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Multiversities, Ideas, and Democracy

Multiversities, Ideas, and Democracy

Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 475
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  • Book Info
    Multiversities, Ideas, and Democracy
    Book Description:

    Ultimately,Multiversities, Ideas, and Democracyseeks to uncover the ethos of the multiversity and to hold such institutions accountable for their contribution to democratic life. It will appeal to anyone interested in the role of education in society.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8463-8
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    This is a book about multiversities, a particular type of university that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. It is about their role in society and the future they face.

    The book focuses on multiversities in the Anglo-American world – particularly in the United States, England, and Canada. At the heart of postindustrial societies, the multiversities are sprawling conglomerates providing undergraduate liberal education, graduate education, and professional education. They are the core of society’s research enterprise, the source of innovation and ideas. Often called research universities, the multiversities average more than 20,000 students each and have become the...

  5. Part One: The Emergence of the Multiversity

    • 2 The Idea of a University
      (pp. 18-47)

      The multiversity, a vast conglomerate, emerged in the decades after the Second World War. How are we to comprehend this new type of university, this multiversity? We cannot comprehend it without understanding its history, particularly the ideals that it embodies. This fact is crucial to comprehending the multiversity. It makes the multiversity unusual among modern institutions: its history and its ideals are essential to what it is today.

      Clark Kerr in his bookThe Uses of the Universityhas famously written: ‘About eighty-five institutions in the Western world established by 1520 still exist in recognizable forms, with similar functions and...

    • 3 The Uses of the Multiversity in Postindustrial Society
      (pp. 48-83)

      The universities of Oxford and Bologna, Berlin and Edinburgh, represent four ideas of a university – four archetypes. These ideas and traditions evolved across the late nineteenth century and through the twentieth amid industrialization, urbanization, and democratization. After the Second World War, a distinctive new form of university emerged in the United States, one labelled by Clark Kerr as ‘the multiversity.’ The multiversity combines all four archetypes. It combines multiple tasks and conflicting ideas.

      Although the multiversity does not have a Cardinal Newman, in Clark Kerr it has a witty and insightful friend. He first discussed the multiversity in the Godkin...

    • 4 The Multiversity and the Welfare State
      (pp. 84-110)

      The multiversity flourished in the postindustrial society after the Second World War. The economy required new knowledge, skilled graduates, and professionals as never before, and the multiversity obliged.

      Most of the writing about multiversities explains their emergence in this transformation of our economy, in the transformation from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy. Daniel Bell calls it a postindustrial society. In his analysis, Bell divides society into three parts: the social structure, the polity, and the culture. The social structure he defines as the economy, the technology, and the occupational structure of a society. Changes in the social structure brought...

    • 5 A Social Contract: Tasks, Autonomy, and Academic Freedom
      (pp. 111-142)

      To fully comprehend the multiversity, we must understand its relationship to the society that supports it. The multiversity has emerged as a vital institution of postindustrial democracies, taking on many tasks for society. The public, through its governments and through tuition fees, provides huge sums of money to the multiversity and demands accountability about how those sums are spent.

      How, then, should multiversities be governed, to best fulfil these public purposes and to ensure their accountability? Should multiversities be under the direct control of governments? Should their professors be supervised as civil servants? The answer has always been unequivocal – no....

  6. Part Two: The Character of Our Age

    • 6 The Constrained Welfare State
      (pp. 145-177)

      Part One set out the nature of the multiversity and explored its history and how it came to be the dominant institutional form for universities in the Anglo-American world. Today, early in the twenty-first century, our age brings new forces of change. How will multiversities adapt to the character of our age? What are the crucial issues that will shape the multiversity over the next ten years? These are the questions of Part Two.

      After discussion and reflection, and after surveying the current literature about universities, I have selected five characteristics of our age that will crucially shape the multiversities...

    • 7 The Information Technology Revolution
      (pp. 178-221)

      We live in extraordinary times. We are living during a technological revolution. Advances in computing, communications, and information technologies are so rapid, so extensive, and so transforming as to constitute a revolution comparable to the industrial revolutions. This is changing the way things are made, the way institutions are organized, and the way we communicate. The character of our age is defined by the information technology revolution.

      The first industrial revolution began in the mid-eighteenth century propelled by the invention of the steam engine, the spinning jenny and other textile machinery, and new techniques of metallurgy. The second industrial revolution,...

    • 8 Postmodern Thought
      (pp. 222-259)

      This third item on my list of characteristics of our age that will change the multiversity – postmodern thought – is not always found on other people’s lists. The choice was influenced by my experience as dean of the Faculty of Arts, especially reading appointments files and tenure and promotion files of faculty members in the humanities and the social sciences. Postmodern thought appeared in more and more files, and in more and more disciplines. Moreover, in its orientation and epistemology, it is radically different from the other academic work. Also, I came to believe that many of the conflicts on campus,...

    • 9 Commercialization
      (pp. 260-296)

      We live in a commercial age. The ethos of the market economy creeps into more and more areas. Mass marketing and mass media drive out local craft and reflective thought. Everything is commercialized. Even areas always regarded as outside the market, such as education or museums, health care or symphony orchestras, are discussed as market phenomena. Each has products to be bought and sold; suppliers must be entrepreneurial to meet the demands of savvy consumers in an intensely competitive market. In the past, such language would never have been used to talk about universities. Where once universities talked about learning,...

    • 10 Globalization
      (pp. 297-336)

      The final item on my list of characteristics of our age is on virtually everyone’s list. Some of the courses that I teach at the university analyse the role of government in society, and at the beginning of term, as a prelude to our discussions, I often ask my students: What is the nature of our society, and what are the defining characteristics of our age? One characteristic is always identified: globalization. Globalization defines our age and every institution is disrupted by it.

      The impact of globalization is a prominent theme of recent writing about universities. Peter Scott, vice-chancellor of...

  7. Part Three: Renewing the Social Contract

    • 11 The Multiversity and Liberal Democracy
      (pp. 339-380)

      There are many ways to understand the Anglo-American multiversity, its history, and its ideals. I chose to identify four ideas or archetypes of a university and to comprehend the multiversity as a combination of these four ideas of a university in one institution. The first idea is the university as a place of elite undergraduate liberal education – Cardinal Newman’s university. The second idea is the university as a place of professional schools, as in the medieval university with its three ‘higher’ faculties of law, medicine, and theology. The third is the university as a place of graduate education and research...

    • 12 A Liberal Education for Our Age
      (pp. 381-420)

      The multiversity has many tasks. There is no one idea of the multiversity, but many, and the ideas live, however inconsistently, in the same institution. But we should recall Frank Rhodes’s reminder: ‘it is undergraduate teaching, and learning, that is the central task ... Almost everything else universities do depends on it ... It is through undergraduate education that the public encounters the university most directly, and it is on undergraduate education that the health of the research university will stand or fall.’¹

      On my agenda for renewal of the social contract, the top priority is to recognize that the...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 421-444)
  9. References
    (pp. 445-464)
  10. Index
    (pp. 465-475)