Reviews -- Higher Education Cannot Escape History: Issues for the Twenty-First Century by Clark Kerr

Article excerpt

Kerr, Clark (1994). Higher Education Cannot Escape History: Issues for the Twenty-First Century, Albany: State University of New York Press. 248 pp. Paperback, $19.95.

This review is written in the wake of reading Maurine Beasley's AEJMC presidential address and an article here and there about the state of journalism education. Our changing niche in the teaching profession discussed by Prof. Beasley and others inescapably must fit within the parameters described, outlined. and, sometimes, prescribed, in this volume by Clark Kerr, one-time president of the University of California and chief architect of the California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960. The many problems of journalism education must be solved within contemporary university and college frameworks. If not, we will become extinct, or, at best, relegated to appendage status in departments and programs seen to be more relevant to the 21st century. Reading Kerr's book would be a good thing for all of us.

The book is neither long nor easy reading. It is short and well organized. Major sections include: The Nation-State and the Internationalization of the Enterprise of Learning; Heritage versus Equality versus Merit; Differentiation versus Homogenization of Functions Among Institutions of Higher Education; Knowledge Ethics; and the New Academic Culture, Missions, and Purposes: The Many Choices, and Competing Visions of the Future.

Thus, the book is a crash course in the history and philosophy of higher education, well documented and logically ordered. The difficulty comes in the rather hodge-podge assembling of all this. …