A Chronicle of Graduate Education 1845 to 1982
Earliest mention in University records is made of a postgraduate degree, only eight years after the reorganization, by legislative decree, of The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in l837. (The school was originally established by territorial low as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, in Detroit in 1817.) In resolutions adopted by the Board of Regents this statement appears: “No candidate for the second degree of Master of Arts shall receive this honor unless he has preserved a good moral character, and previously to the Commencement, has signified his desire of the same to the Faculty.”
Honorary degree of Master of Arts is established by Board of Regents. A committee of three is appointed to confer with the faculty to determine requirements for the regular degree of Master of Arts.
First master’s degrees in course (degrees were awarded to any alumnus or graduate of three years’ standing) are granted to two candidates: Merchant H. Goodrich of Ann Arbor and Winfield Smith of Monroe.
President Henry P. Tappan establishes a lecture system, including the use of libraries, called the university course, for those who have attained B.A. or B.S. degrees. He says he believes the University should have an educational system similar to those of Germany and France.
The number of master’s degrees jumps to eighteen from four the previous year.
Records first show enrollment of graduate students.
More stringent rules are adopted for granting Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees upon examination, requiring that students, pursue professional or general scientific studies, pass an examination, and read a thesis, according to a plan worked out by President Tappan.
President Tappan entertains hopes for the future of the graduate program and reports: "In these higher courses we’re advancing to the scope and dignity of a true University and maturing the noble plans of the founders. Nor need we despair of success. The more we enlarge our facilities of affording education, the more we extend our influence. These Institutions will ultimately command the highest success."
The first degrees are granted upon examination. However, President Tappan’s new program does not prove popular, and advanced degrees continue to be granted in course; until 1871, only fifteen degrees are granted upon examination. Chroniclers attribute some of this to the War Between the States, but mostly to difficulties arising between President Tappan and the Board of Regents, as well as in the administrations of President Erastus Otis Haven and Acting President Henry Simmons Frieze that follow.
The annual academic fee is $5. Students can expect to spend $125-175 a year on all expenses, including room and board, incurred while they attend the University.
Thirty-four women are admitted to the University.
Between 1870 and 1907, annual expenses for a student average $370. Included in this figure are academic fees of only $15 to $40.
Acting President Frieze points out that only one Master of Arts degree is awarded upon examination, and urges an increase in the number of students. "The marked success in professional life of the few who have thus far pursued post graduate courses," he says, "should invite more of the alumni to undertake it, especially those who have taken the first degree at so early an age that there is no occasion for haste in preparing for a profession."
President James Burrill Angell, with the support of the Literary Faculty, urges the Board of Regents to grant no master’s degrees in course after 1877. Provision is also made to grant the Doctor of Philosophy degree to those who have studied for at least two years after obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
First Doctor of Philosophy degrees awarded to Victor C. Vaughn and William E. Smith. Their dissertations are titled "Quantitative Separation of Arsenic From Each of the Metals Precipitated by Hydrogen Sulphide in Acid Solution," and "The Zoology of Anoura and Caecilia," respectively.
The change in requirements for the master’s degree receives general approval by educators, and President Angell predicts an increase in the number of applicants for advanced degrees awarded upon examination. However, no great increase in enrollment occurs and a few degrees in course continue to be granted every year until 1884.
Acting President Frieze likens the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts to the German Gymnasium, and deplores American universities’ preoccupation with secondary rather than higher education. He urges that the master’s degree be preceded by a certificate of proficiency or maturity and not by the bachelor’s degree. He advocates an arrangement, called the "new departure" whereby a student might be recommended for the master’s degree without having taken the bachelor’s degree, provided the student gives notice of such a purpose a year in advance, chooses courses approved by the faculty, and presents a satisfactory thesis.
The first attempt to put the system of new departure into effect is with the establishment of a School of Political Science. The course of study is to cover a period of three years, and students might be admitted upon completion of the first two years in the University if they follow the new departure requirements. A Doctor of Philosophy degree will be awarded. Approval is given to the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts to grant the doctoral degree under the same conditions. This plan seems to meet with favor.
