The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 26th, 2015
There are two kinds of books about
higher education. The first kind offer prescriptions for the various
ills facing colleges and universities. In that genre, it is common to
not only bash the current system but to recommend that it be swept aside
and replaced by something else entirely. Then there are books by
college presidents. With few exceptions — William Bowen’s prodigious bibliography comes to mind — these tend to be of the valedictory and memoir variety.
It is rare that a sitting president publishes a statement of intent,
but that’s exactly what Arizona State University’s president, Michael M. Crow, and his collaborator, the historian William B. Dabars, have done in Designing the New American University. Like Clark Kerr’s The Uses of the University, which defined American research universities for the last half of the 20th century, it is a road map for the future.