Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great American University

Nothing like a week of snow to help you plow through a 600 page book on the university. Jonathan R. Cole, The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence; Its Indispensable National Role; Why It Must Be Protected (New York: Public Affairs, 2009) is the best book on the research university I have read. It provides a history, examines the characteristics of great universities, considers the nature of research, and provides considerable information about funding trends and implications, how innovation happens, academic freedom issues, political matters plaguing the university, global competition, and discoveries in the medical, physical sciences and engineering, and social science and humanities areas. Cole also provides a good balance between science/technology and the humanities. Worth reading.

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