Thursday, June 16, 2005

So What Are OSU's Thesis Committee Guidelines?

In case you were wondering, here are the OSU guidelines (PDF format) for the PhD program in Science Education. And here's the relevant portion of it:

Each student will be assigned an initial adviser during the first quarter of enrollment. By the end of a student's second quarter of enrollment, an advisory committee consisting of four professors is to be selected: two from science education, one from outside the science education program area, and one from outside the College of Education. The student will plan the doctoral program in consultation with this committee. This committee also will be responsible for developing and assessing the Candidacy Examination. Upon completion of the examination, the student may reorganize the committee to reflect the expertise needed for the dissertation. The dissertation committee must have at least three members: two from the science education program area and one from outside the science education program area. (Emphasis Added)

And here's Richard Hoppe explaining why Leonard's committee did not satisfy these guidelines:

Leonard’s final dissertation committee did not meet those requirements. It was composed of his advisor, Paul Post from the technology education program area of the section for Math, Science and Technology; Glen R. Needham of the Department of Entomology in the College of Biological Sciences; and Robert DiSilvestro of the Department of Human Nutrition in the College of Human Ecology. For the final defense an Assistant Professor from the department of French & Italian in the College of Humanities was also assigned to the committee to monitor the procedure. Thus, there were no members from the science education program area on Leonard’s final dissertation committee.

What is more noteworthy is that there are no members of Leonard’s dissertation committee who are specialists in science education or in evolutionary biology, even though Leonard’s dissertation is specifically directed at methods of teaching evolutionary biology in public school science classes. The two senior tenured members of the committee, DiSilvestro and Needham, in fact share a single salient qualification: they have both publicly associated themselves with the intelligent design creationist movement in Ohio and elsewhere. (Emphasis in Original)