Who are we?
Department of History, Texas A&M University. Partner Department.
Contact person name, address, email, phone.
Harold C. Livesay Department of History
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4236
Prof. Harold C. Livesay, Clifford A. Taylor Professor in Liberal Arts and Professor of History
Prof. James A. Rosenheim, Director, Center for Research in Humanities and Professor of History
Prof. Walter Kamphoefner, Director of Graduate Studiesand Professor of History
Prof. Cynthia A. Bouton
Prof. April L. Hatfield
What do we want to accomplish in the CID?
CID initiative came at an extraordinarily opportune time for us to
examine the very concept of doctoral education in the discipline. We
had already initiated a fundamental re-thinking of our existing Ph.D.
program in the wake of the external Program Review. Preparation for the
review as well as the reviewers' evaluation revealed a department with
substantial strengths in graduate training -- and also areas that
demanded attention, including a limited chronological depth and
regional reach in our fields of strength that hinders effective
recruitment, and a failure to attain a gender balance among faculty and
students equal to our success in recruiting people of color and ethnic
minorities. Moreover, the placement of so many of our Ph.D. students
into institutions dissimilar from our own demands that we scrutinize
the way we instruct and prepare those students. This problem is by no
means unique to Texas A&M, and we believe that our efforts toward
resolving it will have national implications. The CID, in short,
afforded a unique occasion to assess the sources and measures of our
success, to determine their viability for future challenges, and to
chart a productive course into that future.
What are we doing?
March 2004, the CID Committee presented the department head with the
following observations, based on its research among faculty and
graduate students, as well as information from other Partner
Departments and secondary sources.
makes sense to look at the program seriatim; i.e. recruitment,
orientation, advising, etc., since each segment has its particular
department needs a full-time, permanent graduate administrative person,
with the title of "Assistant to the Graduate Director" or something
similar. (The American Historical Associations recent study of The
Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century cites such a
position as a common characteristic of first-rank graduate programs.)
This person could provide administrative continuity and consistency,
perform a multitude of tasks, and perhaps teach as well.Many
of the obstacles to recruiting are financial (tuition, dissertation/
research fellowships, multi-year aid packages) and largely beyond our
control. Fortunately we share these problems with other Texas A&M
departments and there√Ę‚‚¨‚„Ęs a push to do something about them.Meanwhile,
we can in fact move up our admissions date, and probably should. We
should ask for writing samples and personal statements, and change the
catalog and website to inform applicants of this.We
need to have a systematic, annual orientation for new students, one
that the graduate director supervises and participates in, but does not
have to orchestrate. This is one of the tasks the Assistant could
scheduling constitutes an ongoing problem. We need to schedule based on
a template that reflects our advertised fields of study rather than the
preferences of individual faculty members. Each semester we should
offer at least one course in each of our four advertised areas of
graduate study. Everything
we have learned in the job market tells us that students need to
diversify, and should be strongly discouraged from using 685s to narrow
their focus. All students should have to take seminars outside their
area of concentration--American history students should take European
history and vice-versa. All students should have a Comparative Borders
professors should have the opportunity, in rotation, to teach graduate
courses, unless the department head feels that such teaching would
imperil progress toward tenure, in which case he/she should tell the
faculty member directly.
Syllabus for Seminar in Comparative Border Studies
To encompass the graduate field in Comparative Border stories within
the diversifying department's curriculum, the attached syllabus was
August 25, 2005: Offer Seminar in Comparative Border Studies in Fall 2005 Semester
September 1, 2005: Implement Graduate Coordinator Position