The University and the State: What Role for Government in Higher Education?

The University and the State: What Role for Government in Higher Education?

The University and the State: What Role for Government in Higher Education?

The University and the State: What Role for Government in Higher Education?

Excerpt

The essays published in this volume were originally delivered at the Fourth General Meeting of University Centers for Rational Alternatives held at George Washington University, Washington D.C. in December, 1976. The meeting was devoted to the exploration of one of the most important themes in the educational life of our times.Indeed, next to the question of what the idea of a modem university is or should be, the most fateful of the issues that concern educators and their fellow citizens is: what should the university's relationship be to the state and government?

This issue possesses more than a perennial relevance. Its topicality was reinforced at the time of the Conference by the fact that the political guard of the nation was about to change amid widespread uncertainty as to the direction of its educational policy.Since then the pronouncements of some of its spokesmen have been disquieting to those who recognize the necessity of some state support and yet seek jealously to preserve institutional autonomy with respect to the fulfillment of the academic mission.

Regardless of whether a university considers itself private or public, it cannot be indifferent to the educational policies of the state if it wishes to survive in an era of mounting inflationary costs. Private institutions face the additional hazard that under some specious interpretation of what constitutes discrimination, and of arbitrary ill-founded notions of what constitutes evidence, their tax-exempt status might be challenged and . . .

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