Derek's Bok's Book Harvard President Calls for Universities to Address National Needs

By Terry W. Hartle. Terry W. Hartle is education director of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. | The Christian Science Monitor, October 1, 1990 | Go to article overview

Derek's Bok's Book Harvard President Calls for Universities to Address National Needs


Terry W. Hartle. Terry W. Hartle is education director of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources., The Christian Science Monitor


UNIVERSITIES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA. By Derek Bok, Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 135 pp., $14.95

ASSESSMENTS of Derek Bok's presidency at Harvard usually mention his steady leadership; his success in building the endowment; and the implementation of the widely praised core curriculum. Often overlooked are the contributions he has made to American higher education through his extensive writings.

Every year, Harvard's annual report has included a long essay by Bok addressing a major issue facing Harvard and, by extension, most other colleges and universities. He has also written two books - "Beyond the Ivory Tower: Social Responsibilities of the Modern University" and "Higher Learning" - that address the condition of higher education in more general terms. His most recent book, "Universities and the Future of America," examines the role of universities in helping the nation improve its economic competitiveness and address its social problems.

Given the unparalleled excellence of US research universities, and the importance of these institutions in post-industrial societies, one would reasonably expect that America would be economically dominant and socially unsurpassed. But this is not the case. In Bok's words, " ... we lead most industrial democracies in ignorance and in many of the pathologies of modern civilization while lagging behind in the rate of economic progress."

Bok asks whether universities are doing all they can to help improve national economic growth and social progress. He concludes that they are not. He writes: "Again and again, universities have put a low priority on the very programs and initiatives that are needed most to increase productivity and competitiveness, improve the quality of government, and overcome the problems of illiteracy, miseducation, and unemployment."

In explaining why universities behave this way, Bok argues that they are too responsive to the outside world. They do what their constituencies want and are willing to support, which is not necessarily what the nation always needs. This is not a common view - universities are generally regarded as isolated ivory towers - but Bok makes a good case. For example, investment banking and management consulting were the "hot" business school specialties in the 1980s. The nation needed more emphasis on manufacturing processes and human relations, but these areas did not attract students, talented faculty, or outside funding. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Derek's Bok's Book Harvard President Calls for Universities to Address National Needs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.