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All the Essential Half-Truths about Higher Education

In this refreshing and original exploration, George Dennis O’Brien looks at higher education in America. O’Brien argues that to debate intelligently the future of education we must stop focusing on its ideals and look instead at its institutions. He does this by addressing nine half-truths, such as whether "low cost public education benefits the least advantaged in society," and goes on to examine how accurately they reflect the true state of higher education. The result is a thought-provoking discussion of the present challenges and future prospects of American higher education.

"O’Brien’s historical overview of the transition from 19th-century denominational colleges to 20th-century research-driven and largely secular ones is provocative. Cleverly written and well-focused, the book addresses the financial pressures facing higher education and asks vital questions about cutbacks and curricula."—Publishers Weekly

"Lively, engaging, and richly suggestive." —Francis Oakley, Commonweal
"O’Brien employs calm, powerful reason, without sensationalism. His perspective is illuminating. . . . All the Essential Half-Truths About Higher Education is one of the wisest and most useful treatments of American higher education." —John Attarian, Detroit News

266 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1997

Education: Higher Education

Table of Contents

Full-Face Preface
1: Anyone for Higher Education?
2: The Faculty Is the University
3: Tenure Is a Necessary Condition of Academic Freedom
4: Universities Are Neutral on Moral Value/Universities Teach Moral Value
5: The Liberal Arts Curriculum Aims at Distribution/Diversity
6: Teaching Is the Primary Task of Higher Education
7: The Problem with Higher Education Is the Administration
8: Low-Cost Public Education Benefits the Least Advantaged
9: The University Is the Axial Institution of Modern Society
10: Synthetic Morality
11: Ultimate Synthesis: Money, Mission, and Management
References, Acknowledgments, and Afterthoughts

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