The faculty presents a plan to the Regents for graduate work that introduces the "credit system" and the "university system," one of which a student must declare after completing two years of study. A student working on the credit system will get a bachelor’s degree at the end of the fourth year of residence. The student who selects the university system will be admitted to a special examination, not earlier than the fourth year, and the degree conferred might be either a bachelor’s or a master’s; presentation of a thesis is necessary for the master’s degree. A student might also gain a master’s degree only on the basis of attainments and presentation of a meritorious thesis. The doctorate is to be conferred only upon persons who have previously received a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, with a minimum of two years required before a student can present himself for the doctor’s examination.
President Angell describes those seeking the university system as pursuing a somewhat "freer" method of study than others, fostering a "manly and enthusiastic spirit of investigation and research" and stimulating scholarship of a "lofty type." " We are aware," he says, "that we are taking a very bold step. But it is not the first time that this University has taken bold steps."
President Angell introduces the "seminary system" of study. Again modeled on the German system, the President’s proposal is for a small group of students to organize and meet regularly. Each member of the group would present a paper for evaluation by the others in the presence of the professor. (Later, in 1901, President Angell will extol the success of the seminary system, stating that it was introduced at The University Of Michigan earlier than at any other American university.)
President Angell reports he is highly gratified with the success of the university system, and responds to criticisms: “The tendency of the system is to lead scholars to pursue their work in a most generous, unartificial and earnest spirit, and to accomplish more than they would under the mere stimulus of the ordinary classroom methods. The fear often expressed that students will generally abuse or unwisely use the liberty granted them of choosing to some extent their studies has not shown by our experience to be well-founded.”
June Rose Colby is the first woman to receive a Ph.D. upon examination. She becomes professor of English at Illinois State Normal School.
Despite attempts to improve graduate work during these early years, enrollment is not high (only 116 advanced degrees are granted during the 1880’s). Certain difficulties are cited by President Angell: fellowships and other aids are not available for gifted scholars; increasing undergraduate enrollment makes it difficult for faculty members to devote time to graduate work and to advanced students; and library facilities are inadequate. President Angell acknowledges the efforts of the alumni to establish one or more fellowships, and urges friends of the University to promote advanced scholarship by endowing fellowships yielding from $400 to $600 a year.
Of eighty-four students and candidates for higher degrees this year, twenty-two are women.
For the first time President Angell mentions the need for an organization to give proper attention to graduate students. He addresses the Regents: " No scholars who go forth from our walls do more for the reputation of the University. It is therefore of the first importance that we encourage such work as theirs…I propose to ask the Faculty of the Literary Department to give consideration to the subject of the organization of the graduate work, and to report to you at some future time."
The faculty of the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts decides to establish a graduate school, growing out of a conviction that it is time to provide advanced courses developed from the elective system, and that there is a need for separate instruction of graduate students and a systematic and efficient administration of graduate work.
Management of the new school is entrusted to an Administrative Council, of which the President is chairman. The council for the year 1892-1893 comprises heads of departments.
In his report to the Regents, President Angell calls for recognition of the new organization: “The Faculty feel, and with reason, that we ought to improve every opportunity to do well that advanced literary and scientific teaching which may be regarded as the university work. We should be glad to encourage and to invite to take up the higher ranges of study with us and should strive to furnish them as good facilities for such study as afforded anywhere in the country. The demand for such facilities is rapidly increasing. The stronger universities are very properly striving to meet it. If we are not to fall behind them, we must do our utmost to promote this advanced instruction …. It is, in fact, the genuine university work which we have for many years been desirous of doing. Dr. Tappan, with his broad vision and his true conception of the function of the university, attempted in his day to prepare the way for it. And the Faculty never lost sight of the ideal which he pictured …. [However,] a considerable addition to our present expenses is involved. This is stated frankly so that there may be no misunderstanding on the part of the Regents or of the public …. We have reached a critical point in our history; it is obvious that we must now either accept a position in the rear of the larger universities with which we have long been keeping pace in the highest university work, or else make a vigorous forward movement.”
