Higher Education Cannot Escape History

Issues for the Twenty-first Century

By Clark Kerr

Series: SUNY series, Frontiers in Education
Paperback : 9780791417089, 266 pages, December 1993
Hardcover : 9780791417072, 266 pages, December 1993

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Table of contents

Prologue: Central Issues and Converging Solutions

I. The Nation-State and the Internationalization of the Enterprise of Learning


1. Allegiances: The Nation-State and the World of Learning
2. Current Contradictions: Univeralism versus Nationalism in the University World
Annex: Global Perspective in Education

II. Heritage versus Equality versus Merit


3. Accumulated Heritage Faces Modern Imperatives
4. "Equality": Rising Controversies over What It Means
5. Meritocratic Higher Education in a World of Universal-Access Higher Education

III. Differentiation versus Homogenization of Function among Institutions of Higher Education


6. A Twenty-first-Century Convergence Model of Higher Education--both Universal Access and Advancement of Merit
7. The Research and Advanced Training Component within the Convergence Model
8. The California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960: An Ex Ante View
Annex: A Digest of the California Master Plan

IV. Knowledge Ethics and the New Academic Culture


9. The Academic Ethic and the Professoriate: A "Disintegrating Profession"?
10. Academic Citizenship in Decline

V. Missions and Purposes: The Many Choices

Annex: Alternative Approaches to Higher Education

11. Mission of the University Reesxamined
12. The Purposes of Higher Education in the United States
Annex: Other Statements of Purposes of Higher Education

VI. Competing Visions of the Future


13. Ice Age or New Horizons--"The Wheel of Education"
14. Higher Education and External History Cannot Escape Each Other

Epilogue: Looking Backward to Look Forward



As we approach the end of the twentieth century and enter the twenty-first, the nation's system of colleges and universities, as well as higher education around the world, will face some enduring conflicts and contradictions—the basic challenges that must be confronted and solved again and again in every generation. These include nationalization versus internationalization in higher education, merit in academic pursuits versus equality of treatment, the preservation of the past versus improvement of the present or changes in the future, differentiation of functions among higher education institutions versus their homogenization in a world of mass access, and commitment to ethical conduct in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge versus exploitation of the process for individual gain.

This book outlines possible solutions to these dilemmas that will enable higher education to continue to serve its own imperatives as well as contribute to the quality of life around the world in the coming years and decades.

Clark Kerr is President Emeritus and former Chancellor and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the former Chair of the Carnegie Commission (and later Council) on Higher Education, and the former Chair and Director of a National Commission on Strengthening Presidential Leadership under the auspices of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He is the author of The Great Transformation in Higher Education, 1960-1980, and Troubled Times for American Higher Education: The 1990s and Beyond, both published by SUNY Press, and The Uses of the University.


"Clark Kerr's experience and his distinct perspective form the basis for an utterly unique and valuable statement. This book ties together important lines of thought and offers highly original perspectives on the comparative state of higher education among leading nations. It is obvious that a widely experienced person with a deep grasp of the subject is doing creative and constructive work. Kerr's book is in a class by itself. " — David W. Leslie, Florida State University