Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
-- Will Rogers

Kathleen Wallace

Institutional Research

Reports and Research

How Data May (Mis-)Represent Outcomes for Philosophy Majors and What You Can Do About It. Posted December 4, 2014; Updated version posted December 10, 2014.

Data sources that are used in research about outcomes for college graduates often aggregate philosophy and religious studies majors. Philosophy and religion are very different courses of study. The aggregation of majors from these distinct fields is an anachronism, and may misrepresent the outcomes for both groups, although in this analysis, my interest is in philosophy majors. This report provides a brief analysis of several data sources, how the aggregation may be affecting outcomes reported, and concludes with what philosophers can do about the situation. The data sources discussed are the American Community Survey (ACS), the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) conducted by National Science Foundation (NSF), National Council of Education Statistics (NCES), and payscale.

Report on Philosophy Majors from 1970 to 2009. Updated version posted 31 January 2012.

Analysis with graphs of philosophy majors compared to other selected majors among bachelor degrees conferred from 1970-71 to 2008-09. Based on data from National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Updated version posted 31 January 2012.

Joint Appointment Report: Summary of Issues and Practices. Posted March 2009.

This report is an analysis of, with recommendations for, how to set up faculty joint appointments, that is, appointments in more than one academic unit or department. Research for the report involved examining joint appointment policies at fourteen different universities and interviewing sixteen individuals from a wide range of academic institutions (from small colleges to large research universities) with different kinds of experience with joint appointments (as joint appointees, department chairpersons, Deans, single appointee faculty). Posted March 2009.

PDF is one file that includes report (17 pages) and two appendices (Appendix I: Institutional Policies; Appendix II: comments [anonymized] from individuals surveyed).

Five 3-credit (3x5) or Four 4-credit (4x4) Courses per Semester?

I chaired a Task Force (2007-2008) to examine the feasibility of converting from a 3-credit to a 4-credit course based curriculum.

A full student course load may be defined as five 3-credit ("3x5") or four 4-credit ("4x4") courses per semester. While the majority of institutions of higher education in the United States have a 3-credit based curriculum, some colleges and universities have had 4x4 curricula for some time and others have recently converted to a 4x4 curricular model.

Three rationales have been repeatedly offered by faculty and administrators at a variety of four year colleges and universities in support of 4x4 (better student learning, improved graduation rates, and favorable impact on resources and faculty load). But surprisingly little research has been done on the validity of these rationales.

I designed and ran studies of curriculum and graduation rates at other institutions, analyzed both substantive and quantitative consequences of conversion to 4x4 on curriculum, on student course load and performance and on faculty load, set up and ran focus groups, designed student and faculty surveys, developed models for assessing cost, and so on.


I am available on a consulting basis to institutions that are considering a conversion to a 4x4 curriculum. I can conduct workshops or seminars for faculty and administrators, work with Institutional Research staff to develop assessment models, and can act as a facilitator at institutions working through internal conflicts in developing and implementing this type of change. For more information contact me (see Contact).

Previous Administrative and Institutional Experience

  • Department Chairperson, 1991-1996; 2011-now (Hofstra University)
  • Dean's Office Reviewer of Tenure and Promotion Files and Preparer of Tenure and Promotion Recommendations (Hofstra University)
  • Member of Task Force that developed proposal for establishing an Honors College (Hofstra University)
  • Co-director (and member of founding committee) of interdisciplinary Women's Studies Program (Hofstra University)
  • Member of Middle States Self-Assessment Staff (while completing the Ph.D. at SUNY at Stony Brook)