President Angell makes another plea for increased state funds for the development of state universities.
Acting President Harry B. Hutchins speaks discouragingly about the development of graduate work, noting low enrollment and the need for funds for development and fellowships.
A committee is formed by President Angell to study the problem of fellowship support.
By the turn of the century, eleven women have earned Ph.D. degrees upon examination. Summer-session work is instituted with the same credit value given as that for other sessions. Enrollment grows to ninety students, with seventy-nine colleges in addition to the University represented by students in the eight preceding years.
Graduate enrollment jumps to 108 and several fellowships have been established. However, because the graduate department has been organized as part of the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts, administrative problems arise. Engineering, law, and medicine have already been organized as separate departments for graduate work. It is recognized that graduate study is peculiarly a University interest, and not a departmental one. The Research Club, established in 1900, may help foster this feeling, since it serves to bring the research interests in all fields together.
A plan is presented to the Regents for organization of a separate graduate unit representing the entire University. Included are proposals for the election of an administrative council of nine members and for the election of a dean by the council.
A recommendation for a graduate school is presented to the Finance Committee of the Board of Regents, which proposes that no action be taken.
Two subsequent requests for the establishment of a graduate school are rejected, and chroniclers surmise later that the faculty of the literary department is reluctant to relinquish control of graduate work.
The Graduate Council has grown to fifty-five members, so an Administrative Council of the Graduate School is established (still within the literary department, however). It consists of eleven members of the department faculty, appointed to three-year terms.
Annual cost of attending from the University begins its rise from $370, to peak at about $750 around the time the stock market collapses in 1929.
The Regents appropriate money for the establishment of University fellowships. Although a total of $5,000 is requested, the Regents grant only $3,000. This seems ample, since $750 remain unassigned, on the claim that there is a dearth of first-class applicants because of the lateness of the appropriations. Recognition is first given to graduate work in the professional departments in fulfillment of the requirements for higher degrees. Thirty-two departments now offer graduate instruction.
A committee composed of Regents Sawyer, Beal, and Hubbard, Deans Vaughn and Reed, Professors F.N. Scott, Wenley, and Ziwet, with President Harry B. Hutchins as chairman, recommend again that a separate graduate entity be established.
The Regents finally grant approval in December to the organization of an independent Graduate Department. They establish ten University Fellowships for graduate students, with stipends of $300 each.
The newly organized Graduate Department begins operation in offices in University Hall behind Angell Hall. (University Hall later burns down.)
Management of the Department is vested in an Executive Board of seven faculty members representing various groups of study, together with the President of the University and a dean of the Graduate School. The term of office of the members of the Board is to be seven years, with one to retire each year. Karl Eugen Guthe (Ph.D. Physics, Harvard, 1889) is appointed first dean. Executive Board members are Henry C. Adams, Fred N. Scott, Robert M. Wenley, Moses Gomberg, Mortimer E. Cooley, Victor C. Vaughn, and Henry M. Bates.
The Graduate Department is made wholly independent of any special faculty and has its own budget for administrative purposes. Although the new department has no faculty of its own, it has at its disposal the members of all faculties, as well as the resources of the University. Student enrollment numbers 326, ninety-five of them women. Twelve Ph.D.s are awarded this year.
The Regents add five University fellowships of $500 each, and establish ten State College Fellowships of $300 each. The latter are reserved for graduates of Michigan colleges to be nominated by their faculties, approved by the Executive Board, and finally appointed by the Regents.
The Executive Board approves Dean Guthe’s recommendation that the word "dissertation" replace "thesis" in the requirements for the doctoral degree. Professor Alfred Henry Lloyd (Ph.D. Philosophy, Harvard, 1893) is appointed second dean, following the death of Dean Guthe.
