The study of The Education of American Businessmen presented in this volume is both important and opportune. It is important because higher education for business administration has become so large a part of our total educational effort, because the rapid proliferation of institutions and programs has been accompanied by serious questioning as to the direction and quality of the effort, and because much of the rest of the world is increasingly looking to the United States for guidance on higher education in business administration.
The study is opportune because it comes in a brief pause before the anticipated surge of college enrollments in the 1960's. If proposals for qualitative changes are to have serious and mature consideration, such consideration can best be given before faculty members and educational administrators alike are struggling with the consequences of a probable teacher shortage of very great magnitude. As Professor Pierson emphasizes, education for business at the university and college level is likely to be a major element in our educational structure during the decade ahead. The time to begin to determine the nature of that educational activity is now.
The basic issues to be resolved are relatively few; the detailed manifestations of these issues are numerous. To a marked degree this study focuses on the questions of the importance of a liberal education for businessmen, on the ways by which this liberal education can best be achieved, on the appropriate degrees of specialization within the university, and on the qualitative aspects of work at all levels and of all types.
It is also highly appropriate that this study should have been sponsored financially by Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Carnegie name has long been associated with scholarly studies in professional education and in educational policy generally. One of the notable landmarks in medical education, in many minds the most important, was the report published in 1910, "Medical Education in the United States and Canada," authorized by Abraham Flexner and sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.