Story From Chron of Higher Ed On CSU Efforts to Start Offering EdD Degrees

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Subject: California's 2 University Systems Go Toe-to-Toe Over a Doctorate
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This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education
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  From the issue dated August 17, 2001

  California's 2 University Systems Go Toe-to-Toe Over a


   In his three years as chancellor of the California State
  University System, Charles B. Reedhas kicked up plenty of
  controversy, clashing with professors over merit pay and with
  students over a plan to get Cal State out of the
  remedial-education business. For the most part, Mr. Reed has
  gotten his way.

  Now, the chancellor is gearing up for his biggest battle yet.
  Mr. Reed is seeking approval to start Cal State's first
  doctoral program, a domain that the state's master plan for
  higher education has for some 40 years reserved for only one
  public system -- the University of California.

  The proposed Cal State program would confer a single doctorate
  -- in education. It's the advanced degree that Mr. Reed
  himself holds, and one that he maintains is a natural
  extension for the 23-campus system, which educates
  three-fifths of the state's teachers. It's also the degree
  that U.C. cares the least about, Mr. Reed says.

  "You would think that U.C. would support us because their
  faculty don't want the Ed.D.," he says. "But it seems they
  don't want anyone else to have it either."

  The University of California has mounted an all-out effort to
  block Cal State's proposal. University leaders, including the
  system's former president, Clark Kerr, have lobbied lawmakers
  on the issue, promising to bolster their own education
  programs. They also have pledged to expand existing but tiny
  joint doctoral programs with Cal State, which are permitted
  under the master plan (as are joint programs with private

  The Legislature is expected to take up Cal State's request
  next year, when it reviews the master plan.

  University of California officials say Cal State's proposal
  would threaten the integrity of the master plan, which is
  considered by many higher-education experts to be the
  strongest such document in the United States. It clearly
  divides the two public systems, giving U.C. the top students
  and prestigious doctoral and professional degrees, and leaving
  Cal State with a second-tier status focused on undergraduates.

  If Cal State is permitted to award an education doctorate,
  U.C. officials say, Cal State will in short order seek to
  offer other advanced degrees, resulting in the so-called
  mission creep that has blurred the distinction between public
  systems of higher education in several other states.

  "Allowing Cal State to have the Ed.D. would unravel the master
  plan," says Bruce Darling, a senior vice president at the
  University of California system. "Inevitably, Cal State will
  need more money to do what we're already doing."

  The state's private colleges have joined U.C. in opposing the
  Cal State plan, largely out of concern for their bottom line,
  because they award two-thirds of the education doctorates in
  California. Together, the opponents argue that no demand or
  need exists for more Ed.D. programs.

  Mr. Reed disagrees, saying that the current programs produce
  too few graduates for the state's growing public-school system
  and are too expensive for most teachers and school
  administrators to attend. The two sides cite different reports
  to back up their claims.

  The University of California and the private colleges point to
  a study released in December by the California Postsecondary
  Education Commission, a state agency. It concluded that
  existing doctoral programs were sufficient to meet the needs
  of California's schools, in part because demand for the
  qualification has dropped. The study found that none of the
  160 searches for school superintendents conducted in the state
  during the past four years even sought a candidate with a

  "Cal State wouldn't add anything to the mix," says Jonathan
  Brown, president of the Association of Independent California
  Colleges and Universities. "If we're worried about cost, then
  the easiest way to fix that is to increase state support for
  financial aid."

  But Mr. Reed maintains that the state commission's report had
  "several shortcomings." So Cal State issued its own study last
  March. It determined that the demand for doctoral degrees in
  education had been "artificially suppressed" by a lack of
  affordable programs within driving distance for time-pressed
  educators. The Cal State report also said that the state
  analysis had failed to adequately study the needs of
  California's higher-education system, particularly leaders for
  its community colleges.

  "The Ed.D. is out of reach both financially and geographically
  for many teachers and principals at a time when there is a
  tremendous need in California for educational leadership," Mr.
  Reed says.

  He wants Cal State to build a doctoral program that is more
  affordable than those available at U.C. or private
  institutions. Mr. Reed says the Cal State program would offer
  classes on several campuses at night and on weekends, times
  that appeal to working adults. Beyond that, he offers few
  details, saying he would prefer to wait until the university
  receives approval from the Legislature to offer the degree.

  Officials at U.C. say they are already adding the
  educational-leadership programs that Mr. Reed envisions to
  their current graduate offerings in education. One of them,
  pushed by Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, is modeled after an
  M.B.A. program that crams most of its courses into the summer
  months. About 200 educators have already enrolled in the
  Governor's Principal Institutes -- which lead to a master's
  degree in education leadership and an administrative
  credential -- on the Los Angeles and Berkeley campuses.

  "The Ed.D. is only one piece of the puzzle in addressing
  leadership in K through 12," says Marvin C. Alkin, chairman of
  the education department at U.C.L.A. "We can't just depend on
  more Ed.D.'s because a lot of people get one for other reasons
  than to go into a school."

