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The Fifth Wave

The Evolution of American Higher Education

Michael M. Crow and William B. Dabars

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Out of the crises of American higher education emerges a new class of large-scale public universities designed to accelerate social change through broad access to world-class knowledge production and cutting-edge technological innovation.

America's research universities lead the world in discovery, creativity, and innovation—but are captive to a set of design constraints that no longer aligns with the changing needs of society. Their commitment to discovery and innovation, which is carried out largely in isolation from the socioeconomic challenges faced by most Americans, threatens to impede…

Out of the crises of American higher education emerges a new class of large-scale public universities designed to accelerate social change through broad access to world-class knowledge production and cutting-edge technological innovation.

America's research universities lead the world in discovery, creativity, and innovation—but are captive to a set of design constraints that no longer aligns with the changing needs of society. Their commitment to discovery and innovation, which is carried out largely in isolation from the socioeconomic challenges faced by most Americans, threatens to impede the capacity of these institutions to contribute decisively and consistently to the collective good. The global preeminence of our leading institutions, moreover, does not correlate with overall excellence in American higher education. Sadly, admissions practices that flatly exclude the majority of academically qualified applicants are now the norm in our leading universities, both public and private.

In The Fifth Wave, Michael M. Crow and William B. Dabars argue that colleges and universities need to be comprehensively redesigned in order to educate millions more qualified students while leveraging the complementarities between discovery and accessibility. Building on the themes of their prior collaboration, Designing the New American University, this book examines the historical development of American higher education—the first four waves—and describes the emerging standard of institutions that will transform the field. What must emerge in this Fifth Wave of universities, Crow and Dabars posit, are institutions that are responsive to the needs of students, focused on access, embedded in their regions, and committed to solving global problems.

The Fifth Wave in American higher education, Crow and Dabars write, comprises an emerging league of colleges and universities that aspires to accelerate positive social outcomes through the seamless integration of world-class knowledge production with cutting-edge technological innovation. This set of institutions is dedicated to the advancement of accessibility to the broadest possible demographic that is representative of the socioeconomic and intellectual diversity of our nation. Recognizing the fact that both cooperation and competition between universities is essential if higher education hopes to truly serve the needs of the nation, Fifth Wave schools like Arizona State University are already beginning to spearhead a network spanning academia, business and industry, government agencies and laboratories, and civil society organizations.

Drawing from a variety of disciplines, including design, economics, public policy, organizational theory, science and technology studies, sociology, and even cognitive psychology and epistemology, The Fifth Wave is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of higher education in our society.

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The Fifth Wave

Michael M. Crow and William B. Dabars

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Reviews

Reviews

Michael M. Crow is the mad scientist of magnifying college matriculation... as president of one of our largest and most innovative universities, Arizona State, Crow has had some remarkable results.

Michael M. Crow is one of a handful of the most creative and able presidents of any American university. I consider any new book that he produces to be an important event. The Fifth Wave should be read by academic, business, and governmental leaders, especially those who have a stake in the continued preeminence of the great research universities—and their future structures—in the United States.

In a perfect world, we would clone Michael Crow, so every university would have the same advantage as Arizona State University. Until that happens, The Fifth Wave is our next best option.

The modern American university is a fountainhead of knowledge, a privileged gatekeeper, and an exorbitant money sink. Updating this vital institution for the 21st century is a major challenge, and no one is better placed to show us the way than Michael Crow and William Dabars. Crow is a magician who exploded conventional tradeoffs and made his university both intellectually stellar and inspiringly inclusive.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
496
ISBN
9781421438023
Illustration Description
16 graphs
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Toward New Models for American Colleges and Universities
1 The Emergence of the Fifth Wave in American Higher Education
2 A Prototype for a Fifth Wave University
3

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Toward New Models for American Colleges and Universities
1 The Emergence of the Fifth Wave in American Higher Education
2 A Prototype for a Fifth Wave University
3 Boutique Production Strategies and Appropriate Scale
4 Some Historical Perspective on the Fifth Wave
5 Toward a Theoretical and Conceptual Framework for the Fifth Wave
6 Designing Fifth Wave Knowledge Enterprises
7 Some Comparative Perspective on Accessibility and Excellence
Conclusion: Toward Frameworks for Universal Learning
Selected 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.