The University of Oregon Sociology Department granted its first Ph.D. degrees jointly to a married couple: Gail Putney [Fullerton] and Snell Putney in 1954 for a dissertation entitled "A Field Evaluation of Acculturation Theory." They accepted academic positions at San Jose State University. Their 1966 book, Normal Neuroses: The Adjusted American, remains available for purchase. She retired from SJSU as President Emeritus.
From that beginning, the department has gone on to grant doctoral degrees to over 260 people. Many have gone on to distinguished academic careers of research and teaching, while others have made lasting contributions in evaluation and public policy. On college and university campuses, our former graduate students have served as provosts, research institute directors, deans, and department heads. In professional associations, they have been elected to the highest offices. As citizens, they are recognized for their contributions to their communities, states, the nation, and various parts of the world. Many make their careers in one-on-one interactions with students, improving sociological understanding and building social change through critical thinking one person at a time.
The UO Sociology Department remains known for excellent graduate student training in theory and methods, as well as a critical perspective applied to various political, environmental, economic, social, organizational, and institutional issues. We are currently developing new initiatives, beefing up our curriculum, hiring amazingly brilliant young scholars, challenging ourselves to do better, and struggling for a larger piece of the pie from UO to reward a remarkably productive faculty.
We urge our alumni to use this new space (inaugurated Fall 2008) to tell us about you -- even boast a little. We also hope you will remember that the UO Sociology Department is part of your life for the rest of your life, and we hope you take pride in your roots in this institution.