Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

DePaul University: Centennial Essays and Images

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

DePaul University: Centennial Essays and Images

Article excerpt

DePaul University: Centennial Essays and Images. Edited by John L. Rury and Charles S. Suchar. (Chicago: DePaul University. 1998. Pp. ix, 374. $29.95 paperback.)

The eight essays honoring DePaul Universit,v's centennial are not represented as critical history; yet the authors, all members of the school's academic community, are remarkably candid, forthright, and fair in recounting the record and assessing the accomplishments of DePaul. The book has three parts: Mission and Governance; Campus Culture and Student Life; and Making the Modern University. The presentation throughout is so even and smooth, due doubtless to superior editing, that the book reads as if it were the product of a single author.

The authors' evident affection for their subject does not tempt them to blur the school's growing pains or ignore DePaul's frequent flirtation with financial instability, with crippling episodes involving accreditation, or with a tug of war over faculty standards where one side wanted traditional college instruction to have pride of place, and the other side embraced a definition of higher education where university objectives of research and publication were promoted. These issues persisted down through the years only to be revisited with special intensity during the decades after 1960 along lines involving number and quality of graduate programs, faculty research, expansion of instructional facilities, the opening of the first residence hall in 1970 (which prefaced change in the school's personality), curricular innovation recognizing the needs of nontraditional students, and several genuine efforts to reform DePaul's version of general education. Add to this mixture the point that by 1997 the school was the academic home for 18,000 students. …

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