For centuries, universities have claimed a special institutional status, one
that society has been willing to grant in exchange for an increasingly large
and varied set of educational, research, service and related activities. We
will explore the question of whether this bargain can be sustained in a world
where there is increasing emphasis on “accountability” and the pecuniary
value of college education. The University enjoys special freedoms and
privileges, and the faculty enjoys great autonomy. Under what terms can
this relationship be sustained? What is at risk if it cannot be sustained?
This seminar will examine these broad questions, current issues, and controversies, including the value of undergraduate education, research, the role(s) of the research university in promoting economic and social opportunity, controversies over the content and quality of education and student life, and much more.
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