“Graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning,” Mark C. Taylor, the chairman of the religion department at Columbia University, wrote in a commentary in the New York Times. “Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).” Taylor recommends reforms such as restructuring the curriculum to make it more integrated, abolishing permanent departments and creating problem-focused programs, and imposing mandatory retirement and abolishing tenure.
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