Apparent Anomalies in Reported Data for the Field of Music in the Report of the National Research Council,"Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Continuity and Change"

By David W. Fenton

With the exception of data and quotations from the NRC report, all material in this document and the documents reached by the links below (except those linked to the National Academy Press's Home Page) is ©1995 by the author, David W. Fenton. Thi s text and that of all of these documents may not be re-distributed or re-used in any form without including this notice.

The quotations and data from the NRC study are reprinted with permission from RESEARCH-DOCTORATE PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES. ©1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. Courtesy of the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

This report is entirely the work of David W. Fenton, and reflects his own views alone. In no sense is it a statement of the official policy or views of New York University, its administrators or any department within the University.


One of the areas of data reported by the National Research Council (NRC) in its report Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Continuity and Change (M.L. Goldberger, B.A. Maher and P.E. Flattau, eds., Washington, D.C.: National Academ y Press, 1995) is the number of faculty in the surveyed programs. The heart of the present discussion compares these numbers, which were collected by representatives at each of the institutions ("Institutional Coordinators," or "ICs"), to the numbers of m usic faculty members listed in the field of music's principle directory (the College Music Society's Directory of Music Faculties in Colleges and Universities, U.S. and Canada, 1992-94). The numbers from these two sources diverge significantly, sug gesting that the data collected by the "Institutional Coordinators" are highly flawed. Because the NRC report's survey was built entirely on faculty data reported by the ICs, inconsistencies in the IC counts of music faculties suggest that the data used t o conduct the survey were inaccurate, and, therefore, cast grave doubt on the validity of the survey results as a whole.

The discussion which follows was first written based on an examination of the selected data made available by the NRC on the Worldwide Web. My conclusions were offered subject to verification that the available data have been correctly interpreted.

In light of my examination of the whole report, it is clear that all but one of my conclusions still stand. The revised version of my report is in two flavors, one for Browsers that support HTML 3 Tables, and another for those that do not. The versions differ only in the layout of the tables (although the one without tables is faster).

You may still view the original version by clicking here as a point of comparison.

[ Return to the introduction to this report. . . ]
[ To Overview of NRC Report Critique. . . ]
[ Return to DWF's home page now. . . ]
[ Back to previous page. . . ]

Contact David Fenton
©1995-96, David W. Fenton (last modified Wednesday, April 3, 1996)

Access number