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Higher Ed in the News

Rejecting the academic fast track

January 15, 2009

Research universities may not be able to count on their ability to attract the best young faculty talent, a new survey suggests.

The survey - of more than 8,300 doctoral students at University of California campuses - found that gradate students increasingly care about finding careers at “family friendly” campuses. And the survey finds that they doubt seriously that they can build such careers at a research university. Both men and women have these attitudes although they are more pronounced in women.

The authors of the study are Mary Ann Mason, a professor in the Graduate School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley and co-author of Mothers on the Fast Track; Marc Goulden, a researcher at the University of California who has led numerous studies of these topics; and Karie Frasch, manager of the UC Faculty Family Friendly Edge project.

The researchers found a correlation between graduate students’ attitudes about the potential for an academic career at a research university with what they see around them in their doctoral programs.

Read more from Inside Higher Ed.