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The men who invented universities in the late 19th century would not find much to surprise them on today’s college campuses. Computers have replaced chalkboards, and students and professors are no longer mainly white men–but the design of the contemporary university has changed very little in the past thousand years. For much of the 20th century, American universities produced the best educated students in the history of the world, and created a growing middle class in the process. But today, American institutions of higher education are under fire from all fronts, including for the high cost of attending, for the role they play in perpetuating inequality, and for their perceived inability to prepare students for a changing world. Is the contemporary research university in danger of going extinct? And if so, is it even worth saving? Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow, co-author of Designing the New American University, and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, author of Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, visit Zócalo to discuss who universities should serve and what problems they should be solving.
Books will be available through Skylight Books.