Today’s colleges and universities face countless uncharted challenges and possibilities. They are often prized as national treasures, yet, in tough economic times, they are becoming a major focus of contestation and controversy. This richly comprehensive survey takes a frank look at both polarities of the puzzles of academe. Presenting multiple perspectives on a wide array of crucial issues, the book features realistic representations of students, faculty, curriculum, administration, and the socio-cultural conditions that shape higher education. The incisive essays are written by practitioners on the front lines of the academy’s battle to validate and sustain its core principles in a complex, rapidly evolving world. They afford valuable insights into the postsecondary scene for all who seek to nurture its development in these uncertain, troubled times. The text will appeal to students, faculty, administrators, student life professionals, and policymakers who shape human potential. In the end it will leave them with sobering thoughts about the present and future of higher education, an institution that still warrants their constant care and vigilance.