Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership between America and Its Colleges and Universities

Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership between America and Its Colleges and Universities

by Holden Thorp, Buck Goldstein


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There is a growing sense of crisis and confusion about the purpose and sustainability of higher education in the United States. In the midst of this turmoil, students are frequently referred to as customers and faculty as employees, educational outcomes are increasingly measured in terms of hiring and salary metrics for graduates, and programs are assessed as profit and loss centers. Despite efforts to integrate business-oriented thinking and implement new forms of accountability in colleges and universities, Americans from all backgrounds are losing confidence in the nation's institutions of higher learning, and these institutions must increasingly confront what has proven to be an unsustainable business model. In Our Higher Calling, Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein draw on interviews with higher education thought leaders and their own experience, inside and outside the academy, to address these problems head on, articulating the challenges facing higher education and describing in pragmatic terms what can and cannot change—and what should and should not change. They argue that those with a stake in higher education must first understand a fundamental compact that has long been at the heart of the American system: a partnership wherein colleges and universities support the development of an educated and skilled citizenry and create new knowledge in exchange for stable public investment and a strong degree of autonomy to pursue research without undue external pressure. By outlining ways to restore this partnership, Thorp and Goldstein endeavor to start a conversation that paves the way for a solution to one of the country's most pressing problems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469646862
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 09/10/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 802,641
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Holden Thorp is provost and Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Buck Goldstein is Professor of the Practice and University Entrepreneur in Residence in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Together, they are the authors of Engines of Innovation, now in its second edition.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Clearly and appealingly written, this book is an important call for universities to reimagine their partnerships with society. Thorp and Goldstein combine the benefits of their own deep experience with interviews with key educational figures and offer insight on nearly every major issue facing universities today. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.—Christopher Newfield, author of The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them

Customer Reviews