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Leadership, Equity, and Social Justice in American Higher Education

A Reader

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Edited By C.P. Gause

Never before have leadership, equity, and social justice been more important and/or critical to the mission of public universities and institutions of higher education. The twenty-first century has ushered in a period of instantaneous feedback, including live newsfeeds, reviews of goods and services, and online streaming events, as well as experiences. Anyone with a smartphone has access to millions of individuals with whom to report his/her affirmation and/or dissatisfaction with individuals, products, or services. Colleges and universities have not been immune to this current climate. The purpose of this volume is to "critique" the current state of American higher education through the lenses of critical theory and critical pedagogy. This volume seeks to impact higher education preparation programs by filling the void in the literature from voices in the field. The contributing authors are a diverse array of scholars and practitioners who are committed to moral and shared leadership, equity and access, and social justice.

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Introduction (C. P. Gause)

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INTRODUCTION



C. P. Gause

NEVER BEFORE HAS LEADERSHIP, EQUITY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE been more important and/or critical to the mission of public universities and institutions of higher education. The 21st century has ushered in a period of instantaneous feedback, to include live newsfeeds, reviews of goods and services, and online streaming of events, as well as experiences. Anyone with a smartphone has access to millions of individuals to report their affirmation and/or dissatisfaction with individuals, products or service. Colleges and universities have not been immune to this current climate. In fact, today’s students—“The Millennials” are the force behind the current state of our society. They are the largest population of “knowledge producers” and “knowledge consumers,” in the United States.

The structure of higher education in the United States is derived from the German research university and the British undergraduate college. The system is influenced by several factors to include capitalism and the rationality of market competition and currently a commitment to social mobility, democracy, and equal opportunity. The latter did not come about until well into the 20th century. Historically, higher education was for the “elites.” White wealthy land-owners who could send their young men to college, “for a proper education.” As the United States went through social and economic change; those who were historically excluded from institutions of higher education were able to participate in the enterprise as it became a “gateway” to the middle class. This...

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