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

NOTICE: 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 NRC Press's Home Page) is ©1995 by the author, David W. Fenton. This text and that of all of these documents may not be re-distributed or re-used in any form without including this notice.

DISCLAIMER: 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 Universit y.


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" is the number of faculty in the surveyed programs. The heart of the present discussion comp ares these numbers, which were collected by representatives at each of the institutions ("Institutional Coordinators," or "ICs"), to the numbers of music faculty members listed in the field of music's principle directory (the College Music Society's Di rectory of Music Faculties in Colleges and Universities, U.S. and Canada, 1992-94). The numbers from these two sources diverge significantly, suggesting that the data collected by the "Institutional Coordinators" are highly flawed. Because the NRC rep ort'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 to conduct the survey were inaccurate, and, therefore, cast grave doubt on the validity of the survey resul ts as a whole.

The discussion which follows is based on an examination of the selected data made available by the NRC on the Worldwide Web. The conclusions here are offered subject to verification that the available data have been correctly interpreted.

My report is in two versions, 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).

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