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This book gives a nice overview of the US higher education system. For people in the system, these background discussions take up a lot of time on obvious things. But for people who know little about the system, they may be useful.
There are a few nice nuggets about possible university reforms. But, on the whole, the book is shallowest when it talks about potential innovations like those offered by technology. The book tends to settle for vague generalities about reaching out to new constituencies and finding better ways to measure learning. There are better resources for those interested in learning about revolutionary ideas in education.
Finally, and understandably, this book places great emphasis on the roles of university presidents and other administrative leaders. In 35 years as a professor, I have never seen a fundamental innovation in education or research emanate from the president's office. Presidents can support initiatives, but all of the really important ideas come from the faculty. That said, almost all of the resistance to change also comes from the faculty. So change in higher education will be the result of a delicate dance within the faculty. I don't think a book by a former university president can illuminate this aspect of university life.
Bottom line - I found this to be a worthwhile read, but not an exceptional one and not one worthy of the length of the book.
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What did you love best about Higher Education in America?
A measured analysis of key issues shaping higher education.
Would you be willing to try another book from Derek Bok? Why or why not?
What three words best describe Steven Cooper’s voice?
Robotic, but clear.
Any additional comments?
An important addition to the library of anyone that needs to understand higher education in North America.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful