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Designing the New American University

Michael M. Crow and William B. Dabars

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A radical blueprint for reinventing American higher education.

America’s research universities consistently dominate global rankings but may be entrenched in a model that no longer accomplishes their purposes. With their multiple roles of discovery, teaching, and public service, these institutions represent the gold standard in American higher education, but their evolution since the nineteenth century has been only incremental. The need for a new and complementary model that offers broader accessibility to an academic platform underpinned by knowledge production is critical to our well-being…

A radical blueprint for reinventing American higher education.

America’s research universities consistently dominate global rankings but may be entrenched in a model that no longer accomplishes their purposes. With their multiple roles of discovery, teaching, and public service, these institutions represent the gold standard in American higher education, but their evolution since the nineteenth century has been only incremental. The need for a new and complementary model that offers broader accessibility to an academic platform underpinned by knowledge production is critical to our well-being and economic competitiveness.

Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University and an outspoken advocate for reinventing the public research university, conceived the New American University model when he moved from Columbia University to Arizona State in 2002. Following a comprehensive reconceptualization spanning more than a decade, ASU has emerged as an international academic and research powerhouse that serves as the foundational prototype for the new model. Crow has led the transformation of ASU into an egalitarian institution committed to academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact.

In Designing the New American University, Crow and coauthor William B. Dabars—a historian whose research focus is the American research university—examine the emergence of this set of institutions and the imperative for the new model, the tenets of which may be adapted by colleges and universities, both public and private. Through institutional innovation, say Crow and Dabars, universities are apt to realize unique and differentiated identities, which maximize their potential to generate the ideas, products, and processes that impact quality of life, standard of living, and national economic competitiveness. Designing the New American University will ignite a national discussion about the future evolution of the American research university.

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Designing the New American University

Michael M. Crow and William B. Dabars

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Reviews

Crow and Dabars offer a close analysis of the history and values that spawned our world-renowned research facilities and present a fresh model characterized by a pragmatic research structure and transdisciplinary organization... The authors present a dense and extensively investigated explanation of the strengths and limitations of our contemporary higher education environment and the possibilities of a new model.

An engaging and readable justification for and account of the New American University project... Crow is unlikely to disappear from view for quite some time.

Crow and Dabars are right to want new public universities to replace the Harvard standard. Their book is worth reading just for that discussion.

Crow... continues to be at the cutting edge of these and other challenges, opportunities, and initiatives for public research universities in general and his own institution in particular... Well written and laden with notes and bibliography, this is a solid complement to William G. Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin's Locus of Authority (2015) and Robert Lacroix and Louis Maheu's Leading Research Universities in a Competitive World (2015).

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
360
ISBN
9781421427027
Illustration Description
18 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface, by Michael M. Crow
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. American Research Universities at a Fork in the Road
2. The Gold Standard in American Higher Education
3. The Varieties of Academic Tradition
4

Preface, by Michael M. Crow
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. American Research Universities at a Fork in the Road
2. The Gold Standard in American Higher Education
3. The Varieties of Academic Tradition
4. Discovery, Creativity, and Innovation
5. Designing Knowledge Enterprises
6. A Pragmatic Approach to Innovation and Sustainability
7. Designing a New American University at the Frontier
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Author Bios
Michael M. Crow
Featured Contributor

Michael M. Crow

Michael M. Crow has served as the president of Arizona State University since 2002. He is the coauthor of Designing the New American University and The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education.
William B. Dabars
Featured Contributor

William B. Dabars

William B. Dabars is the senior director of research for the New American University in the Office of the President and a research professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. Crow and Dabars are the coauthors of Designing the New American University.