Thank you for coming to Grad Ed Lobby.

A curious cause incited me on the way to a doctoral degree.   I studied doctoral studies intensively and sometimes I wept.   In reading, Leaving The Ivory Tower by Barbara Lovitts, her verbatim excerpts and dedication to the book struck me.

Lovitts directly blamed grad programs for the anguish she encountered in grad students during her research.  She asserted student ability was irrelevant, but programs showed such indifference to students they did not know their own student retention and time to completion rates, did not question the program enough, and did not help students to develop an understanding of the scope of work demanded in the program and nature of research.   I decided to promote greater transparency and understanding of doctoral education.

The recent history of doctoral education speaks of broken dreams and broken hearts, of  ignorance and of little effort to examine and renew research training.

Through my art and sullen craft, I hope to reach a tipping point of clamor for improvement to spare the unnecessary suffering of the graduate student.

Let not another doctoral student leave their studies when they shouldn’t have to because of indifference to their success or failure in the program…

Sheri Oberman

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