Major departments are called "schools" or "colleges" from this date. Thus, the Graduate Department becomes the Graduate School.
The Regents accept funds to establish the Levi L. Barbour Scholarships for Oriental Women, a prestigious program whose recipients often achieve national and international fame.
World War I. Enrollment drops from 570 in 1916-1917 to 439 in 1917-1918, and then to 303 in 1918-1919; it jumps back to 509 in 1919-1920. As the numbers fall, the proportion of women increases, from 31 percent in 1916-1917 to 45 percent in 1918-1919. However, the post-war rate slips back to 34 percent.
The study of chemistry rose to unusual popularity between 1917 and 1919. One student drops a course in elocution in favor of one in explosives.
Dean Lloyd observes in his report to the President the decline since the war of students studying German; French and Spanish become the languages of choice on campus. “Pragmatism and commercialism may for some time survive the war and be a menace to the best spirit of scientific study and research,” says Dean Lloyd. “Zealously desiring not to be isolated from life, research may suffer from the counter mistake of loss of its independence …. But, not to refer to other dangers, the future policy of the [Graduate] School, whatever the opposition or difficulty, must be persistently one of catholicity of interest and of loyalty to humanistic as well as to scientific studies, to pure science as well as to applied science, and, above all, to public interest and to independence of training and research.”
The Regents give the Executive Board power to establish a research division in connection with any department in the University. Research professors, associates, and fellows are to be appointed to work just with graduate students. Financial support is not immediately forthcoming, however, and the plan does not develop as proposed. Nonetheless, the rise of bureaus and institutes indicates the increasing funds available for research purposes.
The Regents appoint Gotthelf Carl Huber (M.D., Northwestern, 1887) dean of the Graduate School. They also establish two Alfred H. Lloyd fellowships in honor of the former dean, one in the humanities and one in science.
The University of Michigan Press is founded, but authorization for publication and its budget remain under the direction of the Executive Board of the Graduate School.
Graduate School enrollment is 1,226. Dean Huber dies.
Ninety doctorates and 517 master’s degrees are awarded.
Clarence Stone Yoakum (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1908) is appointed dean.
Control of publications is transferred to the University Press and a Committee on Scholarly Publications is formed with faculty membership from several disciplines, with the dean of the Graduate School and the managing editor of the Press holding ex-official membership.
Trustees of the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund, established by Mr. Rackham’s will, award the University monies amounting eventually to over $10 million. Included in this benefaction is a site upon which a building devoted to graduate education, also a gift of the Rackham Fund, is to be built, as well as a substantial endowment for carrying on graduate study and research. To oversee the endowment, the Rackham Board of Governors is established.
The organization of the Graduate School remains the same, but the name is changed to the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.
The Institute of Public and Social Administration, established in 1914, becomes an integral part of the Graduate School. (Its name is later changed to the Institute of Public Policy Studies and in 1968 it comes under the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.)
The Board of Governors of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies holds its first meeting. Present are President Alexander G. Ruthven, Bryson D. Horton, Clarence E. Wilcox, Frederick G. Rolland, and Clarence S. Yoakum. President Ruthven reports receipt of a gift of $100,000 from the Rackham Fund for support of research projects until such time as income from the Trust Fund shall be available.
Dean Yoakum announces the procedure for faculty members to submit research grant applications to the Board of Governors, who will review each application.
Two Horace H. Rackham postdoctoral fellowships are created. Earlier, ten Rackham predoctoral fellowships were established from the Rackham Fund. All are to be called Rackham Fellowships.
Membership of the Rackham Executive Board is increased to ten members, the term of office to be five years, with two members retiring each year. The President retires from ex-officio membership. (Subsequently, the number is increased to twelve-three members to be elected by the graduate faculty to represent each of the four divisions of the Graduate School, with staggered three-year terms, and four members retiring each year; the dean of the Graduate School is chairman. Ex-officio membership is held by associate deans, faculty representatives from U-M Flint and Dearborn campuses, Rackham Student Government representatives, and the director of the Graduate Academic Records Office. This is the current administrative structure.)
