Gone for Good: Tales of University Life after the Golden Age

Hardcover | September 15, 1999

byStuart Rojstaczer

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Amid the clamorous debates on political correctness, the Western canon, and alcohol abuse on campus, many observers have failed to notice the most radical change in the American University: the Golden Age of massive government funding is gone. And, as Stuart Rojstaczer points out in thisincisive look at higher education, the consequences are affecting virtually every aspect of university life. Laced with humorous and insightful anecdotes, Gone for Good is a highly personal tour of the university system as it has evolved from the glory days of phenomenal post-WWII growth to the financial stresses that now beset it. Stuart Rojstaczer, professor of Hydrology at Duke, shows how almostunlimited funding during the Cold War years encouraged universities to become unwieldy behemoths--with ever-enlarging faculties and administrative staffs, an explosion of new buildings that are proving costly to maintain, and a parade of programs designed largely to impress other universities.Rojstaczer asserts that despite the scarcity of new funding sources, universities continue to strive for unlimited growth--with disastrous results: skyrocketing tuition (well over $20,000 per year at top tier schools); desperate attempts to increase enrollments (lower standards, inflated grades, andnew majors in some rather implausible areas of study); and increasing pressure on faculty who already spend more time researching than teaching to raise more money through research grants. The time has come, Rojstaczer argues, to abandon an outmoded idea of growth and create a leaner universitysystem more beneficial to both students and society. For parents, students, and anyone interested higher education, Gone for Good offers a vivid account of the crossroads where universities now stand--and a compelling argument about which path they should take.

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From Our Editors

In the post-World War II boom, universities enjoyed a golden age of seemingly limitless funding and academic confidence. However, in that time they grew into unwieldy behemoths that can no longer sustain themselves, and are still struggling to maintain a halcyon era that is forever departed. Duke Professor Stuart Rojstaczer's book is a...

From the Publisher

Amid the clamorous debates on political correctness, the Western canon, and alcohol abuse on campus, many observers have failed to notice the most radical change in the American University: the Golden Age of massive government funding is gone. And, as Stuart Rojstaczer points out in thisincisive look at higher education, the consequenc...

Stuart Rojstaczer is Associate Professor of Geology, Environment and Engineering, and Director, Center for Hydrologic Science at Duke University. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Paperback|Sep 2 2014

$13.62 online$21.00list price(save 35%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.29 × 5.98 × 0.91 inPublished:September 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195126823

ISBN - 13:9780195126822

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Table of Contents

1. Introductionwhy no one seems to know, even my mother, what I do at work: Section One: Undergraduate Life2. Lowering the Barwhy we have such low intellectual expectations for students even though they could easily do more: 3. The Prestige Businesswhat services the university provides students and why we charge so much for tuition: 4. Shortening the Yellow Brick Roadwhy we have made college easier, yet no one seems to mind or care: 5. The Sports Machinehow universities entertain their students and alumni and why and how we've crossed the line of good judgment: Section Two: Research and Graduate Education6. Heart and Soulwhy graduate students are often more important than professors: 7. Grants or Goodbyewhy we spend so much time writing grant proposals: 8. Why Research?what professors do when they don't teach and why they do it: Section Three: Campus Politics9. Matchmakinghow we hire and why we move to other universities: 10. The End of the Golden Agewhy the era of exponential growth has ended and why it's a good thing that it's over: 11. Shaking the Treewhy universities are increasingly turning to alumni, foundations and corporations, and what they will and will not do in exchange for money: 12. You've Got to Believewhy we blindly follow the latest trends in academic fashion even though it makes us look ridiculous: 13. The Fifty Percent Solutionwhy there are so few female professors, and why there aren't likely to be more in the foreseeable future: 14. Making Adjustmentshow to adapt to the life of a professor without getting too crazy: 15. Getting Tenurewhat it takes to get tenure, why standards have risen, and why they will continue to rise: 16. Rolling the Dicewhy the American university is still valuable even though it looks to be in such a mess:

From Our Editors

In the post-World War II boom, universities enjoyed a golden age of seemingly limitless funding and academic confidence. However, in that time they grew into unwieldy behemoths that can no longer sustain themselves, and are still struggling to maintain a halcyon era that is forever departed. Duke Professor Stuart Rojstaczer's book is a wake-up call to a modern university system beset by grade inflation, reduced funding and furious debates surrounding political correctness, the Western Canon and alcohol use on campus. But unlike other books of its kind, Gone for Good is not a nostalgic tour of the 1950s or an overturned soapbox; instead, it is just what it claims to be - a balanced and thoughtful look at modern post-secondary education.

Editorial Reviews

"A serious, although informal, introduction to the realities of the university world today."--Kirkus Reviews