Higher Education Scholar: Cathy N. Davidson


Cathy Davidson is presently working at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York as founding director of the Futures Initiative and is a Distinguished Professor in the Ph. D. Program in English. She was given this position after several large and commendable academic achievements such as, co-founding and now co-directing H.A.S.T.A.C. (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory). She also served on the National Council of the Humanities as an appointee of former President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2017. Moreover, she was the 2016 recipient of the Ernest J. Boyer Award for significant contributions to higher education. 

Cathy Davidson
2016 Wikimedia

 As a professor of higher education, Davidson focuses on the reason how the system of higher education was created, and how it now effects twenty first century students because it has not changed. She offers a wide variety of innovative solutions to solve issues that many higher education students face. To support her stance in her argument for the betterment of higher education, Davidson has written several books, articles, and has given several interviews concerning higher education. This has aided her to attain a high esteemed and creditable reputation in the scholarly community and the general public.

Davidson has written a few books on higher education, but she really starts to discuss higher education more specifically after she became the first educator of the board of directors of Mozilla in 2012. This occurred due to the fact that she now had a larger presence and voice online because she was keeping up with the twenty first century and its technological advancements. Davidson had already really shaped  her opinion of  and established her argument in 2003, when she was a professor at Duke with her iPod experiment. This experiment, which she conducted on Duke University’s incoming freshmen class, help her to support her opinion on certain parts of higher education. Davidson concludes that as technology was and is starting to become more and more advance, the traditional classroom should advance with technology. Even today she continues to support for this argument and also expands on this basis.

In 2011, Davidson published the book Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century, which advocates for a more innovative and digitalized educational system due to the variety of different types of learners in the system by saying “You can’t take on twenty-first-century tasks with twentieth-century tools and hope to get the job done,”(Davidson 7). Davidson states that one size does not fit all, and this concept needs to change because we are now in the twenty first century and there are several different ways to work with students who do not succeed in a traditional classroom.

As mentioned earlier, Davidson is currently a Distinguished professor and Founding director of Future Initiatives at Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In 2014, she accepted this position, so she could dedicate herself to furthering innovation and achieving equality in higher education. The group she found at CUNY, Future Initiatives, was created to have the public re-investment in higher education to further advance our democratic society. In her current position Davidson is able to advocate her opinion of the faults of higher education, which are mostly focused around how twentieth century style traditional classrooms are still being used today, in a world where everything is now done on an electronic device of some sort.

This was one of her central thesis prongs in her book, The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux. Davidson states “America’s elite purists colleges went through a massive redesign, shifting away from their founding mission…Such prescriptive, disciplinary, and specialized training worked well for most of the twentieth century. But it makes a lot less sense for our postindustrial and post-internet world…”(Davidson 3). Throughout her book, Davidson first introduces several faults that are a part of the college system that need to be altered. Not only does Davidson argue for more advanced classrooms and teaching method in this day and age, but also for lower tuition cost. These costs are steadily on the rise, making it harder for a student to go to college and then causing them to an obtaining larger debt after. She discusses the academic structure, which is too rigid and controlling in regard to today’s professional work environment and in general. Furthermore, Davidson contends that colleges need to prepare students for a long-term career, not for a short-term job. By keeping their old, traditional teaching method in classrooms, colleges continuously coach students on the book version of a job, when they should be helping and preparing students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real life situations to get them ready for a career, not job. 

Then Davidson goes on to explain and show what some possible solutions are to fix the issues she mentions in The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux. Davidson identifies a few colleges who have implemented the possible solutions she had previously discussed, as her models. She praises LaGuardia Community College and other community colleges whom enforces a more active learning style, Arizona State University for their more realistic, problem solving approach in the classroom, and Hampshire University for ending all standardized testing reliance. Davidson then goes on further to recognize and applaud teachers and professors who practice more modern teaching style and engage their students in learning which gives means to where everyone can succeed in the classroom and outside, in the real world.

Many people see Cathy Davidson’s work as a gate to a domain of problems that exist but are never mentioned.  Michael Berube reviewed Cathy Davidson’s book The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux and explained how she captured a topic so shadowed and not usually seen or addresses by those in a position as high as hers. As Davidson has taught at prestigious universities such as Duke, Stanford, and Georgetown to community colleges such as LaGuardia. Berube explains how, in her book, Davidson addresses the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

 Laura K. Simmons reviewed Cathy Davidson’s book Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century and in a few words, sums up the book by saying “That [technological] shift requires new ways of working, but our institutions (schools and businesses are her primary examples) have not kept up” (Simmons). Simmons commends this book on its simplicity and how anyone could understand it due to Davidson’s use of realistic metaphors.