The Regents establish the Institute for Human Adjustment through a gift of $1 million from Mrs. Mary A. Rackham and special grants from the Rackham Fund. These funds are part of the endowment of the Rackham Graduate School. The Institute acquires two units – a speech clinic and a psychological clinic. (Later, other units are added.)
The trustees of the Rackham Fund give $100,000 for Rackham Undergraduate Fellowships. Dedication of the Rackham Building, finished at a cost of $2.5 million, takes place in June. Between 1935 and 1938 the book value of the five Rackham Funds is $7 million.
Graduate student enrollment grows to 3,083 (2,078 men and 1,005 women), with 1,203 degrees awarded.
By the middle of World War II, enrollment has fallen to 633, with 582 degrees conferred. Much of the Rackham Building is used for students training for service in meteorology and other Army and Navy specialties. During this period a new program is established to train civil administrators for occupied territories.
Dean Yoakum dies. Acting Dean Peter Okelberg reports on the impact of an incomplete faculty, small student body, and equipment shortages – all due to the war – on the quality of student education.
The war is over, and graduate students pour back – 3,125 of them. The Rackham Building needs redecoration after heavy use by military units.
Professor Ralph Alonson Sawyer (Ph.D. Physics, University of Chicago, 1919) is named dean.
The Regents establish the Statistical Research Laboratory under supervision of the Executive Board of the Graduate School and housed in the Rackham Building. Computer operation grows so large, however, that a separate division, the Computing Center, is set up in 1959. (The Statistical Lab later comes under the Office of Vice President for Research.)
The Regents abolish the $50 dissertation-publication deposit, replacing it with a $30 fee, providing for microfilming of a dissertation; this procedure would meet the publication requirement. Microfilming includes having the dissertation catalogued by the Library of Congress as well as publication of abstracts in Dissertation Abstracts International. Through the Association of Graduate Schools, Dean Sawyer successfully popularizes this procedure, and most major universities in the U.S. will eventually use this method of publishing dissertations.
Enrollment increases continue until the outbreak of the Korean War, causing another decline.
The Division of Gerontology is organized under the Institute of Human Adjustment. (It later becomes an independent unit of the University.)
Korean War veterans push enrollment to 4,042; 265 doctoral degrees and 1,423 master’s degrees are awarded. Rackham is third among the nation’s graduate schools in the number of master’s degrees conferred, and seventh in the number of doctorates.
An organization of graduate students, the Graduate Student Council, is formed. It later changes its name to Rackham Student Government.
The launching of Sputniks I and II sparks the need to train more scientists and engineers and expands defense-oriented research. This condition, lasting for a decade, together with a rapid increase in federal funds for fellowships, doubles enrollment and output of Ph.D.s. During this period, the Rackham Executive Board recognizes the unevenness of federal support, most of which is directed toward the scientific and technical areas, and awards most of its $250,000 Rackham and General Fund research money to the humanities and social sciences, preventing a serious decline in those disciplines.
The volume of grant funds grows into millions of dollars, so a separate research organization seems desirable. Dean Sawyer is appointed the first Vice President for Research (while continuing in his post as dean), with jurisdiction over the Office of Research Administration.
The Michigan Quarterly Review, a literary and scholarly journal, is established to replace the Alumni Association’s Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review. The new journal later comes under the auspices of the Graduate School.
The Rackham Board of Governors votes to consolidate separate Rackham funds into one, allocating to the dean and the Executive Board annual sums for graduate fellowships, faculty research grants, and faculty publication subventions (subventions are subsidies to a publisher toward the cost of publishing a scholarly work).
Professor Stephen Hopkins Spurr (Ph.D. Forest Ecology, Yale, 1950), former dean of the School of Natural Resources, is appointed sixth dean of the Graduate School.
