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Colleges at the Crossroads

Taking Sides on Contested Issues


Edited By Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso

Focusing on crucial issues in higher education, this book challenges readers to go beyond taken-for-granted assumptions about America’s colleges and universities and instead critically examine important questions facing them in today’s troubled world. Each chapter presents divergent perspectives, that is, "pro" and "con" views, in the hope of stimulating reasoned dialogue among students, faculty, administrators, and the public at large. Readers will explore how internal factors in the academic community often interact with external social, economic, and political influences to produce conflictual results. They will see that academe is hardly value-neutral and inevitably political. This book urges them to transcend strident political persuasion and instead engage in the careful analysis needed to make colleges better.

The text provides in-depth appraisal of key topics of controversy: the purposes of higher education, liberal education, academic freedom, political correctness, tenure, shared governance, faculty workload, admissions tests, student learning, Greek life, the worth of college, equity and social justice, athletics, student entitlement, technology and distance instruction, and college amenities. The book will appeal to students, faculty, staff, and all those interested in the future of higher education. It is especially useful for courses in contemporary issues in higher education, foundations of higher education, higher education and society, college student development, and the organization and administration of higher education.

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Mark Bauman is an assistant professor and program coordinator for the Counseling and College Student Affairs program at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Prior to assuming those positions, Mark spent 14 years in various student affairs roles at BU, including residence life and judicial affairs. Since 2009, Mark has focused his research and service efforts on student-veterans and was one of the first to write and speak about that population. Mark is currently in the United States Coast Guard Reserve.

Paul Gordon Brown is Director of Curriculum, Training, and Research for Roompact, a technology software company, where he conducts research on social media’s impact on college student development and identity. He has over 15 years of professional experience in higher education and student affairs in a variety of functional areas, including as an instructor in the Boston College and Merrimack College higher education programs. Dr. Brown has given over 50 refereed presentations at international and regional conferences.

Lindsey M. Burke is the Will Skillman Fellow in Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation. She researches and writes on federal and state education issues. Her work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines, and she has been featured on education reform nationally and internationally, including on radio and television. Ms. Burke also serves on the Speaker’s Bureau for the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and has conducted in-depth evaluations of education savings account use for the Foundation. A Ph.D. student in education policy and research methodology at...

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