Experts With Ph.D.’s Needed: Provost Joy Connolly in ‘The Independent’

Graduate Center Provost and Senior Vice President Joy Connolly stands in front of a picture.In a recent essay in The Independent, Graduate Center Provost and Senior Vice President Joy Connolly makes the case that expertise — the kind that doctoral programs cultivate — is what the world needs right now.

“Today’s doctoral education trains specialist-generalists, people who understand how to think across disciplines, absorb and evaluate complex, conflicting points of view, and are capable of adapting to new and unpredictable environments in the future,” she writes.
She argues that it is time to check the narrow stereotype of doctoral education at the academy door. “It seems to me that the role of doctoral study is to equip academically very smart students to be many things, potentially, over the course of their lives.”
It is essential for doctoral education to both practice and preach this, from interdisciplinary courses aimed toward an increasingly connected world to preparing Ph.D.’s to effectively communicate their ideas and share their expertise with society. She says it is the responsibility of educators to, “take time to talk with students about the portability of the learning they are doing and the skills they are acquiring. We should invite professors who are working in NGO’s and law firms and city agencies to teach or mentor our students.”
Whatever their discipline, Connolly urges doctoral students to approach job opportunities with confidence, whether it’s community development, digital start-ups, advertising, policy-making or solving the world’s problems. “With a good doctoral education, the same one that prepares you for a career studying ancient papyri or string theory, you are prepared to do anything.”

Submitted on: DEC 22, 2017

Category: General GC News | Provost's Office