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In Defense of American Higher Education

edited by Philip G. Altbach, Patricia J. Gumport, and D. Bruce Johnstone

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The current era in higher education is characterized by increased need for accountability and fiscal constraint coupled with demands for increased productivity. Higher education is expected to meet the demand of changing student demographics, as well as requests for research and service from government and industry. To preserve the academy's ability to meet these demands, the editors and contributors to this volume argue that, while change is inevitable and desirable, any radical alterations to the practices that have established and upheld the excellence of higher education in the United…

The current era in higher education is characterized by increased need for accountability and fiscal constraint coupled with demands for increased productivity. Higher education is expected to meet the demand of changing student demographics, as well as requests for research and service from government and industry. To preserve the academy's ability to meet these demands, the editors and contributors to this volume argue that, while change is inevitable and desirable, any radical alterations to the practices that have established and upheld the excellence of higher education in the United States must be carefully considered.The editors and contributors cherish the best ideals of higher education: academic freedom, commitment to both inquiry and teaching, and preservation of an independence of mind and spirit in the face of external pressures. At the same time, the authors of these essays also reflect upon the failings of higher education, including problematic historical legacies such as racism, sexism, and anti-semitism. In Defense of American Higher Education is a careful analysis of what we have inherited, undertaken with a critical eye for constructive reform. It will be of interest to anyone concerned about the future of American higher education.

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In Defense of American Higher Education

edited by Philip G. Altbach, Patricia J. Gumport, and D. Bruce Johnstone

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Reviews

Belongs on any academic bookshelf that seeks to balance the wave of criticism now so prevalent in the field.

A confident overview of the current condition of today's universities. Researchers, policymakers, and graduate students will appreciate the opportunity to react to some of the best minds in the field of higher education as they examine the state of the American university and predict its future direction.

The value of this thoughtful collection of essays is more in its enduring than its timely concerns. The legacy of American higher education, we are reminded, is one of resilience, promise, and, to be sure, excellence despite the many challenges it faces in the near and longer terms.

The contributions are informative and gather together scholars and evidence from many areas.

Comprehensive and informative to both academic and non-academic readers.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
376
ISBN
9780801866555
Illustration Description
4 line drawings
Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I. The University in Society
Chapter 1: The American Academic Model in Comparative Perspective
Chapter 2. Higher Education as a Mature Industry
Chapter 3. The "Crisis" Crisis in Higher

Introduction
Part I. The University in Society
Chapter 1: The American Academic Model in Comparative Perspective
Chapter 2. Higher Education as a Mature Industry
Chapter 3. The "Crisis" Crisis in Higher Education: Is that a Wolf or a Pussycat at the Academy's Door?
Chapter 4. Built to Serve: The Enduring Legacy of Public Higher Education
Chapter 5. The Mass Higher Education to Universal Access: The American Advantage
Chapter 6. Higher Education and Those "Out of Control Costs"
Part II. Within the Academy
Chapter 7. The Liberal Arts and the Role of Elite Higher Education
Chapter 8. The Technological Revolution: Reflections on the Proper Role of Technology in Higher Education
Chapter 9. Academic Change and Presidential Leadership
Chapter 10. Graduate Education and Research
Chapter 11. College Students Today: Why We Can't Leave Serendipity To Chance
Chapter 12. Governance: The Remarkable Ambiguity
Chapter 13. Understanding the American Academic Profession
List of Contributors
Index

Author Bios
Philip G. Altbach
Featured Contributor

Philip G. Altbach, Ph.D.

Philip G. Altbach is J. Donald Monan, SJ, Professor of Higher Education and director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College.
Featured Contributor

Patricia J. Gumport, Ph.D.

Patricia J. Gumport is a professor of education, the vice-provost for graduate education, and the director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research at Stanford University. She is coeditor of the fourth edition of American Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century: Social, Political, and Economic Challenges and In Defense of American Higher Education, both published by Johns...
Featured Contributor

D. Bruce Johnstone

D. Bruce Johnstone is SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Higher and Comparative Education Emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, author of Financing Higher Education: Cost-Sharing in International Perspective, and coeditor of In Defense of American Higher Education, also published by Johns Hopkins.