WHO WENT? WHO GOES?
The modern university was an entirely new entity—in part an educational institution focused on graduate and professional training, but in larger part a research enterprise driven by science. Where, in this house of many mansions, was the college? Did it—does it—still exist as a place of guided self-discovery for young people in search of themselves?
One way of coming at this question was suggested around a century ago by Max Weber, who, not long before Sinclair Lewis invented “Winnemac,” proposed a distinction between two “polar opposites of types of education.” The types he had in mind correspond closely to the terms “college” and “university” as I have been using them. The first, associated with religion, is “to aid the novice to acquire a ‘new soul’ … and hence, to be reborn.” The second, associated with the bureaucratic structures of modern life, is to impart the kind of “specialized expert training” required for “administrative purposes—in the organization of public authorities, business offices, workshops, scientific or industrial