Blue Ribbon Committee Blog: Stamats Report

November 14, 2017

Earlier this year, at the request of the Graduate School, Stamats, Inc. provided a Report of Innovative Approaches to Graduate Education and Marketplace Characteristics to the University of Kentucky Graduate School.

The report focused on innovations in graduate education at benchmark institutions as well as other institutions engaged in providing unique offerings to graduate students. This section offered many innovative approaches to delivering graduate education at UK. These innovations were provided more as guidelines and not necessarily for implementation by the graduate school. This section provided several program spotlights along with tangible examples of how other public or private four-year research and/or flagship universities implemented innovative programming at their respective institutions. 

The report concluded with a look at marketplace characteristics and trends comparing Kentucky to the United States and then comparing master’s and PhD degrees. The report also compiled labor market data for segment, or groupings, of UK Graduate School offerings. This section supported the need to adapt graduate education in order to meet the needs of the evolving workforce. The report also concluded it is particularly important for both master’s and PhD programs to endow their students with critical leadership and management skills through course activities and co-curricular opportunities (Reed & De Roo, pg. 26) and share with PhD students the breadth of opportunities afforded to them beyond academia (Reed & De Roo, pg. 27). The Blue Ribbon Panel survey distributed in the Spring of 2017 indicated that these skills were also judged by students and faculty as being very important.

This report has informed Blue Ribbon Panel members of issues that should be considered regarding process and cultural social changes when looking at Graduate Education over the next 10-15 years at the University of Kentucky. The report can be found here

 

 

Comments

The Stamats Report on Graduate Education at the University of Kentucky highlighted a number of trends that may change the face of graduate education.  A number of these trends were mirrored in a Webinar entitled "New Challenges in Graduate and Professional Education" by Scott Jaschik, editor of INSIDE HIGHER ED that was broadcast on November 15.  These include the trend towards more MS programs, new ways of delivering content and costs.
 

The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR1) would eliminate the exemption of tuition waivers for graduate students.  This would lead to a significant financial hardship for graduate students, including those at the University of Kentucky.  A statement from FASEB regarding this change can be found at "http://www.faseb.org/Portals/2/PDFs/opa/2017/FASEB%20Statement%20on%20Ta..."  It is likely that this change would result in students dropping out of school and a reduction in the number of students pursuing graduate education.  Please contact your elected officials and emphasize the negative impact that this would have on graduate education throughout the United States, including Kentucky.