University of Pittsburgh
January 27, 2003

Pitt's English Department Selected as Partner In Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate Pitt's department is one of seven English departments chosen

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January 28, 2003

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Department of English has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to participate in the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, a multi-year research and action project aimed at improving doctoral education at American universities.

"This is a great honor," said Eric Clarke, an associate professor and director of graduate studies in Pitt's English department. "The departments selected are in the top 10 of English doctoral programs in the United States."

Partner departments involved in the five-year study will analyze all aspects of their doctoral programs and link specific activities to desired outcomes. Departments will begin this analysis by clarifying their goals for doctoral education in their respective disciplines. The departments will then create "design experiments" in doctoral education to better meet their identified goals.

Chris M. Golde, Carnegie senior scholar, explained that the project goals were to support and study experiments in doctoral education with leading graduate programs, to document and analyze the character of those initiatives, and, working with these innovative departments, to help the disciplinary community create models and evidence of success to inform others in the field.

"We're working with departments which are committed to being stewards of the discipline," Golde said. "We don't just mean a preservation of the heart and essence of the field, although that's important, but we chose those departments who have a critical eye toward the future, who are willing to take risks and move the discipline forward."

George E. Walker, Carnegie senior scholar and vice president for research and dean of the University Graduate School at Indiana University, heads the study. "We embarked on this project because we felt that this is a propitious time to study new opportunities and responsibilities resulting from evolution of the disciplines as well as general changes in education and society," Walker said.

Further information about the study and all of the participants may be found at

Funding for the project is provided by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with a primary mission "to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher." The foundation, located in Menlo Park, Calif., fulfills this mission through its contributions to improvements in education policy and practice.

The Atlantic Philanthropies organization identifies and supports leaders, institutions, and other organizations dedicated to learning, knowledge building, and solving pressing social problems.