The history of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) has been one of rapid, at times explosive, growth. Established in 1919 with an enrollment of 12, the Graduate School has developed into one of the nation's largest. In the fall of 1990 approximately 9,000 students were en-rolled in graduate programs at UMCP, 60% at the masters level, 40% at the doctoral or non-degree levels.
The Graduate School's mission is to provide for the education of students in the scholarly methods of intellectual inquiry and critical analysis; to train them in the discipline and skills necessary for beneficial research; and to foster in them a dedication to creative thought and the search for knowledge.
In order to shape and participate in national policies and developments in graduate education, the Graduate School maintains close contact with other graduate schools and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the Association of Graduate Schools, and the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.
The Graduate School was formed during academic year 1918-1919 and was administered by the Graduate Council, which consisted of the president of the university, director of the experiment station, the dean and secretary of the school, and six members experienced in graduate school administration. Twelve graduate students were enrolled at that time, with five departments offering graduate courses.
The Graduate School had general jurisdiction over graduate work offered by various departments of the university. Its policies for establishment of standards and requirements for degrees relied upon precedents set forth by the Association of American Universities, an association of United States' graduate institutions of which the UMCP graduate school became a member in 1970.
Departments offered standard graduate work and sought to place the quality of work on par with the best graduate schools in the nation. Work in accredited research labs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies was accepted as partial fulfillment of the resident requirement for future degrees. Fellowships and assistantships were made available. Theses and dissertations were required, with one year committed to the Master's Degree and three years to the Ph.D. Summer School courses and courses offered in Baltimore were also incorporated into the graduate program.
Advanced degrees conferred during the Graduate School's early years were the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy for work in Agriculture and the natural sciences; Master of Arts for work in Liberal Arts, Education, and Home Economics; Doctor of Philosophy in Liberal Arts; and advanced professional degrees in Engineering. Agriculture, the Sciences and English were most widely represented during this period.
Charles O. Appleman was Dean of the Graduate School from its inception until 1949. By 1930, the Graduate School included all faculty members at the university who gave instruction in approved graduate courses. The general administrative functions of the Graduate Faculty were delegated to a Graduate Council of which the Dean of the Graduate School was Chairman.
By 1938, the Graduate School had grown to include the departments of Business Administration, Chemical Engineering, Poultry Husbandry, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology.
An excerpt from Dean Appleman's speech to the Board of Regents on June 21, 1940 states:
The graduate school has been called the invisible university. It permeates nearly all divisions and departments of the university, but there are very few signs of its existence. The graduate school has general jurisdiction over the graduate work offered by the various departments of the university; it also establishes and administers the general formal requirements for advanced degrees.
Following Dr. Appleman's tenure, the Graduate School was headed by Dr. Ronald Bamford, who served as Dean from 1949 until 1965. Under his guidance, the Graduate School expanded to meet the university's and the community's widening post-war needs.
To support the Graduate School during this expansion, the Graduate Faculty was formally organized in 1955-1956. Its constitution, amended in 1968 and again in 1974, provided "a means for the graduate faculty to discharge its functions with respect to educational policies and procedures of the Graduate School." The Graduate Faculty was comprised of the Graduate Faculty Assembly and the Graduate Council. The Graduate Faculty Assembly consisted of all full and associate members of the Graduate Faculty who, through their participation in research and graduate instruction, displayed a capacity for individual research or creative and scholarly work at the highest levels. The Graduate Council consisted of members of the Graduate Faculty elected by the Assembly as well as appointed and ex officio members. Working together, these bodies established policies governing admission to graduate study and minimum requirements to be met by all students seeking advanced degrees. Dr. William J. Svirbely served as Chairman of the Graduate Faculty during this period.
During the decade 1955-1965, Graduate School enrollment increased from 2200 to 6000, placing rigorous demands upon Graduate School administration. By the fall of 1965, enrollment exceeded 8000, only 1000 shy of its current level.
With the appointment of Dr. Michael J. Pelczar, Jr. in 1966, a new era began for the Graduate School when it was placed under the administration of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. By 1970, this office had become part of the university's central administration.
Under this reorganization, Dr. David S. Sparks was appointed by Chancellor Charles E. Bishop to the position of Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at UMCP and Dr. John P. Lambooy was appointed to the same post for the Baltimore campuses. Dr. Pelczar served as Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research until 1977.
The following committees were appointed by Dr. Pelczar to oversee graduate studies and research: Committee on Academic Standards, Committee on Elections and Procedures, Committee on Fellowships, Committee on Graduate Faculty, Committee on Language Requirements, Committee on Programs and Courses, Committee on Publications, Committee on Research, and the Committee on Student Welfare.
Dr. Sparks became Vice President of Graduate Studies and Research in 1977 following Dr. Pelczar, a position he held until 1991. The current Dean of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research for the College Park campus is Dr. Jacob Goldhaber, who came to the post in 1987 following the terms of Dr. Rose-Marie G. Oster (1980-1984), Dr. Irwin L. Goldstein (1984-1985) and Dr. Arnold Thackray (1985-1986).
The Office of Graduate Studies and Research at UMCP continues its twofold mission of enlightening and preparing students for the future and coordinating administration of the various graduate programs. While a great deal of autonomy rests with individual academic departments, the Office of Graduate Studies and Research supervises the overall program and provides the administrative functions of admissions, record keeping, coordination of research proposals and grants and the management of the fellowship program.
The Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Associate Dean for Research, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs complete the official body. Auxiliary offices of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research are the Graduate Minority Affairs Office, Research Administration and Advancement Office, the Laboratory Animal Care Office, and the Technical Liaison Office.