National Research Council (NRC) doctoral program assessment

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

The National Research Council (NRC) released today at noon the results of its latest doctoral program assessment. The previous NRC assessment was released in 1995.

I am pleased that our preliminary review of the NRC data confirms that the University of Minnesota offers strong doctoral programs across a wide range of disciplines, including agriculture, engineering, humanities, sciences, and the social sciences. Over 60% of the University's 69 programs included in the assessment crossed into the top 25% nationally on at least one of the two NRC rating systems.

As with any rating system, there are inherent limitations. Additionally, the rating released today by the NRC is based on data from the 2005-06 academic year, which was at the beginning of the University's landmark strategic positioning effort. Much has changed since then. Importantly, much of the NRC data is based on information regarding a graduate program's faculty. Since we submitted our data, we have hired 632 new faculty and 581 faculty have retired or left the University. But the NRC data does include information that, used appropriately, can help us assess aspects of our graduate programs and compare them to our peers as part of our ongoing substantial effort to enhance the excellence of graduate education at the University.

For more information, please visit our graduate school website, which includes a copy of our press release, a link to the NRC data, and additional information.


Tom Sullivan
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost


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