Davidson is the voice for students who don’t have one. She has accomplished so much as a scholar of higher education, and to this today continues to fight for a better higher educational system for college students everywhere. She addresses a significant problem that everyone turns a blind eye to: students not being ready for the real-world career wise because colleges do not teach students how to apply what they learned to real world situations. Davidson continues to urge teachers and professors alike to practice a more active learning style in which even those with learning disabilities may succeed in. She gives many creative examples of modern teaching methods such as MOOC’s, which are free massive open online courses which give people a more flexible way to learn. Cathy Davidson, through her achievements is making progress on solving the biggest issue higher education faces today, taking “on twenty-first-century tasks with twentieth-century tools” (Davidson 7). She is pushing for colleges and universities to catch up to the twenty first century’s modern, technologically advance society, as student and professor hardship will only escalate due to the increasing gap in reality from academia.


Cathy Davidson’s sites:


Cathy Davidson’s website

Cathy Davidson’s Social Media: 


Cathy Davidson’s interviews:

Revolutionizing the University

Rethinking Education 

Works Cited:

Davidson, Cathy N. The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux. Basic Books, 2017.

Davidson, Cathy N. Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century. Penguin, 2012.

Bérubé, Michael. “<italic>The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux</Italic>.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 45, no. 1, Oct. 2018, pp. 234–235. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1086/699578.

Simmons, Laura K. “Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century – By Cathy N. Davidson.” Teaching Theology & Religion, vol. 16, July 2013, p. e97. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/teth.12116.

“Cathy Davidson.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Oct. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathy_Davidson.

“Cathy N. Davidson.” Cathy N. Davidson, www.cathydavidson.com/.

Rogers, Katina, et al. “HASTAC.” HASTAC, 2 Dec. 2018, www.hastac.org/.

Rogers, Katina, et al. “The Futures Initiative.” HASTAC, 6 Dec. 2017, www.hastac.org/groups/futures-initiative.

Davidson, Cathy N. “MOOC Interventions: The History and Future of (Mostly Higher) Education.” Cathy N. Davidson, 18 Nov. 2013, www.cathydavidson.com/innovations/mooc-interventions-the-history-and-future-of-mostly-higher-education/.


Freeman Hrabowski III


Freeman Hrabowski III is an African-American educator and has been the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for 26 years. As a young child living in segregated Alabama, Hrabowski witnessed firsthand the inequality minority groups face. Hrabowski strongly believes that education is their key to success. Hrabowski graduated college when he was 19 years old with a mathematics degree. Among numerous awards and accolades, Hrabowski was one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and received a national lifetime achievement award from The American Council on Education.  

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III lectures the Coast Guard Academy’s student body on higher education, racial issues and his experiences as a child-leader in the Civil Rights movement, March 18, 2010.

Hrabowski is an important voice among American higher education scholars, for he gives voice to the socioeconomic struggles of African-American students. Hrabowski argues that there needs to be more minorities represented in the STEM fields. Furthermore, Hrabowski asserts that closing the STEM gap would help the nation’s failing science and math rankings. Hrabowski goes about his mission by publishing a few books and redefining the traditional college experience as the head of UMBC. Among his numerous books are: Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African-American Males/Women andThe Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most. Hrabowski’s message resonates with the current generation of students who are ready to break through glass ceilings.

 In 2017 Hrabowski sat down with the New York Times for a rare candid interview. In the interview, Hrabowski revealed a childhood that celebrated education, for his mother was a teacher. He also revealed that his childhood was constantly eclipsed by the harsh racial reality of being an African-American living in Alabama in the sixties. In 1963 when he was twelve years old, Hrabowski participated in the children’s march, a march conducted by Martin Luther King Junior, and was arrested and jailed for five days. Hrabowski credits the civil rights movement for inspiring him to want to “create an environment in which kids have the right to a great education” (Hrabowski 16). This interview revealed one of the many reasons Hrabowski chose to fight for minorities in higher education. The interview also shed light on the personal connection Hrabowski has towards minorities and education

In fact, the Civil Rights Movement of 1965 had such an impact on Hrabowski that he published Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM achievements in 2015. The essence of the book was to not only recount Hrabowski’s journey to becoming an educator, but to also describe the success UMBC has achieved when it comes to minorities in STEM. Hrabowski also makes clear that if UMBC can do it, any other college can do it as well. In the book Hrabowski revealed the thoughts he had while in jail, “When would I get out of jail? What could I expect of the future? Would Birmingham Al, the south, or America change so that someone like me, who was excited about school, could get an education and follow my dreams wherever they took me, even though I was black?” (Hrabowski 11). This was the beginning of a long life which has rooted Hrabowski in a career dedicated to education. Hrabowski’s career has allowed for him to fight for disenfranchised youth to get equal representation in higher education. Ironically, the same year that Hrabowski was jailed was the same year that UMBC was founded as a desegregated university, one of the first in Maryland. Hrabowski comments that UMBC, “represents a fifty-year experiment in higher education designed to see whether a ‘historically diverse institution’ that sought to achieve inclusive excellence could be a success” (Hrabowski 12). UMBC has certainly lived up to the expectations and they have become one of the most innovative research universities in the country.

