The Commons: What are some of the first initiatives the council will take up?
Bill Ehmann: We're going to review the Graduate Student Outcomes that have already been worked on by Associate Provost Chuck Lawrence and others and approved. And we're going to think about putting together a graduate student master plan.
The Commons: Talking more generally now, is there anything that faculty and staff might be surprised to learn about graduate education?
Bill Ehmann: We know that graduate education is important for new knowledge, but students will also find that with a graduate degree they'll make about a million dollars more over their career. There are studies that show they'll have healthier lifestyles. The bonds they have with their program can often be stronger (than with their undergraduate program) because they become colleagues with their faculty. A graduate degree is often a degree that makes the most difference for people in their careers. Fewer than 20 percent of the American workforce has a post-baccalaureate degree, and less than five percent has a doctorate. So these are degrees of distinction.
The Commons: Can you talk about your impressions of SU?
Bill Ehmann: I was excited to join the community about year ago because, unlike some other institutions, SU has a very clear sense of what we believe in together. And so we're working on getting that message out-not creating a new message. And that's a great place to be. I really see the Jesuit tradition here well matched to today's interest in social innovation and making positive change in our world.
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