Emory Report
April 23, 2007
Volume 59, Number 28

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April 23, 2007
Tedesco reflects on the state of the Graduate School in address

by Ulf Nilsson

Graduate School faculty, senior administrators and others gathered April 17 for an address on the state of the Graduate School, delivered by Dean Lisa Tedesco. Tedesco reflected on her first year at Emory and discussed important priorities for the years to come.

Tedesco noted that the Graduate School has continued to develop in a number of directions. Among other things, a new doctoral program in computer science and informatics has been added, and several other programs are in different stages of planning; the grant writing program, which helps graduate students develop funding proposals for external grants, was significantly expanded; subsidy for graduate student health insurance was increased to 74 percent of the total cost; and the Graduate School worked with the National Research Council and graduate faculty on a new assessment of graduate schools across the nation.

She also outlined important long-term changes in the Graduate School. In the past 10 years, the number of graduate students has grown by about 25 percent to the present 1,751. Along with the growth has come a change in the composition of the student body: In 1996, 27 percent of graduate students were enrolled in programs taught by faculty from schools other than Emory College, but now those faculty members account for 46 percent of the graduate students. The change is primarily due to an increase in the number of students enrolled in programs taught by faculty in the schools of medicine, public health and nursing, which has almost doubled during this period.

Tedesco emphasized the need to both welcome the increasing involvement of the health sciences in doctoral education and to ensure that the Graduate School remains a balanced and consistently excellent school.

Looking to the future, Tedesco discussed several important Graduate School priorities for the coming years:

• Grow with excellence
: Emory’s graduate faculty is ready to grow. Tedesco said the school looks forward to working with programs to make sure that the growth helps sustain and enhance the quality of graduate education.

• Support student professionalism:
Noting that a doctoral education is a significant investment of University resources, Tedesco emphasized that graduate programs need to work hard to prepare students for a wide range of professional careers following their graduation.

• Engage complex problems:
Tedesco reflected on Emory’s distinctive tradition of interdisciplinary scholarship that engages public issues in bold and innovative ways, and on how to build on that tradition to strengthen Emory’s place among great universities.

• Strengthen Graduate School funding:
To ensure that the Graduate School stands on strong foundations that support lasting social, cultural and scientific contributions, Tedesco seeks to reshape some of the ways that graduate education at Emory is funded, through recognition of the ways that graduate students contribute to the University’s teaching and research missions, and through development work to establish an endowment for the school.