Management Ph.D. must meet university standard
The Jones Graduate School of Management proposed a doctoral program in management to the Graduate Council last semester. While we greatly applaud this step of increasing research on campus, we have a big reservation about the courses associated with the doctorate.
Generally, introducing a doctoral program affects little outside the program's department — Ph.D. students take most of their classes from their department alone. But the Jones School's proposal does exactly the opposite: In the typical proposed management Ph.D. student's schedule, 75 percent of the courses listed are graduate level courses from departments outside the Jones School, including economics, statistics and political science.
Currently, the relative isolation of the Jones School from the rest of the university permits its admissions office, which will handle management Ph.D. candidate applications, to consider applicants based on the Jones School's standard — which is markedly lower than the university's. If management Ph.D. candidates are considered on par with Jones MBA candidates, departments outside the Jones School will suffer the consequences: Lower-caliber graduate students will flow from the Jones School to other university departments, take up space in classes and lower the quality of class discussions. And this will hurt the university.
If management Ph.D. candidates are allowed to take mostly non-Jones School classes, their admissions standards must match those of the rest of the university, and there must be regulations imposed to ensure that those standards are being met. We urge the Faculty Senate to take this issue into account when they consider the proposed doctoral program.
More from The Rice Thresher
For over a year now, it seems like each week has brought with it a new form of trauma and disaster for us to deal with as a society. We have gone through (but not really past) COVID-19, an election, an insurrection and now extreme gun violence has reemerged center stage of the never-ending news cycle that this decade has become.
On Rice’s campus, a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel finally seems to be emerging. The administration is optimistic about “a mostly normal fall semester,” according to communications sent out by Kevin Kirby. According to President Leebron’s announcement on fall planning, most classes are expected to be in person, most university housing is expected to be fully occupied and COVID-19 policies regarding gathering restrictions are expected to be relaxed. The road forward for many Rice students is clear: Sign up for a vaccine appointment as soon as possible and wait for more than 80% of the Rice community to be fully vaccinated so that COVID-19 policies can be relaxed.
This year’s Beer Bike Week looks quite different from years past, even in name. Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman encouraged Beer Bike coordinators to rename Willy Week to reflect the different nature of the event due to COVID restrictions. Individual college Beer Bike coordinators chose a variety of new, college-specific names; many told the Thresher that they were further motivated to change the name to distance their college from William Marsh Rice and that they may carry the name change into future years. Coordinators’ swift renaming of Willy Week reminds us that students have a lot of power at this university — and that we can and should use it to foster a Rice community that we’re proud of.