Reading Suggestions for the Board of Governors: Anything Else to Add to the List?

This is a follow-up to last week’s post inviting suggestions for books we might ask the members of the Board of Governors and the President to read while we are reading and discussing (at their request) The Innovative University. Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring’s book has the hubristic subtitle Changing the DNA of Higher Education. What books offer the kind of analysis that everyone should take account of before anyone dreams of altering our “DNA”?

Thank you to those who commented on the original post. And thank you to those who wrote in to offer suggestions by email. Here are the titles that came in by email.

Robert Archibald and David Feldman, Why Does College Cost So Much? (Oxford University Press, 2010).  From the blurb:

To explain rising college costs, the authors place the higher
education industry firmly within the larger economic history of the
United States. The trajectory of college cost is similar to cost
behavior in many other industries, and this is no coincidence. Higher
education is a personal service that relies on highly educated labor.
A technological trio of broad economic forces has come together in the
last thirty years to cause higher education costs, and costs in many
other industries, to rise much more rapidly than the inflation rate.
The main culprit is economic growth itself.

For a summary treatment, see this article via Academic Search Complete:

“Explaining Increases in Higher Education Costs.”
Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman
Journal of Higher Education 79.3 (May/Jun2008): 268-295

Martha Nussbaum, Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton University Press, 2010). http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9112.html

From the blurb (emphases mine):

In this short and powerful book, celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education.

Historically, the humanities have been central to education because they have rightly been seen as essential for creating competent democratic citizens. But recently, Nussbaum argues, thinking about the aims of education has gone disturbingly awry both in the United States and abroad. Anxiously focused on national economic growth, we increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable and empathetic citizens. This shortsighted focus on profitable skills has eroded our ability to criticize authority, reduced our sympathy with the marginalized and different, and damaged our competence to deal with complex global problems. And the loss of these basic capacities jeopardizes the health of democracies and the hope of a decent world. . . . Drawing on the stories of troubling–and hopeful–educational developments from around the world, Nussbaum offers a manifesto that should be a rallying cry for anyone who cares about the deepest purposes of education.

Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School at the University of Chicago.

Rob Imrie and Chris Allen, eds. The Knowledge Business (Ashgate 2010). http://www.amazon.com/Knowledge-Business-Chris-Allen/dp/0754676900/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1284967242&sr=1-1.

From the blurb (emphases mine):

This book provides a critique of the knowledge business, and describes and evaluates its different manifestations in, and impacts on, the university sector. Its focus is the social sciences and, in particular, housing and urban studies. Drawing on a wide range of experiences, both in the UK and elsewhere, it illustrates the changing management of the academy, and the development, by university managers, of instruments or techniques of control to ensure that academics are disciplined in ways that are commensurate with achieving commercial goals. The individual chapters highlight the different ways in which the academy is being put to work for commercial gain, and they evaluate how far the public service ethos of the universities is coming apart in a context in which what is to be serviced is increasingly a private clientele defined by their ‘ability to pay’. The Knowledge Business examines the contradictions and tensions associated with these processes, highlighting the implications for the academic labour process, and the future of the academy.

Chris Allen is Professor of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and Rob Imrie is Professor of Geography at King’s College London, UK and Director of the Cities Group.

Michael M’Gonigle and Justine Starke, Planet U:  Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University (New Society Publishers, 2005). http://www.newsociety.com/bookid/3922

Michael M’Gonigle is Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.

Justine Cara Starke is a Research Associate in the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria.

Gigi Roggero, The Production of Living Knowledge: The Crisis of the University and the Transformation of Labor in Europe and North America. (Temple University Press, 2011). Translated by Enda Brophy.

Review by Malav Kanuga in Social Text here.

Gigi Roggero is a Senior Researcher at the University of Bologna.

One faculty member asks whether we have faculty at the University of Alberta (in Education or elsewhere) whose academic work is on these issues. If anyone knows faculty who are working on these issues, could you please forward the link to this or the original post to them? Their input would be greatly appreciated!

Original post, 17 September 2012: https://artssquared.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/board-chair-and-university-president-challenge-university-of-alberta-faculty-to-read-the-innovative-university/

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