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All the Essential Half-Truths about Higher Education

by George Dennis O'Brien University of Chicago Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 266 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
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In this refreshing and original exploration, George Dennis O'Brien looks at higher education in America. O'Brien argues that to debate intelligently the future of education we must stop focusing on its ideals and look instead at its institutions. He does this by addressing nine half-truths, such as whether ''low cost public education benefits the least advantaged in society,'' and goes on to examine how accurately they reflect the true state of higher education. The result is a thought-provoking discussion of the present challenges and future prospects of American higher education.''O'Brien's historical overview of the transition from th-century denominational colleges to th-century research-driven and largely secular ones is provocative. Cleverly written and well-focused, the book addresses the financial pressures facing higher education and asks vital questions about cutbacks and curricula.''--Publishers Weekly''Lively, engaging, and richly suggestive.'' --Francis Oakley, Commonweal''O'Brien employs calm, powerful reason, without sensationalism. His perspective is illuminating. . . . All the Essential Half-Truths About Higher Education is one of the wisest and most useful treatments of American higher education.'' --John Attarian, Detroit News

Full-Face Preface1: Anyone for Higher Education?2: The Faculty Is the University3: Tenure Is a Necessary Condition of Academic Freedom4: Universities Are Neutral on Moral Value/Universities Teach Moral Value5: The Liberal Arts Curriculum Aims at Distribution/Diversity6: Teaching Is the Primary Task of Higher Education7: The Problem with Higher Education Is the Administration8: Low-Cost Public Education Benefits the Least Advantaged9: The University Is the Axial Institution of Modern Society10: Synthetic Morality11: Ultimate Synthesis: Money, Mission, and ManagementReferences, Acknowledgments, and AfterthoughtsIndex

George Dennis O'Brien was president of Bucknell University and subsequently the University of Rochester until his retirement in 1994. He is the author of ''Hegel on Reason and History, God and the New Haven Railroad," and "What to Expect from College."