Other departments merit congratulations


I, too, have been concerned and disappointed at the lack of publicity accompanying the recent National Research Council rankings of doctoral programs. Students are very interested in the quality of their degrees, and deserve objective information about their major departments. The Wildcat would serve its readers well to publish this information.

I'm proud to say that the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences did very well in these national rankings. Anthropology was the only department in the university ranked in the top five in terms of faculty quality; four of our departments half of those in SBS receiving rankings were ranked in the top 15 (Anthropology at 5, Philosophy at 11, Linguistics at 12 and Sociology at 14), and still a fifth department (Geography at 19) was ranked in the top 20. The Psychology Department was ranked in the top 23 percent of its national peers. Of the most highly-ranked departments in the university, four out of the top five were SBS departments. Only one other college, the College of Science, had a department (Astronomy at 7) ranked in the top 15, and only two (Astronomy at 7 and Geosciences at 19) ranked in the top 20.

It is also noteworthy that many of the highest-ranked departments in SBS also carry very substantial undergraduate teaching responsibilities (Anthropology, Geography, Philosophy and Sociology), and that one of these (Geography) received a university award two years ago for its outstanding undergraduate program. This indicates both that strong research programs are fully compatible with strong and capacious undergraduate programs, and also that SBS enables the university to offer many of our undergraduate students access to faculty who could instead have been teaching at Stanford, Duke and Yale.

These departments are to be congratulated for their fine showing.

Holly M. Smith

Social and Behavioral Sciences Dean

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