New doctoral program established
THE UNIVERSITY will offer a Ph.D. program in the Department of Physical Therapy and Exercise Science beginning in fall 1996, making it the only campus in the SUNY system approved to confer a doctor of philosophy degree in this field.
The Ph.D. program replaces the department's highly regarded Ed.D. program, which has been offered for several years.
The impetus for the change was a 1988 report from the National Academy of Sciences, which warned that 87 percent more physical therapists will be needed by the year 2000 to meet the demand for services, but that there aren't enough academic faculty available to train these professionals.
"If you are going to educate more students, you must have more qualified faculty," said Frank Cerny, associate professor and director of graduate studies for the department. "Our program will prepare therapists to be college and university teachers and researchers who will, in turn, train more therapists to fill entry-level positions."
Barry Eckert, dean of the School of Health Related Professions, said approval to offer a Ph.D. validates what the department has been doing for several years. "We've dramatically increased our research activity, and this designation underscores our success," he said.