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Peer Ratings of Doctoral Program Faculty: Their Stability and Meaning ACE

Baird, Leonard L.; Clark, Mary Jo; Hartnett, Rodney T.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), National Science Foundation (NSF), American Council on Education (ACE), Doctoral Programs, Faculty Evaluation, Graduate Study, Peer Evaluation, Surveys


Peer ratings of doctoral program faculty quality were obtained in a 1975 national survey of chemistry, history, and psychology departments. The ratings were then compared to those obtained six and eleven years earlier by the American Council on Education. The rankings obtained from the ratings proved to be extremely stable over the 11-year period. Ratings were also obtained for disciplinary subspecialties. Though it is clear that variation in quality among subspecialty faculties do exist and are important for individual program evaluations, it is unlikely that such subspecialty ratings would be feasible or useful in national surveys of doctoral program faculty. Finally, the ratings were examined in relation to various other doctoral program characteristics, and were found to be highly related to a number of research-oriented variables (e.g., size, productivity, percentage of alumni holding academic positions at Ph.D.-granting universities), but unrelated (or related very weakly) to such program features as the student-reported quality of teaching and degree of faculty concern for students, or faculty-reported degree of departmental effort toward the career development of junior members of the faculty. (21pp.)

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