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Aprovocative look at the troubled state of American higher education and a passionately argued and learned manifesto for its future. In a widely read and hugely controversial 2009New York Timesop-ed piece, Mark C. Taylor (chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University and former professor at Williams College) proposed sweeping changes for our colleges and universities. Now Taylor expands and refines the ideas presented in that piece-wildly unpopular with most faculty, but wildly popular with students and parents. Taylorrs"s suggestions are both thought-provoking and rigorous: from ending tenure, re-envisioning departments, and encouraging greater cooperation within the university to emphasizing teaching rather than increasingly rarified research and including the use of online networks to connect students worldwide. He aims to accommodate the students of today while anticipating those of tomorrow, remaining attuned to schoolsrs" financial woes and the skyrocketing cost of education. In the end, Taylor imagines a system as improvisational, as responsive to new technologies, and as innovative as are the young members of the iPod and Facebook generation. InCrisis on Campus,we have a bold and necessary catalyst for a long overdue national debate.
Mark C. Taylor is chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University, professor of philosophy of religion at Union Theological Seminary, and professor emeritus of humanities at Williams College. His many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Foundation National Professor of the Year award. He is a frequent contributor to the op-ed page of The New York Times and has also written for the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and New York City.