Academic Janus

Academic Janus

Academic Janus

Academic Janus

Excerpt

Academic Janus reports a sociological study of that peculiarly American institution, the private liberal arts college.Of course, similar educational structures exist elsewhere and the roots of the American college are firmly embedded in the European past.However, the privately supported, four-year, undergraduate institution specializing in a liberal arts curriculum has a development in this country which has set such colleges apart from their counterparts elsewhere and has produced a structure unique to the United States and to American education.The liberal arts colleges occupy a special place in American higher education.It is not the purpose of this work to present even a brief history of the private colleges or to describe how they came to be what they are today. Neither is it the purpose here to fully analyze the colleges or to predict their future. It is, rather, to describe some facets of such colleges as they exist today, to explore their workings as social systems, and to investigate the professional careers of their faculties, as segments of the larger institution of American higher education.

This report, however, has a double role. The research was sponsored by the Hill Foundation of St.Paul in the expectation that it would reveal facts of immediate practical value concerning the faculty labor market for the private liberal arts colleges of the upper Midwest.The book is in part, then, a research report to the foundation describing the academic labor market in which those colleges operate and the professional and personal norms which guide the faculties of such colleges in making their employment decisions. In this respect, it is factual reporting of the way things are. I have endeavored to go . . .

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