Letter From the Editor
In December 2007, the Yardly Consulting Group delivered its strategic assessment of graduate programs at the University of Idaho to university president Timothy P. White. According to a letter from White to the college’s faculty, the whopping 400+ page report was to be viewed “as a catalyst for discussion about and the implementation of improvement in key areas.” The University of Idaho asked the Yardly Group to compare the quality of the graduate programs at the institution with national peers, and to, again according to White’s letter, “evaluate our ability to function in a highly competitive national market.” In short, White commissioned the report to as a first step toward making the institution’s graduate programs more attractive to students and to accrediting agencies.
One of the proposals of the Yardley Group was for the University of Idaho to use part-time faculty for undergraduate instruction. Only nationally-ranked professors who conducted research would be eligible to be tenured. Needless to say, there were numerous howls of protest from the faculty at the institution. In fact, there were complaints that, gasp, the report blamed the faculty for some of the shortcomings in the graduate programs.
Let’s leave Idaho for a moment and
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