Higher Education in the Information Age / Edition 1

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College and university education has long been a material and intellectual luxury in American life. Fewer than 38 percent of Americans have ever attended college, and only about half that number hold bachelor's degrees. While post-World War Two legislation greatly democratized higher education, the editors of this volume contend that the system has never been a public stewardship. Many universities are devoted to private sector research rather than public learning, to productivity rather than democratic discourse, and because of diminished financial opportunities, increasingly exclude poor, working and lower middle class students, many of them people of color.

The contributors to this volume recognize that the American system of higher education is the most open and egalitarian in the world. Largely for this reason, it is the only American institution which today enjoys a positive balance of trade. Many more foreign students come to study at American universities than do Americans go to study abroad. The study of higher education in an information age means examining higher education. The place of economics in decision-making is as a vehicle for social mobility.

The volume covers a myriad of themes: the role of media ranking universities, and their contribution to low expectations of universities; the disjunction between massive support for college and university sports events and the intellectual and presumed academic missions of these institutions of higher learning; and boosterism as a general phenomenon in funding. Yet, editors and contributors alike emphasize new currents in the educational agenda. The essays cover efforts to close the gap between the mutual recriminations of universities and media leaders. The theme of this volume is that there is a crisis in higher education and a crisis hi knowledge—who produces it, controls it, uses it, and benefits by it. Properly understood, the issues common to both higher education and the media have profound implications for public life.

This volume is critical of current practices, but also mindful that the university remains a place in which civil forms of discourse are central, and hence of great potential benefit to the dissemination of information and ideas as such. It will be of interest to professional interested hi communication and education.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560006510
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 181

Meet the Author

Everette E. Dennis is Felix E. Larkin Distinguished Professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business, where he serves as chair of the Communication and Media Management Department and as director of the Center for Communications. Some of his books include Beyond the Cold War, Justice Black and the First Amendment, and Radio—The Forgotten Medium. Craig L. LaMay is director of media research at the Urban Institute, Northwestern University. Before that, he served as editor of Media Studies Journal. He is co-editor, with Everette E. Dennis, of America’s Schools and the Mass Media and Higher Education in the Information Age.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Higher Education in the Information Age 1
1 Mixed (Up) Messages: Universities and the Media 5
Pt. I The Information Factory
2 Social Knowledge and Market Knowledge 21
3 Acquiring an Alma Mater or Achieving an Education 33
4 Gumshoes at the Gates 45
5 The "Ivy Leaguers" 53
6 Scholarship in the Public Interest: Notes from a Soundbite 61
7 Publicize or Perish 67
8 College Sports Inc. 73
Pt. II Journalism in the University
9 Grub Street in the Groves of Academe 87
10 The Best Campus Dailies 97
11 Journalism Education: Is There a More Meaningful "There" There? 105
Pt. III Wired Campuses
12 The World at Our Fingertips 115
13 The Silicon Scholar 125
Pt. IV Free Expression on Campus
14 How Free Is Higher Education? 137
15 The Tyranny of Virtue 145
Pt. V Book Review
16 The Academy and Its Discontents 153
Index 169
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