Crisis on Campus by Mark C. Taylor
A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities

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Synopsis

A provocative look at the troubled present state of American higher education and a passionately argued and learned manifesto for its future.

In Crisis on Campus, Mark C. Taylor—chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University and a former professor at Williams College—expands on and refines the ideas presented in his widely read and hugely controversial 2009 New York Times op-ed. His suggestions for the ivory tower are both thought-provoking and rigorous: End tenure. Restructure departments to encourage greater cooperation among existing disciplines. Emphasize teaching rather than increasingly rarefied research. And bring that teaching to new domains, using emergent online networks to connect students worldwide.

As a nation, he argues, we fail to make such necessary and sweeping changes at our peril. Taylor shows us the already-rampant consequences of decades of organizational neglect. We see promising graduate students in a distinctly unpromising job market, relegated—if they’re lucky—to positions that take little advantage of their training and talent. We see recent undergraduates with massive burdens of debt, and anxious parents anticipating the inflated tuitions we will see in ten or twenty years. We also see students at all levels chafing under the restrictions of traditional higher education, from the structures of assignments to limits on courses of study. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Accommodating the students of today and anticipating those of tomorrow, attuned to schools’ financial woes and the skyrocketing cost of education, Taylor imagines a new system—one as improvisational, as responsive to new technologies and as innovative as are the young members of the iPod and Facebook generation.

In Crisis on Campus, we have an iconoclastic, necessary catalyst for a national debate long overdue.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Mark C. Taylor

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Mark C. Taylor is chair of the Department of Religion at Columbia University, Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Williams College. His many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Foundation National Professor of the Year award. He is a frequent contributor to the op-ed page of The New York Times and has also written for the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and New York City.
 
Published August 31, 2010 by Knopf. 256 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Crisis on Campus

Kirkus Reviews

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Taylor reiterates his firm belief that students must still master traditional skills of writing and reading—he required his own children to write a weekly three-page essay—but disdains those old warhorses Term Paper and Dissertation.

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The Wall Street Journal

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When Mark Taylor's children were growing up, he made them write a three-page paper once a week each summer between sixth grade and college.

Aug 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan...

Los Angeles Times

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"There can be no meaningful reform of higher education," Taylor writes, "without redesigning departments in ways that will support more extensive collaboration among faculty members and students working in different fields."

Sep 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan...

Bookmarks Magazine



Accommodating the students of today and anticipating those of tomorrow, attuned to schools’ financial woes and the skyrocketing cost of education, Taylor imagines a new system—one as improvisational, as responsive to new technologies and as innovative as are the young members of the iPod ...

Sep 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan...

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