Higher Education in America Derek Bok, ISBN-13: 978-0691159140

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Higher Education in America by Derek Bok, ISBN-13: 978-0691159140

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  • Publisher: ‎ Princeton University Press (Aug. 25 2013)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • 496 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0691159149
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0691159140

A sweeping assessment of the state of higher education today from former Harvard president Derek Bok.

Higher Education in America is a landmark work–a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the current condition of our colleges and universities from former Harvard president Derek Bok, one of the nation’s most respected education experts. Sweepingly ambitious in scope, this is a deeply informed and balanced assessment of the many strengths as well as the weaknesses of American higher education today. At a time when colleges and universities have never been more important to the lives and opportunities of students or to the progress and prosperity of the nation, Bok provides a thorough examination of the entire system, public and private, from community colleges and small liberal arts colleges to great universities with their research programs and their medical, law, and business schools. Drawing on the most reliable studies and data, he determines which criticisms of higher education are unfounded or exaggerated, which are issues of genuine concern, and what can be done to improve matters.

Some of the subjects considered are long-standing, such as debates over the undergraduate curriculum and concerns over rising college costs. Others are more recent, such as the rise of for-profit institutions and massive open online courses (MOOCs). Additional topics include the quality of undergraduate education, the stagnating levels of college graduation, the problems of university governance, the strengths and weaknesses of graduate and professional education, the environment for research, and the benefits and drawbacks of the pervasive competition among American colleges and universities.

Offering a rare survey and evaluation of American higher education as a whole, this book provides a solid basis for a fresh public discussion about what the system is doing right, what it needs to do better, and how the next quarter century could be made a period of progress rather than decline.

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part I The Context

Foreword (I) 7

Chapter One The American System of Higher Education 9

Chapter Two Purposes, Goals, and Limits to Growth 28

Chapter Three The Governance of Nonprofit Universities 44

Afterword (I) 72

Part II Undergraduate Education

Foreword (II) 77

Chapter Four Going to College and Earning a Degree 81

Chapter Five Paying for College: The Challenge for Policy-Makers and Academic Leaders 98

Chapter Six Entering the Right College 122

Chapter Seven The Expanding Audience for Higher Education 145

Chapter Eight What to Learn 166

Chapter Nine How to Teach 183

Chapter Ten Prospects for Reform 201

Afterword (II) 220

Chapter Eleven Graduate Education

Part III Professional Education

Foreword (III) 249

Chapter Twelve Medical Schools 256

Chapter Thirteen Law Schools 271

Chapter Fourteen Business Schools 287

Afterword (III) 306

Part IV Research

Foreword (IV) 321

Chapter Fifteen “Publish or Perish” 328

Chapter Sixteen The Changing Nature of Scientific Research 342

Chapter Seventeen The Environment for Research 358

Afterword (IV) 377

Part V A Final Reckoning

Foreword (V) 383

Chapter Eighteen Matters of Genuine Concern 387

The Last Word 408

Notes 413

Index 453

Derek Bok is the 300th Anniversary University Research Professor at Harvard University. He served as the twenty-fifth president of Harvard from 1971 to 1991, and he served again as interim president from 2006 to 2007. His many books include Our Underachieving Colleges, Universities in the Marketplace, and the acclaimed best seller The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions (all Princeton).

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