Academic Duty / All the Essential Half-Truths about Higher Education / the Political University: Policy, Politics, and Presidential Leadership in the American Research University

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Academic Duty

Donald Kennedy. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1997, 310pp., $29.95

All the Essential

Half-Truths about Higher Education

George Dennis O'Brien. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998, 243pp., $19.95

The Political University: Policy, Politics, and Presidential Leadership in the American Research University

Robert M. Rosenzweig. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998, 201pp., $31.95

THE AUTHORS OF THESE THREE books have much to say about what has been going on in higher education in recent years, how academic life will be changing in the near term, and what can and must be done to make academia less costly and more efficient. Having risen to the highest circles in academic administration, they draw on their own experiences-and often on those of friends and associates who have pursued similar careers-and speak with the authority of knowledgeable insiders. These are more memoirs than scholarly works.

Donald Kennedy, a biologist, was president of Stanford University from 1980 until 1992. George Dennis O'Brien served nearly two decades as a university president, first at Bucknell University and then at the University of Rochester. Robert Rosenzweig spent two decades in various midlevel administrative posts at Stanford University before moving to the presidency of the Association of American Universities for ten years. …