THE USES OF THE UNIVERSITY

THE USES OF THE UNIVERSITY

CLARK KERR
Copyright Date: 2001
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 288
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpqkr
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    THE USES OF THE UNIVERSITY
    Book Description:

    America's university president extraordinaire adds a new chapter and preface to The Uses of the University, probably the most important book on the modern university ever written. This summa on higher education brings the research university into the new century. The multiversity that Clark Kerr so presciently discovered now finds itself in an age of apprehension with few certainties. Leaders of institutions of higher learning can be either hedgehogs or foxes in the new age. Kerr gives five general points of advice on what kinds of attitudes universities should adopt. He then gives a blueprint for action for foxes, suggesting that a few hedgehogs need to be around to protect university autonomy and the public weal. "No book ever written has provided such a penetrating description of the modern research university or offered such insightful comments on its special tensions and problems … Anyone wishing to understand the American research university—past, present, and future—must begin with a careful reading of this book." —Derek Bok, President Emeritus, Harvard University

    eISBN: 978-0-674-28819-5
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE, 2001: A New Century for Higher Education
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. PREFACE, 1963
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. 1 THE IDEA OF A MULTIVERSITY
    (pp. 1-34)

    The university started as a single community—a community of masters and students. It may even be said to have had a soul in the sense of a central animating principle. Today the large American university is, rather, a whole series of communities and activities held together by a common name, a common governing board, and related purposes. This great transformation is regretted by some, accepted by many, gloried in, as yet, by few. But it should be understood by all.

    The university of today can perhaps be understood, in part, by comparing it with what it once was—with...

  6. 2 THE REALITIES OF THE FEDERAL GRANT UNIVERSITY
    (pp. 35-63)

    Two great impacts, beyond all other forces, have molded the modern American university system and made it distinctive. Both impacts have come from sources outside the universities. Both have come primarily from the federal government. Both have come in response to national needs.

    The first was the land grant movement. Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862. This act set the tone for the development of American universities, both public and private, for most of the ensuing hundred years. It was one of the most seminal pieces of legislation ever enacted.

    The land grant movement came in response to...

  7. 3 THE FUTURE OF THE CITY OF INTELLECT
    (pp. 64-95)

    “The true American University,” David Starr Jordan once observed, “lies in the future.” It still does; for American universities have not yet developed their full identity, their unique theory of purpose and function. They still look to older and to foreign models, although less and less; and the day is coming when these models will no longer serve at all.

    The task of prophecy is made difficult by the many internal and external cross-currents to which universities are exposed. Archibald MacLeish wrote in 1941: “Like other private institutions, Harvard must face the fact that gifts to the university in the...

  8. 4 RECONSIDERATIONS AFTER THE REVOLTS OF THE 1960’s
    (pp. 96-113)

    Much has happened to higher education and to the United States since these lectures were written in the early spring of 1963 and presented at Harvard toward the end of April of that year. That was a conservative period in higher education—not in the sense that nothing was happening, for a great deal was, but in the sense that what was happening was mostly adding quantity and quality to what was already being done. The directions then generally appeared to be quite clear to most: to accommodate the tidal wave of students and to expand and improve research capabilities,...

  9. 5 ATTEMPTED REFORMS THAT FAILED
    (pp. 114-140)

    Once again, much has happened to higher education and to the United States since these lectures were written in the early spring of 1963 and even since the 1972 postscript. To higher education: the student revolts, affirmative action and the Bakke case, the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 with vast new sums for student aid, universal access to higher education instead of the earlier mass access, a turn in the labor market against the college graduate, increasing middle-class hedonism among parents and its counterpart of “me-ism” among students, the first impacts of the demographic depression, and much else. To the...

  10. 6 COMMENTARIES ON THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY
    (pp. 141-163)

    The half century 1940–1990 was a largely golden age for the research university in the United States. I set forth below, as of 1994, some reflections on what I earlier wrote about this period, from the current perspective that some major developments now taking place may signal a new age.

    The “hinge of history” can be seen even more dramatically in 1994 than in 1963. Federal research funds have risen about four times over since 1960—the federal grant research university was then only in its infancy, and student enrollment for all institutions of higher education has gone up...

  11. 7 A NEW AGE? FROM INCREASING FEDERAL RICHES TO INCREASING STATE POVERTY
    (pp. 164-183)

    The American research university has thus far experienced four ages (the fourth only beginning), with, of course, more to come:

    1.Origins: 1810–01870.The German model became increasingly attractive, initially only to a small number of American faculty members and presidents, after the founding of the University of Berlin in 1809. The establishment of Johns Hopkins in 1876 was the clearest single triumph for the German model. This development was joined by the creation of the land grant model by federal action in 1862.

    2. Slow growth: 1870–1940.Many universities, both private and public, devoted more and more attention...

  12. 8 HARD CHOICES
    (pp. 184-197)

    Research universities, as well as all of American higher education, face some “hard choices”¹ which they are ill equipped to make. The response so far has been mostly the “politics of caution,”² and no presidential “giants” have as yet emerged to take leadership; indeed, it is problematical how many will. Those who do will be engaged in protecting the academic core against the periphery and the excellent versus the mediocre, in encouraging better use of high schools and extension programs and the new technology to replace on-campus classroom instruction at the lower levels of competency, in making selective academic decisions...

  13. 9 THE “CITY OF INTELLECT” IN A CENTURY FOR THE FOXES?
    (pp. 198-230)

    In 1963 in the Godkin Lectures at Harvard, I referred to the American research university as a “City of Intellect”—a very busy place with a multiplicity of activities, many of them unrelated to one another, and I guessed at its future.² I chose the term, City of Intellect, to contrast the research university with the “village” of the liberal arts college composed of close friends and colleagues, and with the “oneindustry” towns of the schools of agriculture and law and medicine, standing alone or grouped together in polytechnics with a single-minded devotion to one profession or industry. The twentieth...

  14. NOTES
    (pp. 231-252)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 253-261)