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From the Editor
By the time they earn their degrees, doctoral students are generally well prepared as researchers and scholars in their fields, but are they similarly prepared for other faculty roles and responsibilities? Are they prepared to teach and advise undergraduates, for example, or to perform academic service? The answer, according to a national survey of doctoral students, is probably not. "For nearly every role or task performed by a faculty member," Chris Golde reports in this issue, "there is a significant gap between the proportion of students reporting interest and the proportion reporting preparation."
Whose responsibility is it to prepare new faculty? The fact that a majority of doctoral students express interest in pursuing a faculty career would seem to point to a clear need for doctoral programs to broaden their conception of preparation. And many are doing just that.
But are graduate programs alone responsible for the preparation of future faculty members? Is it necessarily appropriate to build faculty training into graduate programs--possibly at the expense of disciplinary content--or would this task be better left to faculty development programs at hiring institutions? What of the students who do not plan to pursue a faculty job?
Surely graduate students' own institutions have a stake in this preparation, since many graduate students teach undergraduates at some point in their graduate careers--and many continue to do so as adjuncts. Further, what are the responsibilities of colleges and universities that employ graduate students from other institutions as adjuncts? Would they be safe in assuming these faculty are well prepared? These are just some of the pressing questions being addressed through an ongoing conversation between graduate and undergraduate education --both across sectors and within individual institutions.
Together with the disciplinary communities and selected departments, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a key interlocutor in this conversation, has encouraged exploration of a foundational question: what is the purpose of doctoral education? The ongoing work of the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate (CID) proposes an answer: "to educate and prepare those to whom we can entrust the vigor, quality, and integrity of the field." Those so prepared are termed "stewards of the discipline," and this issue includes reports on the programmatic innovations underway in three departments participating in the CID.
For its part, AAC&U hopes this dialogue between graduate and undergraduate education will also focus on the core commitments of a liberal education (see sidebar). For, as Carol Geary Schneider notes in the lead article, the next generation of faculty members enters an academy in transition. In order to provide all students with an education of lasting value, an education that empowers participants --in the dynamic twenty-first-century economy; in a diverse, democratic society; in the global community--stewards of the disciplines must also assume stewardship responsibilities for liberal education.
With this issue of Peer Review, cosponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, we hope to advance the conversation between graduate and undergraduate education. In addition to thanking The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for supporting this issue, I would like specially to thank Chris Golde for not only contributing two terrific articles but also providing me with invaluable counsel as the issue went from our heads to your hands.