American higher education in the twenty-first century: social, political, and economic challenges

Front Cover
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999 - Education - 484 pages
America's colleges and universities are social institutions -- embedded in the wider society and subject in various ways to its constraining forces. In American Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century, researchers who share this understanding explore the new realities of higher education and consider its greatest challenges for the next century. Subject to increasing scrutiny by the media and the public, colleges and universities must wrestle with a wide range of issues generated by their various external constituencies. Academic leaders rearrange their curricula to meet demands for multiculturalism. They seek an appropriate response as race-based admissions procedures come under attack. They assess student learning and monitor faculty productivity--while simultaneously responding to calls for the end of tenure and for explanations of why the cost of attending college has risen so dramatically. Using the changing social, political, and economic contexts of colleges and universities as a lens for examining these complex issues, the contributors seek to understand the forces -- whether unique to our era or rooted in the past -- that currently influence higher education and will continue to do so in the next century. Whether discussing finance or technology or academic freedom or the canon, the authors find that relations between academic institutions and their surrounding societies have generally been ambivalent: both involved and withdrawn, servicing and criticizing, needing and being needed. Understanding the complex interplay between institutions and external forces, they conclude, is the key to guiding the endeavors of faculty, students, and administrative leaders alike.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wordsampersand -

The third edition is filled with tons of excellent articles. (I was surprised, honestly.) Most of the newer articles look at where some of the current higher ed trends are heading. Read full review


The Ten Generations of American Higher Education
Chapter Three

15 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Philip G. Altbach is J. Donald Monan, SJ, Professor of Higher Education and director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. He is the editor of the Review of Higher Education and the author of Comparative Higher Education and Student Politics in America. Robert O. Berdahl is professor of education at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the author of British Universities and the State and Statewide Coordination of Higher Education. Patricia J. Gumport is associate professor of education at Stanford University, director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, and executive director of the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement

Bibliographic information