chapter  4
9 Pages

Rethinking doctoral education and careers

ByLarry Gross

The affairs of universities and their inhabitants might not amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, but they are still important to us and – I would argue – to the society that supports us, sends us their children to educate, and hires our students. Universities are among the most respected and protected institutions in our society, even in such difficult economic times, and we owe it to ourselves and our students to reflect carefully on our mission, successes, and failures. As a lifer who has served more than forty years in the field of communication

studies, but also, as most academics these days, with an appreciation for the value of inter-and cross-disciplinary scholarship, I focus here on the strengths and weaknesses of the academy, with some attention to my own discipline so as to rethink doctoral trajectories more broadly. The time is right for such a re-evaluation, and I propose three distinct but related directions for rethinking doctoral education:

1. the rediscovery of relevance, or the return of the repressed; 2. the expansion of our definitions and criteria for scholarship to encompass more

public engagement; 3. the broadening of our vision of career paths for our doctoral students.