Download Dynamics of the Contemporary University: Growth, Accretion, by Neil J. Smelser PDF

By Neil J. Smelser

This booklet is an increased model of the Clark Kerr Lectures of 2012, added via Neil Smelser on the collage of California at Berkeley in January and February of that yr. The preliminary exposition is of a concept of change—labeled structural accretion—that has characterised the heritage of yankee better schooling, in general (but no longer completely) of universities. The essence of the idea is that associations of upper schooling steadily upload services, buildings, and constituencies as they develop, yet seldom shed them, yielding more and more complicated buildings. the 1st lectures hint the a number of ramifications of this precept into different arenas, together with the essence of complexity within the educational surroundings, the solidification of educational disciplines and departments, adjustments in college roles and the tutorial neighborhood, the expansion of political constituencies, educational management and governance, and educational stratification via status. In final, Smelser analyzes a couple of modern developments and difficulties which are superimposed at the already-complex constructions of upper schooling, resembling the diminishing public aid with no adjustments of governance and responsibility, the expanding trend of commercialization in greater schooling, the expansion of distance-learning and for-profit associations, and the impressive development of transitority and part-time college.

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Extra resources for Dynamics of the Contemporary University: Growth, Accretion, and Conflict (Clark Kerr Lectures on the Role of Higher Education in Society)

Example text

It also echoed into subsequent boomlets of children as it reached reproductive age—and gave rise to talk of “tidal waves” of population derived from the original bulge. One peculiar feature of demographic goats is that their ingestion sometimes follows a period of starvation and is sometimes followed by another one; the birth rate of the 1950s and 1960s is again an example, following the small cohorts of he depression years, and experiencing the relative shrinkage afterward. The effect was a period of underdemand, followed by a massive growth, followed by a period of excess capacity and then slower growth if not stagnation in the 1970s.

Internationalization of disciplines only extends the problem, as do opportunities for rapid electronic communication outside the community and nation. What university community remains is “a whole series of communities” (Kerr 1963: 1), and perhaps a residual general community that is largely imagined or supposed, one proclaimed on ceremonial occasions by campus leaders and governing boards, at athletic events, and in times of political crisis. If I may end this chapter on a personal, somewhat ironic note, I confess that I often feel that my university is a community, that I am a member of it, and that I love it as a community.

Internationalization of disciplines only extends the problem, as do opportunities for rapid electronic communication outside the community and nation. What university community remains is “a whole series of communities” (Kerr 1963: 1), and perhaps a residual general community that is largely imagined or supposed, one proclaimed on ceremonial occasions by campus leaders and governing boards, at athletic events, and in times of political crisis. If I may end this chapter on a personal, somewhat ironic note, I confess that I often feel that my university is a community, that I am a member of it, and that I love it as a community.

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