The Rackham Executive Board authorizes the granting of a Candidate in Philosophy designation, marking the passing of a comprehensive examination and the completion of all requirements up to the doctoral dissertation.
The Graduate School modifies the language requirement (a reading knowledge of French and German) and permits departments to set their own guidelines.
The Opportunity Program is established to provide support for graduate minority students. (Later this aid will be called University Fellowships for Minority Students.)
According to studies for the American Council on Education, the University’s graduate departments are rated within the top ten, and often within the top five, graduate schools in the country.
Graduate study is initiated at the U-M Dearborn campus with a program in Mechanical Engineering.
The Rackham Executive Board authorizes a $600,000 grant toward funding the Michigan Society of Fellows, established through the efforts of Dean Spurr and a gift from the Ford Foundation. The aim of the Society is to develop promising young, gifted scholars and artists by supporting them for three years as members of a small community of interacting fellows. The 1981 roster lists eighteen junior fellows and sixteen senior fellows.
Professor Donald Elkington Stokes (Ph.D. Political Science, Yale, 1958), chairman of the U-M political science department, is appointed dean.
The Regents establish a Doctor of Arts degree in the department of English Language and Literature. This degree is designed primarily for students seeking broad preparation for a career in college-level teaching, and does not require a research dissertation. Since then, sixty-nine students have been awarded the Doctor of Arts degree.
Enrollment declines slightly, following the national trend.
An Office of Graduate Minority Affairs is created within the Graduate School Office of Student Services to implement recommendations on minority recruitment and other services to minorities.
The Rackham Information System is developed, greatly improving administrative operations of the Graduate School as well as preparing for the establishment of the Research Data Base later this year.
Formal evaluation of graduate programs is established under the direction of Associate Dean Alfred Sussman.
Dean Stokes forms a panel to consider the status of women and to recommend steps to consider guaranteeing equal access to graduate education.
The first linking of graduate and professional degree programs occurs with the establishment of a dual-degree program in Law and Public Policy Studies.
A program of early admission to Graduate School is established – Concurrent Undergraduate Graduate Study (CUGS).
The Committee to Review the Dissertation Requirement is established by the Executive Board – a university-wide committee to review the independent research component of the Ph.D. program.
Rackham Reports, a semi-annual publication for alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the Graduate School, publishes its first issue.
Associate Dean of the Graduate School Alfred Sheppard Sussman (Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Harvard, 1949) is appointed eighth dean of the Graduate School.
The Graduate School sets up a Development Office, designed to serve as a link between the Graduate School and potential sources of external funds.
After an eighteen-month study, the Committee on the Status of Women in Graduate Study and Later Careers issues a report entitled "The Higher, the Fewer". The report analyzes reasons for the fall-off of women at successively higher academic plateaus and makes recommendations to correct the problem. As a result of the findings, the Board of Governors establishes a new fellowship program for nontraditional students.
Rackham is awarded a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to study the feasibility of establishing a statewide External Graduate University.
The Review committee of the Rackham Graduate School, appointed by Vice President for Academic Affairs Frank Rhodes in 1974, issues its report. It urges that “Rackham serve as informed and effective advocate within the University for the interests of graduate education. . . . with major emphasis on encouragement and supervision of interdepartmental degree programs, on leadership in educational policy, including research innovation, and on advocacy.”
A shrinking academic job market forces graduates to look for employment outside academe. The Graduate School begins exploring new directions to educate students, faculty members, and potential employers about matching graduates with non-academic jobs.
Rackham sponsors a Conference on Alternative Careers for Ph.D.s in the Humanities and Social Sciences and co-sponsors two non-academic job-hunting workshops in succeeding years. As part of its expanding research function, Rackham initiates a study of Ph.D. employment, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
This year, 751 doctoral degrees are conferred – the highest number awarded in a single year.
A Ph.D. Review Committee is established to determine measures for evaluating the quality of existing graduate programs and to suggest criteria to determine the future size and direction of graduate education at Michigan.
Rackham co-sponsors with the office of Career Planning and Placement, an office of Non-academic Career Counseling and Placement for Graduate Students.
An academic appeals procedure is established for Rackham students who have a grievance related to academic matters.
An office of Graduate Academic Records is established in the Graduate School.
The Graduate School awards 2,955 degrees: 698 doctoral, 25 intermediate, and 2,232 master’s level.
The first Master of Liberal Studies degree is approved (American Culture) at the U-M Flint campus, initiating graduate study at that location.
Dean Sussman convenes an International Conference on the Philosophy and Future of Graduate Education, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Conference papers presented by a panel of distinguished national and international scholars are later published by the University of Michigan Press.
Rackham contributes funds and staff to help develop the International Association for Advancement of Appropriate Technology to Developing Countries (IAAATDC), founded by a group of graduate students from black nations.
In conjunction with the National Association of Manufacturers, the Graduate School hosts a conference to explore common interests and problems in industry and the University.
The Graduate School, with the help of private donors, offers the Alice and Edith Hamilton Prize Competition to encourage serious and significant feminist scholarship. Winning manuscripts are published by the University of Michigan Press in its Women and Culture Series. First winners of the annual contest are Estelle B. Freedman, for "Their Sisters’ Keepers: Women’s Prison Reform in America, 1840 to 1930," and Valerie Kossew Pichanick, for "Harriet Martineau: The Woman and Her Work."
Rackham and General Motors sponsor a Conference on Business Careers for Ph.D.s in the Humanities.
In November, the Regents appoint Dean Sussman Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, to fill the post vacated by Harold T. Shapiro upon his appointment as President of the University. This assignment continues through July 1980. Associate Dean Eugene Feingold is appointed Acting Dean of the Graduate School for that period.
The Medical Scientist Training Program, which awards an M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in one of the biomedical sciences, is established.
The Graduate School initiates an Automotive Seminar, a monthly seminar composed of faculty members from engineering, business administration, and the social sciences, and representatives from industry, to explore quality and productivity in the automobile industry. This has resulted in two national conferences on the United States Japanese automobile industry, as well as major collaborative research projects.
With funds from the Rackham Endowment, the Executive Board approves the first set of recipients of the Faculty Grant Program to Augment International Partnerships. This program, set up in 1979 with joint funding from the President’s Office, supports the development of research projects, faculty exchanges, and long-term associations with educational institutions of other nations.
Enrollments continue to decline as elsewhere in the nation’s graduate schools.
The Graduate School Research Office conducts an employment survey of 5,000 alumni who received their doctorates between 1971 and 1979.
The University Press celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.
Rackham supervises the first grant competition for research opportunities for University of Michigan faculty members in the People’s Republic of China, an exchange program initiated through the efforts of President Shapiro. The Michigan Quarterly Review publishes a special double issue devoted to "The Automobile and American Culture, " which wins critical acclaim from the media as well as a sizable market. The issue goes into a third printing, setting a record for sales four times its usual number.
The Ann Arbor News notes a downward slide of graduate enrollment numbers by about 200 students a year over the last six years. Dean Sussman cites as reasons for the decline the rising tuition rates, the lack of funding for research assistants and graduate fellowships, and the lure of high-paying jobs that do not require a doctoral degree.
In an April interview with Rackham Reports on the future of graduate education, Dean Sussman says: "The greatest strengths of the Graduate School have to do with the quality of the students and faculty and the encouragement [by the University community] to think of the future while the difficulties of the present press upon us."
Members of the Rackham Board of Governors are: Robert P. Briggs, Margaret Ayers Host, Otis M. Smith, President Harold Shapiro, and Dean Alfred Sussman.
By this year, the University has conferred 17,927 doctoral degrees, with about 200 additional graduates expected to join their ranks in April.
The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies lists 165 programs of graduate study, records an enrollment of 6,895, and joins the national fight against federal budget cutbacks of loan and fellowship funds that may seriously jeopardize the future of graduate education.
Chronicle by Mary M. Easthope