Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The American Research University from World War II to World Wide Web

The American Research University from World War II to World Wide Web: Governments, the Private Sector, and the Emerging Meta-University

Charles M. Vest
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Pages: 140
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The American Research University from World War II to World Wide Web
    Book Description:

    Forty years after Clark Kerr coined the termmultiversity,the American research university has continued to evolve into a complex force for social and economic good. This volume provides a unique opportunity to explore the current state of the research university system. Charles M. Vest, one of the leading advocates for autonomy for American higher education, offers a multifaceted view of the university at the beginning of a new century. With a complex mission and funding structure, the university finds its international openness challenged by new security concerns and its ability to contribute to worldwide opportunity through sharing and collaboration dramatically expanded by the Internet. In particular, Vest addresses the need to nurture broad access to our universities and stay true to the fundamental mission of creating opportunity.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93404-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This volume is based on three lectures I delivered at the University of California as the 2005 Clark Kerr Lecturer on the Role of Higher Education in Society. This lectureship and the encouragement and support of the members and staff of the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, provided an extraordinary opportunity for me to organize and present some personal observations and opinions about American higher education garnered during forty-five years as a student, professor, and administrator in both public and private research universities.

    I am particularly pleased that this work is presented in...

  5. ONE Governments and Universities: The Roles and Influences of the Public Sector in Higher Education
    (pp. 5-36)

    In 1990, when it was announced that I had been elected president of MIT, I received a letter from one of my Michigan colleagues, Paul McCracken, a distinguished economist and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Here is the text of his letter in its entirety:

    Dear Chuck,

    Boy from West Virginia becomes president of MIT.

    The American Dream.



    That brief note, in my view, encapsulates what is best about American higher education—we create opportunity. That is our mission. That is our business. That is first and foremost what society expects of us.

    Great public...

  6. TWO Industry, Philanthropy, and Universities: The Roles and Influences of the Private Sector in Higher Education
    (pp. 37-69)

    Today the multiversity contributes to society through a wide spectrum of activities, with academia playing the ancient and honorable roles of discoverer, conservator, interpreter, and transmitter of knowledge, values, and understanding, as well as the contemporary roles of creator of opportunity for young men and women; developer of new technologies, processes, and even products; and partner with governments, industry, and philanthropists to directly contribute to the advancement of economies, security, health, and quality of life.

    As universities pursue these new roles, especially in their scientific and technological contributions to economic development, they are at the nexus of five interested parties...

  7. THREE Openness: Education, Research, and Scholarly Communication in an Age of Globalization and Terrorism
    (pp. 70-90)

    Of all the things that have changed since Clark Kerr’s 1963 Godkin Lectures, I suspect that the extent of the internationalization of our faculties and graduate-student populations in science, engineering, and management is one of the most dramatic. This change is matched or exceeded by the role of new communications and information technologies that connect and inform us instantaneously throughout our campuses and around the globe. These are two important aspects of the essential openness of American universities.

    I have come to believe that the openness of American campuses in many dimensions is one of our most important defining characteristics....

  8. FOUR The Emerging Global Meta-University: Higher Education and Scholarship in the Age of the Internet
    (pp. 91-110)

    Even as we face and resolve the thorny issue of balancing security and openness to sustain our campuses as great magnets for the brightest minds from around the world, modern information and communication technologies have fundamentally altered what it means to be an open scholarly or educational community.¹ At the same time, India, China, and other countries are making strong investments to bring their research universities to world-class status. Strong forces and great opportunities are extant in higher education. How will the use of so-called educational technology play out? What will be the nature of the globalization of higher education?...

  9. NOTES
    (pp. 111-116)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 117-127)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 128-128)