A year prior to his New York Times interview, Hrabowski published a co-authored book with five other prominent higher education scholars. The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most described ways in which college administrators should adhere to their goals and missions, amidst the ever-changing landscape of higher education. In the book, it is revealed that UMBC “graduates more African-American undergraduates who go on to earn PhDs in STEM fields than any other predominantly white university in the country” (Hrabowski et al. Chapter 1). One of the main contributors to this achievement is the Meyerhoff Scholar Program at UMBC. Hrabowski et al detailed six themes which are crucial for success: Learning, Relationships, Expectations, Alignment, Improvement and Leadership (Hrabowski et al. Chapter 5).

Hrabowski, apart from ringing the alarms on the lacking number of minorities in the STEM field, gives us a ray of hope in Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African-American Males and in Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African-American Young Women. In these two books Hrabowski revealed the obstacles African-Americans face in academia. Among these obstacles are racism, a deterioration of inner-city education, a lack of academic role models and finally, a culture that does not fully believe in the power of education (Hrabowski 43). By publishing these two books, Hrabowski revealed what he thinks individuals and colleges could do to eliminate this large education gap.


The same year Hrabowski was interviewed by the New York Times was the same year that he wrote a lecture-based article for the Journal of Negro Education. In the article, Hrabowski outlined the problems minorities face in education, told of the success UMBC has had with their Meyerhoff program and painted a hopeful picture of the future. This article distilled all of Hrabowski’s views on education in one sitting and represents an entryway for one to get a glimpse on his career’s achievements. In the Applied Research portion of the article, Hrabowski reveals how the Meyerhoff program started through the philanthropy of Robert Meyerhoff and has now become “a national model for preparing talented students of color, young women, and others, for research careers in science and engineering” (Hrabowski 102). The article also shed light on why exactly Hrabowski believes more minorities are needed in the STEM fields. Hrabowski also revealed what the long-term solutions should be when college administrations start to take critical measures. Hrabowski lists numerous reasons as to why more minorities are needed in STEM. Among them are, the missing out on potential brainpower and the decline of America’s standing as a STEM superpower (Hrabowski 102). Hrabowski also reveals his own personal reasons as to why representation is so crucial. It is the more personal plea which stands out for the reader. Hrabowski reveals the struggles he went through graduate school, “I was not prepared to feel so isolated in my classes, usually as the only African American student. In fact, it was clear that people were unaccustomed to someone who looked like me being in the course, and in some cases did not expect me to do well” (Hrabowski 103). In essence, Hrabowski understands that the atmosphere and environment of an institution might sometimes be the only factor in driving minority students away from achieving in higher education. The pressure of being the only Black student in a classroom is stifling as Hrabowski described it. The pressure eventually led to him leaving, “I left the math program after completing my master’s simply because I had no one with whom to talk” (Hrabowski 103). Hrabowski then goes on to include the two criteria institutions need to abide by to help with the lacking numbers of minorities in STEM, “(a) substantially increasing undergraduate retention and completion; and (b) strengthening teacher preparation, college preparatory programs, and transitions to graduate study” (Hrabowski 104). These are the two “main priorities” Hrabowski believes administrations should focus on. Hrabowski concluded on an optimistic beat, “Young people can accomplish amazing things when they recognize that their abilities are not fixed…providing the support that young people need both to imagine what is possible and to develop their own abilities is the challenge we face as educators. It is also a great opportunity, and important we succeed. The nation is counting on us” (Hrabowski 106). Hrabowski was telling academia that representation is crucial and that there are definite, data driven solutions available.


Robert Hrabowski III is aspiring for all American students, regardless of their ethnic background, to have the chance to succeed in the STEM fields. After having spent his whole life dedicated to the cause of helping unrepresented minority students in higher education, Hrabowski has finally caught the nation’s attention. Hrabowski has recently been thrusted unto the spotlight due to the success of UMBC’s basketball team. The nation, and frankly the world, got to witness history as No. 16 seed UMBC defeated No. 1 seed Virginia. This in turn led to UMBC being placed on the radar and the university was praised for the diversity of its students and accomplishments as a research University. The fact that a dedicated educator and activist received well due attention and praise not for his decades of work, but due to a sports tournament speaks volumes about our society. Soon after the win, Hrabowski wrote a lengthy editorial for the Washington Post detailing both UMBC’s on court and off court success. Hopefully he is able to keep the attention of the nation and the higher education world and champion for his causes to an even larger audience.




