Higher Education: Resources and Finance

By Seymour E. Harris | Go to book overview

ABOUT THIS BOOK

CREDENTIALS

In writing a book on the economic aspects of higher education one is likely to be charged with excessive emphasis on material aspects. I am indeed concerned primarily with two problems: how to get more resources into higher education and how to use them more effectively. But we cannot discuss education in one compartment and economics in another. Any allocation of resources must be examined in relation to the increment or decrement of educational product.

In forty years of teaching, almost wholly at Harvard (with two years at Princeton immediately after I received my A.B. at Harvard), I have been much interested in educational issues.* I first became interested in the economic issues of higher education when I wrote a report for the Buck (then provost of Harvard University) Committee on General Education on the economic issues.

In the late 1940s I wrote a book, How Shall We Pay for Education?, in which I urged government to play an enlarged role, and, later, another book, The Market for College Graduates, in which I raised some questions concerning the supply of, and demand for, college graduates. This is a problem that requires continued examination.

But in this book I do not suggest a solution to our economic problems through the setting of standards which would keep the 1970 college attendance at, say, the current figure of 3½ million. This is a possible way out but on the whole has little appeal in the nation. Even if 25 to 50 per cent of our college students do not profit greatly from higher education, expenditures for their education--given our large resources and an adequate

____________________
*
Over the years I have served on the following committees at Harvard in addition to being chairman of one of the largest departments: Educational Policy, General Education, Faculty on Athletics, Economics and Political Science Higher Degrees, Ph.D. in Social Sciences (Chairman), Size of the College, Fringe Benefits and Pensions and Retirement (University).

-v-

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