The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence, Its Indispensable National Role, Why It Must Be Protected

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-10
  • Publisher: Perseus Books Group
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Although America's universities have become the envy of the world for their creative energy and their production of transformative knowledge, few understand how and why they have become preeminent. This groundbreaking book traces the origins and the evolution of our great universities. It shows how they grew out of sleepy colleges at the turn of the twentieth century into powerful institutions that continue to generate new industries and advance our standard of living. Far from inevitable, this transformation was enabled by a highly competitive system that invested public tax dollars in university research and students while granting universities substantial autonomy. Today, America's universities face considerable threats. Even greater than foreign competition are the threats from within the United States. Under the Bush administration, government increasingly imposed ideological constraints on the freedom of academic inquiry. Restrictive visa policies instituted after 9/11 continue to discourage talented foreign graduate students from training in the United States. The international financial crisis, which has depleted university endowments and state investments in higher education, threatens the vitality of some of our greatest institutions of higher learning. In order to sustain and enhance the American tradition of excellence, we must nurture this powerful-yet underappreciated-national resource.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Rise to Preeminencep. 9
The Idea of a Universityp. 11
Coming of Age in Tumultuous Timesp. 45
The Path to Greatnessp. 75
Building Steeples of Excellencep. 109
In Search of a Golden Agep. 145
Growing Painsp. 175
Discoveries That Alter Our Livesp. 191
Finding a Smoother Pebble: A National System of Innovationp. 193
It Began with a Fly: Genetics, Genomics, and Medical Researchp. 207
Buckyballs, Bar Codes, and the GPS: Our Origins, Our Planet, Our Security and Safetyp. 245
Nosce te Ipsum: Culture, Society, and Valuesp. 299
Facing Challenges and Looking Forwardp. 343
Academic Freedom and Free Inquiryp. 345
The Enemy Is Usp. 387
"Political" Sciencep. 419
Trouble in Paradise?p. 451
Acknowledgmentsp. 511
Top-Ranked American Research Universitiesp. 515
An Online Source of Information About University Discoveriesp. 519
Notesp. 521
Indexp. 581
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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