Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University

By Morton Keller; Phyllis Keller | Go to book overview

14
CRISIS AND RECOVERY

E very institution goes through crises produced by a mix of outside stimuli, internal discontent, and administrative failings. In the case of higher education, that happened in the late 1960s: to Berkeley in 1967 and Columbia in 1968, to Paris in the May Days of 1968, to Harvard in the spring of 1969. Critics of those upheavals resorted to the language of world-class disasters: “The Time of Troubles, ” “The Terror, ” “World War III.” Apologists favored comparably distended metaphors of revolution and rebirth, of a Wordsworthian sense of sheer bliss to be young and alive and involved in a time of institutional re-creation.

The university protests of the late sixties had large-scale demographic, cultural, and political sources: the coming of age of the baby boomers, the rise of the counterculture, the trauma of Vietnam. But the greatest institutional disruption in Harvard's history occurred as well in a more particular context: that of the increasingly meritocratic, affluent, self-satisfied university of the sixties. Of course other schools shared these qualities and experienced similar (or worse) student uprisings. But there appears to have been a special degree of shock on the part of Harvard faculty, administrators, and alumni that so much student disaffection existed in their university: that it could have happened here.


Issues and Portents

The Vietnam War was the flash point that set off the protests of the late sixties. As American involvement in Vietnam grew, so did on-campus opposition. Initially it proceeded within the prescribed Harvard tradition of civility and open debate. Divinity School dean Samuel Miller wanted “to be sure that all viewpoints are represented” at a faculty meeting on Vietnam in the spring of 1965, and National Security Adviser

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Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Prologue - Fete Accompli, 1936 3
  • Part I - The Meritocratic University 1933–1953 11
  • 1 - James Bryant Conant and the Meritocratic University 13
  • 2 - The College 32
  • 3 - “lesser Breeds” 47
  • 4 - The Faculty of Arts and Sciences 64
  • 5 - The Professional Schools 110
  • 6 - Managing Harvard 134
  • 7 - Harvard and the Real World 152
  • Part II - “an Engine of Power and Responsibility”: 1953–1971 171
  • 8 - Nathan Marsh Pusey and the Affluent University 173
  • 9 - Governing the Affluent University 189
  • 10 - The Ascendant Faculty 211
  • 11 - The Professional Schools 252
  • 12 - A Plurality of Minorities 276
  • 13 - The College 290
  • 14 - Crisis and Recovery 307
  • Part III - “a Buzzing Confusion”:1971–2000 339
  • 15 - Derek Curtis Bok and the Worldly University 341
  • 16 - Governing 359
  • 17 - The Faculty of Arts and Sciences 383
  • 18 - The Professional Schools 432
  • 19 - The College 464
  • Epilogue 481
  • A Note on the Notes 495
  • Notes 499
  • Acknowledgments 565
  • Index 567
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