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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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: DeVitis, Joseph L., editor. | Sasso, Pietro A., editor. Title: Colleges at the crossroads: taking sides on contested issues / edited by Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso. Description: New York: Peter Lang. Series: Counterpoints: studies in criticality; v. 517 | ISSN 1058-1634 Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2017021599 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3421-0 (pbk.: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3422-7 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-4580-3 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-4581-0 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4582-7 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Education, Higher—Aims and objectives—United States. Education, Higher—Effect of technological innovations on—United States. Education, Higher—Economic aspects—United States. Academic freedom—United States. College teachers—Tenure—United States. College teachers—Workload—United States. College students—Social conditions—United States. College sports—Moral and ethical aspects—United States. Universities and colleges—United States—Administration. Classification: LA227.4 .C6444 | DDC 378.73—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b11364

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2018 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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