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Higher Education in America
Derek Bok

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"[Higher Education in America is] a magisterial yet often contrarian assessment of challenges facing university governance, teaching, and, indeed, survival."--Jim Sleeper, Huffington Post

"In the past few years, UK government ministers have paid a lot of attention to the American higher education system, and some new ideas introduced in England, at least, have come directly from the US. Higher Education in America, written by a former president of Harvard University, serves to highlight the similarities between issues we face in the UK with those in the US. . . . Easy to read and comprehensive. . . . A useful overview of the state of US higher education in the early 21st century."--Mary Stuart, Times Higher Education

"Monumental. . . . [Bok's] assessment is measured and clear, and we may confidently refer young academics and administrators to Higher Education in America as a primer on current affairs."--Mark Bauerlein, Weekly Standard

"One theme that I found particularly useful in Higher Education in America is Bok's treatment of undergraduate education and curriculum. Bok underlines the value of a broad university education at every level--for the individual, for the business who hires him or her, and for the society. . . . The book is worth reading carefully by faculty leaders and university administrators as they make their best efforts to enhance the educational effectiveness of their programs."--Daniel Little, Understanding Society blog

"Derek Bok asks all the right questions about higher education, and his experience, research, and staggering intelligence pervade every page. The real value here lies in Bok's thorough examination of some of the most urgent challenges facing higher education--and in his spot-on recommendations for what needs to be done to address these concerns. This is an important book for both academics and families looking at a future in higher education."

"Highly recommended for education professionals, policy advocates, and the broad public as a thorough and thoughtful examination that assesses strengths and weaknesses and suggests paths to academic improvement."--Elizabeth Hayford, Library Journal starred review

"Derek Bok . . . has a breathtaking grasp of higher education worldwide, and he states his positions in a lucid and learned manner. Moreover, he presents copious evidence to back his assertions so that the reader who wishes to challenge him knows precisely what data support his contentions."--Edward P. Sheridan, PsycCRITIQUES

"With more than two decades of service as president of Harvard University behind him, Derek Bok has views on higher education that must be taken seriously. . . . Now in Higher Education in America, the Harvard professor offers a comprehensive and up-to-date volume that gathers analysis of these and numerous other topics in one place."--Choice

"Ambitious and thought-provoking, Higher Education in America represents an informed and informative addition to ongoing debates at the national, state, and institutional levels about the aims higher education ought to aspire to and how best to achieve them."--David M. Brown & John Thelin, Teachers College Record


"This is an exceedingly ambitious book. In fact, I know of nothing remotely comparable to it in scope or scale. One of its many refreshing aspects is its unfailing common sense. Bok presents the most balanced account of American higher education that I know of, stating clearly the many things that are right about it, but also highlighting problems and challenges. He has an unerring eye for the right 'big questions,' and readers of all kinds will appreciate his focus on these questions."--William G. Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University

"Informative, provocative, and engaging, this is a very important book that should be of great interest not only to those working in higher education but to everyone else who is concerned about the future of America's colleges and universities. Its value lies in Bok's thorough analysis of some of the most urgent challenges facing higher education--and in his recommendations for actions to address them."--James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus of the University of Michigan

"This book is like a very thorough checkup of a patient by an expert physician. Bok inspects nearly every major organ of the U.S. higher education system, provides a carefully balanced report on each, and concludes that the patient is in good overall health but showing signs of misuse and neglect in certain parts. The book includes exceptionally valuable observations about the system's strengths and weaknesses--and about remedies for some of its problems."--Steven G. Brint, vice provost of the University of California, Riverside

"This is a major contribution to the literature on American higher education. It provides unusually comprehensive coverage and addresses controversies in an exemplary manner, fairly representing different positions and relying on empirical research to reach conclusions. I think this book will have a broad appeal throughout higher education. I can envision most administrators having a copy on their bookshelves, a ready reference and guide for their own pronouncements on the state of higher education."--Roger L. Geiger, Pennsylvania State University

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File created: 9/19/2017

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