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Graduation rates

Sarah Boomer sarai at u.washington.edu
Fri Sep 6 19:30:51 EST 1996

Dear Linnea,

	I agree that the attrition rate seems high.  In my 7 years of
grad. school (I am finishing shortly), I have seen one terrifically bad
year with a 60% attrition year.  This involved about 3 people being
failed outright during orals, 3 others dropping within a year of the

	In general, that big bad year provoked a lot of bad morale and the
faculty have been fairly responsive to being careful with the "weeding the
garden" post-orals ideas, though that has been tossed around without

	In general, we have lost one student per year - mostly at or
shortly after the exams.  Class size does vary from 3-10 so the stat's

	Early on, it seemed to me that the students were mostly leaving of
their own accord because they just didn't jive with science anymore but
several recent students who left with the masters felt pressured to do so
because of funding loss in the PIs lab or outright irreconcilable
differences between them and their boss.  Our dept. has definitely been
feeling the strain of PIs losing funding, with many students currently
being supported by dept. slush funds and having to teach on the side.
This certainly has implications for workload, the time it will ultimately
take them to finish, and the perceptions regarding the amount of time
dedicated to research - which is priority number one in the minds of most
people here.

	My two cents,  Sarah

Sarah Boomer				email:  sarai at u.washington.edu
Dept. of Microbiology			work phone:  543-3376
Box 357242				work FAX:  543-3376
University of Washington
Seattle, WA  98195

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