. Read