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'Ph.D. Rule May Cost Teachers Jobs'

June 12, 1988

The Times article "Ph.D. Rule May Cost Teachers Jobs at CSUF" (May 30) is a perfect example of what's wrong with higher education today.

Does a Ph.D. make a better teacher? Why do teachers with real-world experience and success need a Ph.D.? For prestige? The real prestige of a university should be in the success of its graduates. It's more likely that his own prestige motivated Jack Coleman, vice president of academic affairs, to recommend firing those teachers.

Can Coleman show that Ph.D.s would increase the success of Cal State Fullerton graduates in getting jobs in their chosen field? Probably not. Where are these Ph.D.s going to come from? Not from the real world. A convention of working journalists with Ph.D.s could meet in a tea cup at Disneyland. Like most active professions, working journalists usually don't have time to spend earning degrees. They're out there doing it.

Dear editor, would you rather hire a new reporter educated in "concepts" from a Ph.D. or one who learned how to do it from a pro? Too bad there aren't any studies on that.

Sure, a basic education in concepts and philosophy is necessary and desirable. But real education in such a vocation as journalism is on the pavement and in the newsrooms--not just in the classroom. Coleman's quote, "We're not running a newspaper," shows his ignorance of just why his university is there. If they aren't interested in teaching how to do it at Cal State Fullerton, they should be.

In the real world, oh never mind. This isn't the real world--it's just school, right, Mr. Coleman? Or is it Dr. Coleman?


Newport Beach

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