Today Magazine Spring 2021 - Page 14

Catching Up with

Raymond Bandlow , PhD

By Deb O ' Reilly

Of all of the jobs in his decades-long career ( including 30 years as a school superintendent ) Raymond Bandlow , PhD , said of his current position at GMercyU , “ No question , this is the best one .”

Dr . Bandlow is GMercyU ’ s Professor of Education Policy ; he created and oversees the Doctorate in Education , which includes the groundbreaking degree completion option for students who are All But Dissertation ( ABD ) from another institution . In March 2021 , Dr . Bandlow was recognized for his work , winning the Nikolai Khaladjan International Award for Innovation in Higher Education from the American Association of University Administrators .
“ I get the most satisfaction out of this role ; it is the most rewarding ,” said Professor Bandlow . “ Every day I have experiences that make me appreciate this opportunity , and I work with some wonderful people . What more could you ask for ?”
Professor Bandlow launched GMercyU ’ s EdD program in 2014 to offer a unique solution to a common problem – the national low rate of graduation for EdD degrees .
“ Most EdD programs follow a structure created by Harvard about 100 years ago , where you complete your coursework in three years and then start writing your dissertation . At that point , since you ’ ve completed your classes and are no longer really connected to the university , you work on the dissertation on your own . Then it ’ s sink or

swim . As a result , seven years later , fewer than 50 % of EdD students actually graduate — not because they ’ re not capable , but because life happens . They ’ re in their careers with families and responsibilities . People who don ’ t finish are just as capable as those who do ; there is research on this . It ’ s really a structural problem ,” Dr . Bandlow explained . “ But it ’ s not acceptable to have that low of a graduation rate considering the cost and time and effort spent on the degree .”
Alternatively , GMercyU ’ s EdD programs were designed to
completion of the degree has been transformative and cleared a path with my administrative experience to the position that I now hold . Thanks for your vision to create and sustain the ABD to EdD pathway .
– Dr . L . Dean Fisher , President , College of Southern Idaho
GMercyU EdD graduate of 2018