In Transforming the Urban University, Richard M. Freeland reviews how Northeastern University in Boston, historically an access-oriented, private urban university serving commuter students from modest backgrounds and characterized by limited academic ambitions and local reach, transformed itself into a selective, national, and residential research university. Having served as president during a critical decade in this transition, Freeland recounts the school's efforts to retain key features from Northeastern's urban history—an emphasis on undergraduate teaching and learning, a curriculum focused on preparing students for the workplace, its signature program of cooperative education, and its broad involvement in the life of the city—while at the same time raising admission standards, recruiting students on a regional and national basis, improving graduation rates, expanding opportunities for research and graduate education and dramatically improving its U.S. News ranking. Freeland situates the Northeastern story within the evolving context of urban higher education as well as broader trends among American universities during the second half of the twentieth century. He documents the way Northeastern maintained its historic values while making innovative use of modern marketing techniques to meet the competitive conditions of the academic marketplace. He shows how Northeastern rejected the standard model of the modern research university and instead reinvented itself as a new kind of urban university: making excellence in the undergraduate experience its top priority; stressing practice-oriented education and research; and emphasizing the academic benefits of its urban setting as well as the importance of contributing to the well-being of its host city. In chronicling Northeastern's recovery from what the school's trustees called a "near-death" experience, Freeland challenges the conventional narrative of what a university must do to achieve top-tier national status.
The chapters in this book are revised versions of papers initially presented at a confer ence on Universities and their cities held in Amsterdam on March 27-29 1996. There were about one hundred participants and 45 written contributions from Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. People with different disciplinary backgrounds, geographers, historians, sociologists, economists and planners among them, attended, as did a few university administrators and local government officials. The intricate relationships between universities and their cities were intensively debated from the perspective of possible contributions by the university to city life as well as from the angle of the city as a milieu that affects the university's functioning. There were theoretical and historical papers, and a series of case studies, some of them comparative, as well as proposals and descriptions of efforts to improve city-university relations. It was a fruitful occasion for many on account of the diversity of experience brought together for the purpose of a debate on a matter of common interest. The vari ous university settings within Amsterdam were visited during a guided tour that pro vided food for thought on the matters under discussion by means of a living example.
Today, a majority of American college students attend school in cities. But throughout the nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries, urban colleges and universities faced deep hostility from writers, intellectuals, government officials, and educators who were concerned about the impact of cities, immigrants, and commuter students on college education. In Universities and Their Cities, Steven J. Diner explores the roots of American colleges’ traditional rural bias. Why were so many people, including professors, uncomfortable with nonresident students? How were the missions and activities of urban universities influenced by their cities? And how, improbably, did much-maligned urban universities go on to profoundly shape contemporary higher education across the nation? Surveying American higher education from the early nineteenth century to the present, Diner examines the various ways in which universities responded to the challenges offered by cities. In the years before World War II, municipal institutions struggled to “build character” in working class and immigrant students. In the postwar era, universities in cities grappled with massive expansion in enrollment, issues of racial equity, the problems of “disadvantaged” students, and the role of higher education in addressing the “urban crisis.” Over the course of the twentieth century, urban higher education institutions greatly increased the use of the city for teaching, scholarly research on urban issues, and inculcating civic responsibility in students. In the final decades of the century, and moving into the twenty-first century, university location in urban areas became increasingly popular with both city-dwelling students and prospective resident students, altering the long tradition of anti-urbanism in American higher education. Drawing on the archives and publications of higher education organizations and foundations, Universities and Their Cities argues that city universities brought about today’s commitment to universal college access by reaching out to marginalized populations. Diner shows how these institutions pioneered the development of professional schools and PhD programs. Finally, he considers how leaders of urban higher education continuously debated the definition and role of an urban university. Ultimately, this book is a considered and long overdue look at the symbiotic impact of these two great American institutions: the city and the university.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs. Subcommittee on Policy Research and Insurance
Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Policy Research and Insurance of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session, October 28, 1991
Author: United States. Congress. House. Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs. Subcommittee on Policy Research and Insurance
Category: Community development, Urban
At the hearing recorded in this document, which was held at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama, testimony and prepared statements were received concerning the role of urban universities in economic and community development, with special attention to other forms of incentives that the Federal Government could be providing to city/university partnerships over and above those contained in the Urban Grant University Program. Additionally, testimony was heard from representatives of the city of Birmingham and the University of Alabama about projects taking place in that city. Among those providing prepared statements and/or giving testimony were the following: William Bell, Chairman, Committee on Economic Development, Birmingham City Council; Michael Dobbins, Director, Department of Urban Planning, City of Birmingham; Cleveland Hammonds, Superintendent of Schools, City of Birmingham; Jim Harrison, President, Association of Urban Universities; and Kenneth Roozen, Vice President for Research and University Affairs, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Among the additional materials included are articles from the Reader's Digest and The New York Times concerning university/community partnerships in community development. (GLR)
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Education and Labor. Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education
After a generation of pathbreaking scholarship that has reoriented and enlightened our perception of the American city, the two volumes of the Encyclopedia of American Urban History offer both a summary and an interpretation of the field. With contributions from leading academics in their fields, this authoritative resource offers an interdisciplinary approach by covering topics from economics, geography, anthropology, politics, and sociology.
Berube examines the political matrix of intellectual and cultural America. In a wide-ranging series of essays from the rise of the postmodern intellectual to a modernist appreciation of the spiritual quality of the paintings of Jackson Pollock, Berube stakes out his claim that all areas of human endeavor are rooted in a politics of culture. The essay collection is divided into three sections: The first two essays deal with the postmodern intellectual and the corporate university; the second section plumbs the depth of a conservative school reform movement and asks whether we have not reached an end to education reform. The last section contains essays pertaining to precarious state of arts education in the schools, reflections on a modernist literary canon, the contribution of Pollock and plumbing alternative views of Jesus as the penultimate revolutionary. Of particular interest to scholars, students, and other researchers involved with cultural studies and education.
History of Higher Education Annual, Volume 23 provides insight into the struggle for civil rights and desegregation of Southern higher education, illuminating how this conflict affected private, historically black colleges and white denominational colleges, while interpreting the dynamics of segregation and desegregation in South Carolina. Other contributions examine town-gown relations for Harvard students in the eighteenth century and the challenge of creating an urban public university in Chicago. Review essays examine the demographic and cultural transformation of British higher education and the curious phenomenon of historical encyclopedias of individual colleges and universities. History of Higher Education Annual will be of interest to historians, sociologists, educational policymakers as well as those concerned with the future of higher education in the United States and throughout the world. Roger L. Geiger is Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the Pennsylvania State University. He has edited the History of Higher Education Annual since 1993. His two volumes Research and Relevant Knowledge and To Advance Knowledge (both published by Transaction) cover the history of universities in the United States during the twentieth century.