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Graduate Education Study Group issues report; Graduate School relocates to Alumni Hall

by Mar. 14, 2016, 7:00 AM

Alumni Hall, the new home of the Graduate School. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

The Graduate Education Study Group, appointed by Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Wente in September 2014 and charged with laying the course for the future of graduate education at Vanderbilt, has completed its work and issued its full report. Read the report, “A New Vision for Graduate Education at Vanderbilt.”

In addition, Vanderbilt’s Graduate School has relocated from Kirkland Hall to its new home in Alumni Hall. The move, first announced by Wente in August 2015, is designed to increase the Graduate School’s visibility on campus and to make its resources more accessible to students.

“The Graduate School’s move will ensure that our students have greater access to graduate education staff and resources,” Wente said. “The move, along with strategic investments guided by the study group’s report, will serve to position Vanderbilt on the cutting edge of graduate education in today’s fast-changing and dynamic professional world. These efforts are critical as we look to recruit the best graduate students and to support them while they are here.”

The GESG, chaired by Victoria Greene, Stevenson Professor of Physics, met over the course of late 2014 and early 2015 in an effort to assemble a comprehensive view of graduate education at Vanderbilt. The Executive Summary of the GESG report was released in May 2015. Then, based on extensive input gathered from students and faculty at a series of forums during fall 2015, revisions were made and the final report generated.

“As a member of this group, I was deeply impressed with the diligence and thoughtfulness of all involved in gathering and synthesizing the information about current practices from a number of stakeholders and in coming up with a series of constructive recommendations for improving graduate and postgraduate education and training,” said Mark Wallace, who was announced as dean of the Graduate School on Jan. 7. “I must emphasize that this was an extraordinarily collaborative endeavor that captured the perspectives of many of our students and graduate faculty.”

As the Graduate School’s new dean, Wallace is charged with elevating and promoting Vanderbilt’s position in doctoral education based on the GESG’s recommendations. “I will be using this document as a guide for enhancements we can make within the Graduate School and within our various graduate programs, and I welcome your continued feedback as we work together to promote excellence in graduate education,” he said.

“We have already begun to implement one of the strong recommendations of this report, as we have completed our move into Alumni Hall as the new home of the Graduate School with the vision that this historic space will foster a strong sense of community among our graduate students,” he continued. “I will be hosting a series of gatherings in Alumni Hall over the next few months in order to welcome our students, fellows and faculty to our new space.”

In addition to the Graduate School, Alumni Hall is home to the Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning, the historic Joe C. Davis Memorial Hall, classroom space and the Bamboo Bistro dining venue.

“I want to express my personal thanks to the members of the Graduate Education Study Group for their efforts and for their passion, and to Chancellor Zeppos and Provost Wente for their tremendous support for graduate education,” Wallace said. “I look forward to working with the Vanderbilt community in shaping the vision in which we achieve excellence in all facets of graduate education.”

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