The Aerie, Yearbook of University of North Texas, 1990 Page: 47
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The development of a graduate pro-
gram at NT was a very slow process. The
1893-94 catalog stated that a master's
degree was granted to those bachelor's
degree graduates who completed two
years of home study after graduation.
However, it was not until 1927 that
President Robert Marquis began to con-
sider offering a formalized graduate pro-
gram. In 1930, the Board of Regents
authorized all seven state teacher's col-
leges to offer the master of arts degree,
however, Marquis was not yet convinced
that NT needed a graduate program. It
was five years later, in the fall term, that
the first master's degree programs were
offered at NT. It was apparently a great
success. Enrollment during the long se-
mesters between 1935 and 1940 more
than tripled, until the war cut enroll-
ment. The first doctoral degrees, in edu-
cation and music, were approved by the
Board of Regents in January 1951.
During the period from fall 1959 to
spring 1965, graduate enrollment rose a
total of 172.3 percent, versus only 43.2
percent for undergraduate enrollment.
Much of this success, according to Gra-
duate School Dean Rollie Schafer, could
be attributed to the dean at that time,
Dr. Robert Toulouse. Toulouse started
at NT as a professor in the College of
Education and was graduate dean from
1954 until 1982 when he became provost.
In 1988, Toulouse returned from retire-
ment to serve as acting provost. Dr.
Hugh Kirkpatrick, assistant and associ-
ate dean under Toulouse said, "In my
opinion, he's (Toulouse) the one who
made the NT graduate school what it is
now ... when he took over as dean,
there were very few programs . . . dur-
ing his tenure he added dozens of pro-
grams and raised standards with a mini-
Story by Kristen Gaw
mum of fuss and bother." In fact, over
60 percent of the present graduate pro-
grams were instituted during Toulouse's
office. Two of the most important re-
sults of this period were the growth of
the research function of the university
and the trend toward interdisciplinary
programs, Schafer said. Both of these
were still affecting NT much later in
time. The state's Select Committee on
Higher Education described NT as "an
emerging national research university."
The master of arts and master of science
in Interdisciplinary Studies grew rapidly
since their beginning in 1978 and in the
fall of 1989 a request was sent to the
Coordinating Board for the addition of a
The original intent of adding a gra-
duate program to the teacher's colleges
was to be able to offer a more complete
and professional training to the teaching
students. Because no Texas colleges of-
fered graduate degrees, many good
teachers were lost when they went to
other states to seek graduate study and
then settled there. Thus, concerning the
major changes over the past century,
Schafer stated, "The university became a
comprehensive university through the
addition of a spectrum of graduate pro-
grams." Both as a part of and because of
this addition, the graduate school be-
came an integral part of the university. In
the spring of 1990 the graduate students
at NT comprised just under 25 percent
of the school's total population.
When asked his views on the impor-
tance of a graduate degree in today's
world, Schafer said he believed that an
undergraduate degree was "preparation
for lifelong learning - how to be a citi-
zen of the world," and that it should
encompass, among others, general sub-
jects such as general sciences, composi-
tion and computer sciences. However,
due to the knowledge explosion, one
needed an advanced degree in order to
cope with a particular field, Schafer said.
To handle those constantly changing
demands being made upon graduates,
NT's deans were continuously propos-
ing new degree programs. One of those
new programs was the master of science
in Industrial Technology with a concen-
tration in Manufacturing Technology.
This was a "si/_i of the maturing of the
department of industrial technology,"
Schafer said. Also being reviewed by the
state's Coordinating Board were a mas-
ter's and doctorate in Material Science
(an Arts and Sciences interdisciplinary
degree), as well as those same levels in
Computer Education and Cognitive Sys-
tems. Perhaps the brightest signs of so-
ciety's changing times were the universi-
ty's requests for degrees in Environmen-
tal Science and Environmental Ethics. If
approved, these areas of study would be
the graduate programs of the next 100
The Graduate School
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University of North Texas. The Aerie, Yearbook of University of North Texas, 1990, yearbook, 1990; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth61055/m1/50/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.