Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Join our team
Join the Falcon Media team for Spring semester - paid staff positions, internships, volunteer opportunities. Applications open now until October 13. Get the details!
The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Follow us on social
  • My Fiction Icks
    By Jay Grummel When you read as much as I do you start to notice common things in fiction that make you annoyed, upset  or even want to put down the book completely. I have a bad habit of not giving books much of a chance when they use some of these personal ‘icks’. However, […]
  • Poetry for Fall
    By Jay Grummel Poetry has a way of connecting us to the external and internal world. In poetry it is easier to feel a season and truly feel a piece due to this. Poetry has a subtle way of making the readers immersed into the world of the poem. With the air getting colder and […]

Financial constraints lead History Department to eliminate doctoral program

When Joe Faykosh completes his doctorate in the History Department, he will be among the last ever to do so.

He, along with around five other doctoral students, were the final ones to be accepted into the program before the University suspended it in 2010. The University eliminated the program during the summer, following financial constraints.

“We knew when we came back in the fall [2009] that we were the last to be admitted,” Faykosh said. “One of us will be the last Ph.D to come out of here.”

The decline in funding for the University’s History Department doctoral program began in 1995, when the Ohio Board of Regents completely cut funding to many history doctoral programs in Ohio.

With this constriction in state funding, the University moved to a model in which graduate education must be revenue neutral, a difficult task for the humanities, said Scott Martin, chair of the History Department.

“It’s next to impossible,” Martin said.

In addition to a yearly allocation from the Graduate College, the bulk of the funding needed to come from tuition. But the program generated only a small amount of the tuition owed from their students because, as with many doctorate programs, the majority of this was paid from the program’s own scholarship allocation, said Michael Ogawa, dean of the Graduate College.

The average graduate student in any department pays as much as 45 percent of tuition, while the rest is subsidized, Ogawa said.

With the History Department’s doctoral program receiving no state funding, maintaining the program was not feasible, he said.

But Ogawa said there is a chance for the program to return if members of the department come up with a plan to bring in the revenue needed to support it.

“I am encouraging them to continue looking for innovative ways,” Ogawa said. “We have to rethink the way we do business.”

But Martin is not optimistic.

“It’s a very cumbersome process that would take more than a year,” he said. And even then, “there is very little guarantee.”

After the elimination of the program altogether, the department can now plan for its future.

“It just left us hanging,” Faykosh said of the suspension. “It’s to the point now where we’re moving on.”

The plan for the department is to transition its priorities and focus more on the master’s program. This might include changes to hiring practices and revisions to the curriculum.

Faykosh is also an adjunct instructor. He said undergraduate students will also be effected by the change, as having a graduate student as a teacher can have its benefits.

“We were able to get into some more exploratory discussions,” he said. “I’ve gone through what they’re going through more recently.”

After Faykosh got his master’s from the University, the quality of the doctoral program made him want to stay.

“It was a very well-regarded program,” Martin said. “Our graduates were placed in good academic jobs.”

A number of students in the program have been awarded the University’s Distinguished Dissertation Award and some have even received the Ohio Academy of History’s Distinguished Dissertation Award.

The program is also one of the few doctoral programs with a focus on policy history, Martin said.

“It’s demoralizing. Faculty have worked extremely hard and extremely well to build this program,” Martin said. “The quality of the curriculum and the students speaks for itself.”

For Faykosh, though, the elimination of the program is indicative of a widespread attitude toward the humanities.

“It reflects on the larger trend in the country,” Faykosh said. “The humanities are among the least prized of our fields.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *