Author: Steven Brint
Crushing student debt, rapidly eroding state funding, faculty embroiled in speech controversies, a higher education market disrupted by online competition — today’s headlines suggest that universities’ power to advance knowledge and shape American society is rapidly declining. But Steven Brint, a renowned analyst of academic institutions, has tracked numerous trends demonstrating their vitality, according to a review on the website of Princeton University Press. After a recent period that witnessed soaring student enrolment and ample research funding, universities, he argues, are in a better position than ever before.
Focusing on the years 1980–2015, Brint details the trajectory of US universities, which was influenced by evolving standards of disciplinary professionalism, market-driven partnerships (especially with scientific and technological innovators outside academia), and the goal of social inclusion. Opportunities for economic mobility are expanding even as academic expectations decline.