Trends and opportunities in graduate education, and what it means for us

Patrick S. Osmer — November 14, 2014

Pat Osmer

Last Thursday, we hosted Provost Joseph Steinmetz at the meeting the Graduate School holds each semester for graduate studies chairs, department chairs, and graduate program coordinators.

I want you to know that Joe is clearly an advocate for graduate students. He made it clear that your experiences and aspirations  should be front and center of Ohio State’s enrollment planning at the graduate level, which is getting underway.

Ohio State engages in enrollment planning for undergraduate, professional, and graduate programs every five years. As graduate programs engage with this effort, Joe is asking them to evaluate the state of their field, to understand what careers they are preparing graduate students for, to project where the field will be in the future, and to use these to determine the right enrollment size for their program.

I view Joe’s remarks as launching our enrollment planning at the graduate level. As provost, he has provided the charge and direction, but the real work and reimagining will need to be done by the faculty  according to the specific nature of each graduate program.

Joe’s view of the current state of graduate education, including its challenges and opportunities, is entirely consistent with the work I’ve been engaged in nationally and internationally: career pathways for graduate students, future directions in graduate education, and related strategic initiatives in the Graduate School.

I agree with Joe that enrollment planning provides an opportunity for all of us to define the next academic landscape at Ohio State, and  I’m looking forward to these conversations over the next semester.


Patrick S. Osmer is vice provost of graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School at Ohio State. He is also a recent past chair of the board of directors for the Council of Graduate Schools. Osmer was chair of the Ohio State astronomy department from 1993-2006.


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