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RE: The (long) future of paleontology
What Phil wrote is only partially true. I was at a university that made the
transition between a loosely held time limit and a rigid, official one. The
change was because of a growing number of "professional students", meaning that
they got so comfortable being students that the thought of finishing and having
to look for a job (hence "grow-up") was difficult for them. I know of at least
one graduate student at the U. of California Berkeley who had already been a
graduate student for 20 years when I met the person in the late 1970s. The
rigid deadlines became a way of forcing students to finish something they
started and to move on in life.
Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology/
Department of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
for PDFs of some of my publications, as well as information of the Cedar
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Phil
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:32 AM
Subject: Re: The (long) future of paleontology
Some U.S. universities place a time limit on graduate programs. Other U.S.
So why should a university care how long it takes a student to finish?
IMHO, the university's impetus is a financial one. If a student has finished
his/her course work, and is writing the thesis and is signing up for only a
couple "thesis/dissertation" credits per quarter, then he/she is paying the
university only a small amount of money.
In contrast, a brand-spanking-new Masters/PhD student is usually taking a full
course load at the university. Hence the university makes more money off of
the new student.
In order to increase the efficiency of the "get 'em in - push 'em out"
style of graduate education, some U.S. universities have implemented what is
called a "No Thesis Masters degree" option. It involves only a couple years of
course work, no research, no written thesis, and no resulting professional
The grad student loses out on what could have been a good education, while the
university gets newer students (along with their full course load tuition
payments) into the department quicker.
I certainly hope that this post didn't reveal my bias on the matter. ;-)
On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 13:38:45 +0100 Thomas de Wilde <email@example.com>
> Doesn't a License/master's thesis always have a deadline, they do in
> Belgium, and I find that rather logical, as they have to be finished
> within that year, since most people tend to leave university the year
> after the last year
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Marjanovic" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:19 PM
> Subject: RE: The (long) future of paleontology
> > > --- Ursprüngliche Nachricht ---
> > > Von: Ken.Carpenter@dmns.org
> > > Datum: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 20:54:35 -0700
> > > But then when the ultimate deadline of submission of a written
> thesis is
> > > hanging overhead, reality sets in, and suddenly the thesis topic
> > > smaller than the original proposal. Where did all the time go?
> > Deadline?
> > Are there deadlines on dissertations in the USA? If so, my
> decision to
> > write mine in France (where I get everything organized for me) was
> > than I thought, even though it'll be about placodonts and maybe
> > general sauropsid phylogeny (for simple lack of dinosaurs
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Andrew A. Farke
> > > Sent: Mon 1/16/2006 7:24 PM
> > > Let someone else do the phylogeny--I'll just use it as context
> for my
> > > funky morph work.
> > > ;-)
> > And _then_ comes _evolutionary functional morphology_! HARR HARR!
> > --
> > Lust, ein paar Euro nebenbei zu verdienen? Ohne Kosten, ohne
> > Satte Provisionen für GMX Partner:
"Am I crazy, Jerry? Am I? Or, I am SO sane that you just blew your mind?!" -