Friday, June 16, 2006

time to ramp up to PhD programs?

Today's Plain Dealer contains an article highlighting Ohio's new Economic Growth Challenge/Innovation Incentive Program, where the state matches money appropriated by Ohio universities that is focused towards doctoral programs in science and technology.

13 Ohio universities are a part of this program, including Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University and the University of Akron from Northeast Ohio. Youngstown State University is not.

I've had a lot of dicussions over the years whether the best way to encourage innovation is to target investment into a few select areas or to spread the wealth around. As taxpayers, we want our money to be spent where it may have the greatest impact.

So as the state is reorienting some of its appropriations towards tech-based economic development, is now the time when Youngstown State University needs to reorient itself to build doctoral research programs? At the moment, Youngstown State only offers doctoral degrees in the field of education.

Maybe it should start to build doctoral programs in its prolific chemistry department. Or maybe it can build a doctoral program within the computer science department, which will create additional opportunities with the expanding software-based Youngstown Business Incubator.

It would be great to read one day how Youngstown State has joined the company of these other universities from Northeast Ohio that have learned to leverage their research programs for future development.

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