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The Great Upheaval

Higher Education's Past, Present, and Uncertain Future

Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt

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How will America's colleges and universities adapt to remarkable technological, economic, and demographic change?

The United States is in the midst of a profound transformation the likes of which hasn't been seen since the Industrial Revolution, when America's classical colleges adapted to meet the needs of an emerging industrial economy. Today, as the world shifts to an increasingly interconnected knowledge economy, the intersecting forces of technological innovation, globalization, and demographic change create vast new challenges, opportunities, and uncertainties. In this great upheaval, the…

How will America's colleges and universities adapt to remarkable technological, economic, and demographic change?

The United States is in the midst of a profound transformation the likes of which hasn't been seen since the Industrial Revolution, when America's classical colleges adapted to meet the needs of an emerging industrial economy. Today, as the world shifts to an increasingly interconnected knowledge economy, the intersecting forces of technological innovation, globalization, and demographic change create vast new challenges, opportunities, and uncertainties. In this great upheaval, the nation's most enduring social institutions are at a crossroads.

In The Great Upheaval, Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt examine higher and postsecondary education to see how it has changed to become what it is today—and how it might be refitted for an uncertain future. Taking a unique historical, cross-industry perspective, Levine and Van Pelt perform a 360-degree survey of American higher education. Combining historical, trend, and comparative analyses of other business sectors, they ask

• how much will colleges and universities change, what will change, and how will these changes occur?
• will institutions of higher learning be able to adapt to the challenges they face, or will they be disrupted by them?
• will the industrial model of higher education be repaired or replaced?
• why is higher education more important than ever?

The book is neither an attempt to advocate for a particular future direction nor a warning about that future. Rather, it looks objectively at the contexts in which higher education has operated—and will continue to operate. It also seeks to identify likely developments that will aid those involved in steering higher education forward, as well as the many millions of Americans who have a stake in its future.

Concluding with a detailed agenda for action, The Great Upheaval is aimed at policy makers, college administrators, faculty, trustees, and students, as well as general readers and people who work for nonprofits facing the same big changes.

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The Great Upheaval

Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt

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Reviews

Reviews

Searching for answers to this and other mysteries of Planet Academe, I found some excellent responses in a new book, The Great Upheaval: Higher Education's Past, Present, and Uncertain Future, by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt.

If you're looking to understand the future of higher education, you couldn't do better than to look at The Great Upheaval. What makes this book so interesting is not only its review of past changes in higher ed, but also its careful look at what has happened in leading industries such as movie-making, filmmaking, and newspapers as they've been disrupted by the online world.

On the subject of higher education, Arthur Levine is astonishingly prescient, spotting trends on the horizon long before they come into focus for the rest of us. In this thoughtful and engaging book, he and Scott Van Pelt offer a clear-eyed assessment of the changes—and the potential disruption—facing colleges and universities. An indispensable guide to rethinking our assumptions about learning and preparing to thrive in a transformed educational landscape.

This clearly written book will be of interest to a broad spectrum of readers, including educators, policymakers, nonprofit professionals, students, and families. Levine and Van Pelt focus not only on colleges and universities but also on the challenges and opportunities of the larger postsecondary world, as they explore the dramatically different future of higher education and proposed actions to shape it.

A crisp, cogent case for the future of higher education in America. Levine and Van Pelt argue that technological change is empowering consumers in new ways and offers innovative ideas about how higher ed can address these changes. Bravo to the authors for being clear-eyed instead of overwrought, suggesting a positive way forward for a critically important institution.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
336
ISBN
9781421442570
Illustration Description
1 b&w illus
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction. Where You Look Determines What You See
Part One. Looking Backward
Chapter One. The Industrial Revolution and the Transformation of America
Chapter Two. Criticism

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction. Where You Look Determines What You See
Part One. Looking Backward
Chapter One. The Industrial Revolution and the Transformation of America
Chapter Two. Criticism, Denial, and Innovation
Chapter Three. New Models and Diffusion
Chapter Four. Standardization, Consolidation, and Scaling
Chapter Five. Transformation
Part Two. Looking Forward
Chapter Six. A Demographic Sea Change
Chapter Seven. An Emerging Knowledge Economy
Chapter Eight. A Technological Revolution
Chapter Nine. Adaptation
Part Three. Looking Sideways
Chapter Ten. The Music Industry
Chapter Eleven. The Film Industry
Chapter Twelve. The Newspaper Industry
Chapter Thirteen. Disruption
Part Four. Looking at the Panorama
Chapter Fourteen. What Will Change?
Chapter Fifteen. How and When Will Change Occur?
Chapter Sixteen. What Should Higher Education and Policy Makers Do?
Bibliography
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Arthur Levine

Arthur Levine is a distinguished scholar of higher education at New York University's Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy; a senior fellow and president emeritus of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation; and president emeritus of Columbia University's Teachers College. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today's...
Scott J. Van Pelt
Featured Contributor

Scott J. Van Pelt

Scott Van Pelt is the associate director of the Wharton Graduate Communication Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also a lecturer.