  Indeed, fewer than a third of those who earn education
  doctorates in California go on to work at public schools in
  the state. Creating more capacity won't necessarily persuade
  more people to aspire to leadership positions in public
  schools or community colleges, many education professors say.

  In addition, applicants have recently been far more interested
  in the Ph.D. in education, which focuses on research skills,
  than in the Ed.D. and its practical applications. At U.C.L.A.,
  for example, 183 students applied for the Ph.D. program last
  fall, more than twice as many as applied for its Ed.D.

  Some educators say that demand for the degree is down because
  the accountability movement has made school-leadership
  positions less attractive.

  "People aren't clamoring for an Ed.D.," says Stephen Kay,
  principal of an elementary school in Santa Clara, who received
  his Ed.D. from Pepperdine University in May. "People don't
  want the responsibility and the workload. Today, if your
  school doesn't perform, you're out of a job. Who wants that
  kind of pressure?"

  Several students who recently completed Ed.D. programs in the
  state say it already has several high-quality doctoral
  programs in education that cater to working adults. They
  wonder, along with some faculty members at U.C. and elsewhere,
  whether Cal State has the ability to put together a good
  program and attract qualified students, given its lack of
  experience with advanced degrees.

  "There already is this sense that the Ed.D. is one rung below
  the Ph.D.," says Robin Lee, who graduated from U.C.L.A.'s
  Ed.D. program in May and works on Cal State's Long Beach
  campus. "Coming from U.C.L.A., you can't really question the
  quality. But I wonder whether C.S.U. will screen the
  applicants like U.C. does when there's pressure to churn out

  But some students, particularly those at private colleges
  where the price tag for an education doctorate can exceed
  $40,000, say they would welcome an inexpensive alternative.

  "This is a pricey degree for anyone employed in education,"
  says Jack Nesbit, an Ed.D. student at Pepperdine who hopes the
  degree will help him land a job. "It's not one of those
  degrees that significantly helps your future salary prospects

  In recent months, as Cal State has aggressively promoted its
  proposal, Richard C. Atkinson, president of the University of
  California system, has pledged to double the number of
  education doctorates the university awards on its own or with
  Cal State over the next decade, to 300 annually. He also
  promised to speed up the review of five proposed joint
  doctoral programs with Cal State campuses.

  This is not the first time Cal State has asked for permission
  to offer the education doctorate. A similar proposal in the
  mid-1980's was rejected after state officials found no need
  for additional degrees in the field, and U.C. promised to
  expand its joint programs with Cal State (a new one was
  established as a result).

  "Historically, when C.S.U. has challenged the master plan,
  U.C. has become more interested in the joint doctorate," says
  Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public
  Policy and Higher Education, an independent research group
  with roots in California higher-education policy.

  "What Dick Atkinson says, he does," Mr. Callan adds, "but the
  question is whether he can deliver the faculty commitment to

  The two systems' four joint-degree programs graduated only 10
  students in 1999-2000 (118 students were enrolled at the
  time). Professors blame the failure to produce more graduates
  on laborious negotiations over the scope and structure of the
  programs and over issues such as admissions, curriculums, and
  faculty roles.

  Given the tepid response to the joint-degree programs, even
  some of Cal State's own education professors hesitate over the
  idea of offering an Ed.D.

  "This is an idea coming from the top," says Marci J. Hanson, a
  special-education professor at San Francisco State University
  and coordinator of a joint doctoral program in special
  education with Berkeley.

  When the Legislature takes up the proposal, money is sure to
  be a major issue. Mr. Reed says that Cal State cannot afford
  to offer a doctorate without a change in the state's formula
  for financing the university system. Cal State faculty members
  agree, and conditioned their backing of the doctorate proposal
  on receiving the necessary funds from the Legislature.

  "If Charlie does his work in convincing a few legislators the
  need exists," says State Sen. Jack Scott, a Democrat and
  former community-college president, "the money will surely

  Not if the University of California can stop it. A few U.C.
  officials and faculty members wonder if Cal State's desire to
  offer a doctorate isn't merely an effort to raise its profile
  after Governor Davis chose U.C., rather than Cal State, to run
  the new education-leadership institutes. For his part, Mr.
  Reed says the proposal is a serious one and that he has no
  desire for Cal State to mimic the University of California.

  "I have said over and over again that we only want to offer
  this one doctorate," Mr. Reed says. "The problem isn't that
  we're not offering a doctorate; it's that we need more school
  leaders. I think U.C. has overreacted."


  Private colleges in California awarded more than two-thirds of
  the education doctorates in the state in 1999, the most recent
  year for which data are available. Officials at the California
  State University System, who want to offer their own education
  doctorates, say the existing programs do not produce enough
  graduates and are too expensive. The proposed program would
  offer the first advanced degree for the 23-campus system,
  which already runs some joint doctoral programs with the
  University of California and a few private institutions. One
  such program, at San Diego State University, appears in this

  Note:         Azusa Pacific University, the Fielding
  Institute, Loma Linda University, and the Universities of
  California at Irvine, San Diego, and Santa Cruz all had fewer
  than five graduates in 1999. SOURCE: "Survey of Earned
  National Opinion Research Center


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Copyright 2001 by The Chronicle of Higher Education