A thought-provoking overview of the many challenges facing higher education and how to deal with them by a leading thinker in the field.
Higher education always seems to be in crisis. Governments, foundations, professional associations, and the occasional scornful professor all tend to lament one or another problem plaguing America's colleges and universities. The more apocalyptic claims state that the United States is a "nation at risk," that our students' minds have been closed, or that radical faculty have run amok and are brainwashing our youth.
In Get Real, William G. Tierney, a leading scholar of higher education, cuts through this noise, drawing on his experience and expertise to provide a thought-provoking overview of the many challenges confronting higher education and how to deal with them. In forty-nine short, engaging essays, he aims not to stoke the flames of controversy or promote a particular stance but to provoke creative, forward-looking public discussion about what higher education could and should look like in the twenty-first century. Tierney clearly distills and offers his take on critical issues—from diversity and free speech to the rise of for-profit colleges and student debt—but the goal is always to give readers the background and tools to form their own opinions. Written in a conversational tone and laced with personal anecdotes, Get Real is informed by scholarly literature without being weighed down by it and includes suggestions for further reading.
William G. Tierney is University Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. His many books include Relational Sociology and Research on Schools, Colleges, and Universities (coedited with Suneal Kolluri) and The Problem of College Readiness (coedited with Julia C. Duncheon), both also published by SUNY Press; Diversifying Digital Learning: Online Literacy and Educational Opportunity (coedited with Zoë B. Corwin and Amanda Ochsner); and Rethinking Education and Poverty.
"Bill Tierney has been involved in the trenches and citadels of higher education policy and practice issues. This readable and informative book could be (and should be) required reading for new board members at colleges and universities along with presidents, provosts, and deans. Faculty Senate officers will find this primer to be essential, and it will be readable and refreshing for general audiences such as legislators, parents, and alumni. " — John R. Thelin, author of A History of American Higher Education, Third Edition