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A Guide to the Methodology of the National Research Council Assessment of Doctorate Programs Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Paul W. Holland, Charlotte V. Kuh, and James A. Voytuk, editors Committee to Assess Research-Doctorate Programs Board on Higher Education and Workforce Policy and Global Affairs THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy (Grant DE-FG02-07ER35880), the National Institutes of Health (Grant N01-OD-4-2139, TO#170), the National Science Foundation (Grant OIA-0540823), the National Research Council, and contributions from 222 U.S. universities. Additional copies of this report are available from The National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2009. Assessment of Research Doctoral Programs in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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Committee to Assess Research-Doctorate Programs Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Ph.D. (Chair), Professor of Astronomy, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, and Provost Emeritus, Princeton University Virginia S. Hinshaw, Ph.D. (Vice Chair), Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Elton D. Aberle, Ph.D., Dean and Director Emeritus, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin Norman M. Bradburn, Ph.D., Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor and Provost Emeritus, University of Chicago, Senior Fellow, National Opinion Research Center John Brauman, Ph.D., J.G. Jackson-C.J. Jackson Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University Jonathan R. Cole, Ph.D., John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University, and Provost Emeritus, Columbia University Paul W. Holland, Ph.D., Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics (retired), Educational Testing Service Eric Kaler, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President, Stony Brook University Earl Lewis, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Emory University Joan Lorden, Ph.D., Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Carol Lynch, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School Emerita, University of Colorado Boulder and Director of Professional Master’s Programs, Council of Graduate Schools Robert M. Nerem, Ph.D., Parker H. Petit Professor and Director, Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology Suzanne Ortega, Ph.D., Provost, University of New Mexico Robert Spinrad, Retired Vice President, Technology Strategy, Xerox Corporation (resigned November 2007) Catharine R. Stimpson, Dean and University Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University Richard Wheeler, Vice Provost, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Staff Charlotte Kuh, Ph.D., Study Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce, and Deputy Executive Director, Division on Policy and Global Affairs Peter Henderson, Ph.D., Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce James Voytuk, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer, Board on Higher Education and Workforce John Sislin, Ph.D., Program Officer, Board on Higher Education and Workforce Kara Murphy, Research Associate, Board on Higher Education and Workforce Sabrina Hall, Program Associate, Board on Higher Education and Workforce Rae Allen, Administrative Assistant, Board on Higher Education and Workforce v PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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Data Panel for the Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs Norman M. Bradburn, Ph.D., (Chair), Tiffany and Margaret Black Distinguished Service Professor and Provost Emeritus, University of Chicago Richard Attiyeh, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Research, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of California, San Diego Scott Bass, Ph.D., Provost, The American University Julie Carpenter-Hubin, M.A., Director of Institutional Research and Planning, The Ohio State University Janet L. Greger, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Strategic Planning, University of Connecticut (retired) Dianne Horgan, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Graduate School, University of Arizona Marsha Kelman, M.B.A., Associate Vice President, Policy and Analysis, Office of the President, University of California Karen Klomparens, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School, Michigan State University Bernard F. Lentz, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Institutional Research, Drexel University Harvey Waterman, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Ami Zusman, Ph.D., Coordinator, Graduate Education Planning & Analysis, Office of the President, University of California (retired) vi PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This methodology guide is being released in advance of the Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs to educate those who will be using the assessment in the details of its construction. Although it builds on earlier NRC assessments, the methodology of assessment has been significantly altered and the range of data used in constructing rankings has been considerably expanded. At the urging of members of the graduate community, the Committee to Assess Research Doctorate Programs has produced this guide because the methodology is statistically complex and it is important to know what to look for when the range of rankings for each program is released. A data-based study as large as the one described in this methodology guide would be impossible without the time, care, and assistance of hundreds of people in universities who gathered and checked data for each of their programs to assist with the Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs. We will not name all these people, but the committee is extraordinarily grateful to them. The questionnaires were developed with the assistance of the committee’s Data Panel, chaired by Norman Bradburn, whose membership appears following the list of the committee. We are also grateful to the staff of Mathematica Policy Research, our data contractor, which not only collected the data, but helped us with questionnaire wording, sampling plans, and model implementation. Geraldine Mooney and David Edson were the able leaders of a large MPR team. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible, and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John Bailar, University of Chicago; John Burris, Burroughs Wellcome Fund; Michael Brick, Westat, Inc.; Joseph Cerny, University of California, Berkeley; Karen DePauw, Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Robeson Taj Frazier, University of California, Berkeley; Andrew Gelman, Columbia University; Claudia Goldin, Harvard University; Valen Johnson, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Sheryl Lightfoot, University of Minnesota; Daniel Mote, University of Maryland; Risa Palm, State University of New York; William Press, University of Texas; Raul Ramos, University of vii PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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Houston; Stephen Stigler, University of Chicago; Dawn Terkla, Tufts University; Andrew Wachtel, Northwestern University; George Walker, Florida International University; John Wiley, University of Wisconsin; and Lilian Wu, International Business Machines Corporation. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University and Lyle Jones, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Appointed by the National Academies, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Finally, we wish to thank our funders, the National Science Foundation (OIA-0540823), the National Institutes of Health (N01-OD-4-2139, TO#170), the U.S. Department of Energy (DE- FG02-07ER35880), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2004-3-20), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the President’s Committee of the National Research Council; and the 220 universities that participated and contributed financial support to the assessment. viii PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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Contents 1 Introduction 1 2 The Data and How They Were Obtained 5 3 Ratings in Specific Dimensions: The Dimensional Measures 11 4 The Overall Rating of Program Quality 14 5 An Example 19 Appendixes A. A Technical Discussion of the Process of Rating and Ranking Programs in a Field 32 B. Questionnaires 53 C. Number of Programs by Field 165 D. Programs and Institutions in a Field 169 E. List of Variables 171 F. Weights and Variables for the Dimensional Measures 175 G. Dimensional Measures for Programs in Economics 181 H. Number of Ratings for Programs in Each Field 185 I. Committee Biographies 189 ix PREPUBLICATION COPY—UNEDITED PROOFS
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