Topic: Graduate Education
Comments by Lionel Brooks
University of California, San Francisco
There has been much work to measure the number of tenure-track academic positions that become available each year. Clearly, the number of PhDs has far outpaced that number. PhD-granting institutions must stop expanding the size of their graduate student work-force. Moreover, their faculty must stop exploiting graduate students by continually expanding the duration of the PhD. Funding agencies should start granting enough money for faculty to hire technicians and research associates to do their work. Instead they have perpetuated exploitation of a vulnerable graduate student population. Yes, it is extremely cheap to simply pay a student at or below the poverty level to achieve your research goals. Yes, it is cheaper to avoid paying for comprehensive health, retirement and life insurance benefits by matriculating another PhD student to do the twice the work that a normally compensa ted employee would do. However, this is exploitation and the PhD-granting institutions, their faculty, as well as the funding agencies that dictate their budgets are guilty of it. My proposed action is stop the exploitation and start hiring more technicians and staff scientists to do the work. Stop exploiting graduate students!