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Statement from Duke Economics regarding controversial study

(01/25/12 11:00am)

Over the past two weeks, reaction to the unpublished paper “What Happens After Enrollment?” by Peter Arcidiacono, Esteban Aucejo and Kenneth Spenner has generated a great deal of discussion across campus. The analysis raises important questions about curriculum, major choice and admissions policy and, not surprisingly, has led to considerable debate about the interpretation and implications of its results.


Interpretation of letter misses mark

(01/12/07 5:00am)

In a letter published in The Chronicle Jan. 10 ("Professors call for investigation, welcoming of all students"), I joined 18 of my colleagues to say that (1) we regret an impression has been formed in some circles that Duke faculty are prejudiced against some of our students, that (2) we support our president in his call for an investigation of a botched legal process and (3) that we welcome all students to our classes. That our simple three points would be interpreted as subtly insinuating more is a surprise to most of us.


Why GRE scores might 'matter'

(01/20/05 5:00am)

In a recent meeting I attended at Duke, the argument was made that we should abandon using GRE scores in our graduate school admission decisions (or at the very least allow departments to opt out of requiring GRE scores for graduate school applications). The reason for this is the now well-known finding by the Graduate School that there is no statistically significant relationship between GRE scores of incoming graduate students and their ultimate performance. After the meeting, however, I began to wonder whether that finding is not leading to more confusion rather than clarity.


Letter: Committee member disagrees with Chronicle characterization

(10/18/02 4:00am)

As one of the members of the Arts and Sciences Task Force that reported on the likely budget crunch facing Arts and Sciences in the next few years, I was surprised to read The Chronicle's front page characterization of our report as endorsing a cut of 50 faculty members in Arts and Sciences. Our task force was charged with providing alternative scenarios for keeping the Arts and Sciences budget balanced, and we were limited in what kinds of solutions we could consider as a task force. One possibility for balancing the budget is indeed to cut 50 Arts and Sciences faculty positions in the coming years. However, I believe that the task force would consider an actual cut of this size to be rather dramatic and potentially quite damaging to the competitiveness of Duke as it attempts to compete with the very best universities. This is true especially in light of the fact that the burden of such a faculty size cut would fall disproportionately on some departments while others would continue to grow, and in light of the fact that ongoing initiatives to create greater diversity of our faculty are likely to suffer from such a large cut.


Chronicle misstates economics curriculum changes

(09/28/01 4:00am)

A small typo in the Sept. 27 front page article on the economics department's reforms may cause some confusion. Specifically, the article states that our department will no longer give transfer or Advanced Placement credit for introductory "macroeconomics" when it should have said "microeconomics." Let me therefore take this opportunity to quickly state the department's policy on transfer credits for introductory or intermediate courses.


TAs play a key role in the Department of Economics

(02/05/01 5:00am)

On Jan. 31, The Chronicle published a story on undergraduate reforms being considered by the economics department. While I was correctly quoted as saying that our faculty has lost control over the content of some of our courses because we have hired a large number of graduate students and visitors to teach them, I would like to add that this was in no way meant to diminish the tremendous service provided to our undergraduates by visitors and graduate student teachers.