why focus on elite program so much?

Over the years, commenters have often asked, “why focus on the most elite programs in academia?” The answer is simple: students and faculty in elite programs get  disproportional attention, rewards, and influence. Is that fair? No, I definitely think we can more equitable. But, as an empirical matter, academia is a super star market and I have to deal with that.

For example, when it comes to gender and racial diversity, I always tell people that the action happens around elite programs. Why? Graduates of elite programs are the most likely to stay in academia, get good academic jobs, and continue publishing. A lot programs will simply not hire people below a certain PhD rank, at least not until they amass a massive academic record to “compensate” for their PhD program.

I have no animus against people with non-elite backgrounds and I do think we need to help scholars across the academy. But if you want your local university to have a more diverse faculty, you will have the best shot by focusing your efforts on the fancier programs. Just sayin’!


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Written by fabiorojas

September 11, 2018 at 4:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

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