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New Commission on Graduate School Formed

The Council of Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service have announced the formation of a Commission on the Future of Graduate Education in the United States that is composed of industry and higher education leaders such as Jackson State University President Ronald Mason and TIAA-CREF President Roger Ferguson.

The 19-member commission will study how graduate schools might handle the financial, political and socio-economic challenges of the 21st century. It will also address demographic changes in the next 20 years, work force needs projections, international competition, and how graduate education is financed.

“The assumption underlying this study is that United States competitiveness in the global economy hinges fundamentally on our capacity to produce appropriate numbers of graduate degree holders at the master’s and doctoral levels,” said Suzanne Ortega, Commission vice chair and provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico.

Commission Chair William Russel, who is dean at Princeton University’s graduate school, said in the announcement that graduate schools share the responsibility in addressing the educational and economic challenges facing the United States.

When completed, the commission will have assessed the present condition of graduate education and chart a course for the future, he said.

The commission will present a report on the status of graduate education during the council’s annual legislative conference in April 2010.

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