I’m sure we’ve all been getting demands from various societies (GSA, AAPG, SEPM, et. al) to partake in a survey meant to address the issue of department accreditation. The preamble cites decreased enrollment in geosciences programs, departments threatened with merging and closure, and low hiring in the academic realm as reasons for developing a national accreditation for geology departments. Additionally, the generally low impact the geosciences have had on policy, decreased public awareness, and little pre-college earth science education seem to be concerns.
This accreditation scheme is summarized by five models (mostly ranging from impotent to draconian in severity), which we can peruse at http://www.geosociety.org/flyers/GSA_AccredSurveyModelGrid.pdf .
I’m not certain what I think of this idea yet. What do other folks think? Is a national system of accreditation the way to go? It might force departments to take a more active interest in the broader community, but then again it might stretch stressed departments to the breaking point. Any thoughts?