Crisis on Campus

Crisis on Campus

A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities

Book - 2010 | 1st ed.
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A provocative look at the troubled present state of American higher education and a passionately argued and learned manifesto for its future.

In Crisis on Campus, Mark C. Taylor--chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University and a former professor at Williams College--expands on and refines the ideas presented in his widely read and hugely controversial 2009 New York Times op-ed. His suggestions for the ivory tower are both thought-provoking and rigorous: End tenure. Restructure departments to encourage greater cooperation among existing disciplines. Emphasize teaching rather than increasingly rarefied research. And bring that teaching to new domains, using emergent online networks to connect students worldwide.

As a nation, he argues, we fail to make such necessary and sweeping changes at our peril. Taylor shows us the already-rampant consequences of decades of organizational neglect. We see promising graduate students in a distinctly unpromising job market, relegated--if they're lucky--to positions that take little advantage of their training and talent. We see recent undergraduates with massive burdens of debt, and anxious parents anticipating the inflated tuitions we will see in ten or twenty years. We also see students at all levels chafing under the restrictions of traditional higher education, from the structures of assignments to limits on courses of study. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Accommodating the students of today and anticipating those of tomorrow, attuned to schools' financial woes and the skyrocketing cost of education, Taylor imagines a new system--one as improvisational, as responsive to new technologies and as innovative as are the young members of the iPod and Facebook generation.

In Crisis on Campus, we have an iconoclastic, necessary catalyst for a national debate long overdue.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307593290
Branch Call Number: 378.73 T244
Characteristics: 240 p. ; 20 cm.

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gwsuperfan Nov 25, 2010

While some of the ideas presented in this book may help to improve higher education, others struck me as likely to have at best a neutral effect, and some struck me as likely to accelerate the decline of the quality of graduates of colleges and universities. The book does not address the elephant in the room of many students being woefully unprepared for college, which results in wasted time in classrooms as those students are brought up to speed.

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