Chris M. Golde

Welcome to my web page.  I am a researcher and scholar in American higher education, with an emphasis on doctoral education.  I am employed as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford University.  From 2001-2006 I worked on the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate project at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Contact Information

office phone: (650) 736-9795

email address:

Professional Links:

bullet Curriculum Vita, including publications (includes downloadable versions) and presentations
bullet The Survey on Doctoral Edu cation and Career Preparation, including the "At Cross Purposes" report.
bullet Syllabi for courses I have taught.
bullet College movie syllabus, and information related to "About Campus" article.

My friend, Ken Nitz, is running for Re-Election for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District board of directors.

In the News

The Chronicle of Higher Education quotes Dr. Golde about a new initiative launched by Oberlin College and the University of Michigan.  The Oberlin College Press release also cites the "At Cross Purposes" report.

The Survey on Doctoral Education and Career Preparation has released its summary report, "At Cross Purposes:  What the experiences of doctoral students reveal about doctoral education," to some acclaim

In the 2000 edition of its annual special issue ranking graduate schools, U.S. News & World Report quotes Dr. Golde in an article on the realities of pursuing a Ph.D.

Dr. Golde's research is highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education's coverage of the April, 2000 "Re-envisioning the Ph.D." conference.



More about me

Research and Scholarly Interests

My research and scholarly interests fall into two areas: doctoral education and faculty and staff involvement in undergraduate student life. The connection between these two interests is my concern with improving the educational experiences of students. I believe that the way we both structure and enact our colleges and universities can be a powerful force, usually for the benefit of students. Occasionally however, students do not have positive experiences as a consequence (usually unintended) of particular policies or administrative decisions. It is one of my (more ambitious) goals to help ferret out and change such situations. I believe in doing this both at the individual level—such as through my teaching and advising—and at broader institutional or systemic levels—through research and writing.

First, I am interested in the reshaping and improvement of graduate education, particularly at the doctoral level. Ten years of research and writing in this area led me to the Carnegie Foundation, where I am working with the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate initiative.  Over the next five years, the project goal is to support and study new experiments in doctoral education with leading graduate programs, to document and analyze the character of those initiatives, and ultimately to offer specific recommendations to educators and policy makers about the continued vigor of doctoral education.

My initial work in doctoral education started in graduate school, and led to my dissertation, which focused on doctoral student attrition. Between 1998 and 2001 I was the principal investigator of the national Survey on Doctoral Education and Career Preparation, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. We administered this survey at 27 universities, surveying currently enrolled doctoral students in 11 disciplines. We seek to learn more about the different ways doctoral education is carried out in different fields and institutions. The survey focus in detail on the experiences and perceptions of students. In addition, we are trying to learn how well students are prepared to responsibly carry out the range of faculty roles and challenges. This study is also examining the ethical aspects of the life of faculty and graduate students, and how well students are explicitly introduced to those issues. The project report, "At Cross Purposes:  What the experiences of today's doctoral students reveal about doctoral education," was released in January, 2001.

During my time at Wisconsin I also explored inter- and multi-disciplinary graduate education as the project evaluator for Wisconsin's Social Aquatic interactions IGERT program. This interdisciplinary training program included students in the Center for Limnology and the Department of Rural Sociology and is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Second, I am interested in how to foster faculty and staff involvement in undergraduate student life. This interest stems from my personal experiences: I have always enjoyed spending time with undergraduates. I enjoy the energy and sense of wonder and possibility they exhibit. I found structured and unstructured activities to be really rewarding, both when I was a staff member and a graduate student. As a faculty member I continued to do this. I was a fellow at the Chadbourne Residential College at the University of Wisconsin. This project aims to create a living-learning center in an existing high rise residence hall. The theme of the community is "engagement with the life of the mind."

Personal Information

I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. My mother is an environmental activist and my father was a computer science professor at the University of Washington. I attended Brown University, and majored in Linguistics. I also worked with the Office of Residential Life, both serving on the Policy Board and in a programming position. Following that, I worked as an assistant hall director at North Adams State College for one year. Thereafter, I spent a year getting an M.A. in Student Personnel Administration at Teacher's College, Columbia University. This led to a job as Director of the Campus Center and Student Activities at Beloit College, in Beloit, Wisconsin. Four years later I packed again and moved to L.A., where I worked for the College Bowl Company. Two years later I went to get my Ph.D. in higher education at Stanford University. Upon completion of my degree in 1996, I accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Educational Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the fall of 2001 I moved to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, near Stanford in northern California.

When I was in college, I was on the fencing team. Now I am a passionate fan of women's basketball. I am on the the Board of the Northwest Fund for the Environment.


Personal Links:

bullet My dog, Sir Liam Sneaky-Leaner

Revised 08/22/08