Harvard graduate faculty rank first in the nation in the Classics. Philosophy and Spanish Departments, according to a widely circulated national survey released this week of doctoral humanities programs.
The survey, part of the first comprehensive survey of U.S. doctoral programs in the last 12 years, also ranks Harvard's programs' overall quality above the average of 522 departments rated in the eight fields assessed.
In overall academic quality of faculty members, however, Harvard placed behind Princeton, Yale, the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Michigan.
The Conference Board of Associated Research Councils released the survey to help graduate students, Industries and research institutions evaluate the programs, sponsors of the study said yesterday.
"Departments grab the report first and use it vigorously "Robert M. ROCK, dean of the University of Wisconsin at Madison graduate school and a member of the assessment committee, said.
The survey ranks the programs on the basis of 12 measures "related to quality" Among the criteria were the academic competence and relative achievements of the departments' faculty, as well as the departments record in producing successful research scholars.
On these two counts, Harvard placed in the top 10 of all departments surveyed in art history, classics, English, German and linguistics. The French department's faculty did likewise, but for effectiveness, the French doctoral program ranks 14th in the country.
Jules Brody, chairman of the Romance Languages and Literatures Department, yesterday refused to comment on the survey, saying he had not seen the results.
Graduate students in the English Department contacted yesterday also said they could not comment on their department or on the survey.
Bock said the evaluation process included university reports, student opinions of the doctoral programs and information on universities' records of graduated scholars' careers.
An independent panel of academic leaders also contributed subjective assessments of the departments.
Bock said the committee was surprised that the rankings of schools had changed so little since the last survey.