Liberal Education, Fall 2008

Current Issue


Globalization and U.S. Higher Education

This issue explores the potential impact of the Bologna Process on higher education in the United States, the phenomenon of global branding, and the functions and motives of U.S. institutions of higher education that are establishing overseas operations in Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Also included are articles on accountability and on advising a diverse student body.

Table of Contents
President's Message
From 1818 R Street NW

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Clifford Adelman
Through the largest reconstruction of higher education ever undertaken anywhere—known as the Bologna Process— academic leaders, faculty, and students themselves have come up with a convincing and credible scaffolding of accountability. 

By Paul L. Gaston
The Bologna Process offers a direct challenge to the principles, the practices, and, most especially, the international competitiveness of U.S. higher education. How might advocates for liberal education respond most constructively and effectively?

Public discourse on higher education in Europe is very focused on the economic aspects of higher education—which are, of course, important. But the role of higher education in society is not just economic.

By Sheldon Rothblatt
The logic of the “world-class” university is the logic of the global economy. Suffice it to say that as globally ambitious universities cultivate brand identities, little emphasis is placed on the traditional concerns of liberal education.

By Andrew Ross
It may be all too easy to conclude that the global university, as it takes shape, will emulate some of the conduct of multinational corporations. It is much more of a challenge to grasp the consequences of the coevolution of knowledge-based firms and academic institutions.


By A. Lee Fritschler, Paul Weissburg, and Phillip Magness
How can one justify a self-governing regime in a tertiary education sector that is functioning within a democratic system of government? And how does one defend self-government in a sector that receives such extensive public funding and that is of such critical importance to the general public?

By David Shulenburger, George L. Mehaffy, and Christine Keller
Within the academy and the assessment community, the Voluntary System of Accountability has generated much debate and some criticism. Unfortunately, many of the concerns are based upon misunderstandings, incomplete and faulty information, and outdated research.

By Anthony P. Carnevale
Arguing that intellectual ability and socioeconomic status are inherited, Charles Murray concludes that the BA degree should be reserved for students who score in the top 10 percent on the SAT or ACT. It is worthwhile to examine the economics behind Murray’s arguments, if only because he represents an extreme version of a lingering set of biases shared by many Americans. 

My View

By Lerita Coleman Brown
An invitation to join a panel discussion about advising a diverse student body brought to mind my own experience as one of one hundred African Americans at a campus of five thousand students. If I were a new college student today—and knowing what I know now, some thirty years later—what would I want from an adviser?

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