Bryant, Adam, “Freeman A. Hrabowski III on the Value of Resilience.” New York Times (2017)

            Hrabowski, Freeman A. Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement. Beacon Press, 2016.


Hrabowski, Freeman. et al. Collegethe Undergraduate Experience in America. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Carnegie Foundation, 2016.


Hrabowski, Freeman A., et al. Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males. Oxford University Press, 1998.


Hrabowski, Freeman A. Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African America Young Women. Oxford University Press, 2002.


Hrabowski, Freeman A. “The 2017 Charles H. Thompson Lecture-Colloquium Presentation: Broadening Participation in American Higher Education–A Special Focus on the Under representation of African Americans in STEM Disciplines.” Journal of Negro Education, vol. 87, no. 2, Spring 2018, pp. 99–109.


You can keep up with Hrabowski’s current whereabouts through these links:



Dr. Jones Lee




Dr. Lee Jones passed away December of 2015, but he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest scholars to have believed in and fought for the advancement of minorities in the higher education. Lee Jones was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Instruction, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, and Policy Studies at the College of Education, at Florida State University. His research interests ranged from Leadership/Organizational Development to Environmental Cultural issues for the underrepresented and forgotten minority groups in the higher education system. Jones accomplished editing four books and two self-written books; three in which are still used in over 50 universities dispersed among the country. Jones was one of the many African American male higher education scholars who founded and was the visionary behind the Brothers of the Academy Institute and was the President of the institution. The Brothers of the academy Institute was founded to help black men gain positions within the academy and to “foster the collegial networks and relationships among the members.” (Watson 1). Dr. Jones’ focused on being determined and devoted to inspiring and uplifting the African American Community and encouraged young black males to strive for greatness despite all the odds that are up against them.

            In the year 2000, Dr. Lee Jones edited one of the most popular books amongst the African American community titled Brothers of the Academy: Up and Coming Black Scholars Earning our way in Higher Education, which continues to be one of the most cited books within the Black community of Higher education scholars. The success of this popular book ignited the hunger and pursuance, specifically in the black community, of attaining a PHD or even the mere hopes of continuing their education past high school. Referenced directly from the book,  Jones makes the slightest comment on how it is in a way predestined/controlled for there to be a lack Black men in higher education claiming ,” However to be African in an anti-African society requires that we seize control of all the instruments that determine the lived experience and quality of life of our people ,” (Jones 178) which is the holy grail and epiphany that Jones comes to realizing that the situation is just how the cards were dealt. Lee also talks of how from the start of time, A black male in America had to change their identity to even come close to grasping the chance of higher education. This includes all prior ideologies, changing their views philosophically, culturally, spiritually, and psychologically. Jones claims that Black males are prematurely judged by those apart of the higher education system stating,” Unfortunately, African American males are found to be there more than twice as often as non-Black males, Kunjufu states that many of the classrooms today are battle zones between students and teachers.”( Jones 3) It is not uncommon that teachers make judgements on very mundane criteria, such as family background, the way a student will dress, or even the color of his or her skin. With a system that is set up to fail a black male, it is often one of the main reasons black students are discouraged to put their best foot forward.



             In the Journal of Hispanic Higher education, Vol. 1 ,Jones takes on a case study examining the ethnic Minority student experience at predominately white institutions. These students, often from first or second-generation immigrant families who struggle with finances and many a times behind on social and cultural standings amongst society. It is a constant struggle for these students feeling like an outsider or if they don’t belong because they don’t look, talk, or dress the same way. These students strive to achieve the best of the best education to in turn get the saving grace job that they can support his or her family.

            A year later Dr. Jones would later partake in The Journal of Men’s Studies, Vol. 12 in which this piece Jones explores the status of Black male Faculty by utilizing data from the national study of post-secondary faculty. Studies show that there has always been a deficit in the ratio of Black male Faculty in the higher education field and there seems to be no efforts or movements toward expanding on the lack of diversity. What seems to be in question is it a matter of those in the hiring positions seem to stray away from this denomination of people or is it discouragement from previous years and years of “keeping the black man down”. Jones takes to conclusion that from prior years of shutting out the African American community from higher education created a lasting effect.

            Over the years Lee Jones has voyaged the country visiting high schools, colleges, and universities giving speeches to inspire the youth of America to pursue a higher education quoted infamously in stating ,” Man Cannot and Will Not Destroy God’s Plan for Your Life…No Matter How Hard Some May Try! “ His research interests include Leadership/Organizational Development and Environmental Cultural issues for underrepresented groups in higher education.  Dr. Jones presided over many roles within the College of Education, all in which include the Offices of Clinical Partnerships, Academic Services, Learning Resource Center, Curriculum Resource Center, Living Learning Center, and Student Access, Recruitment, and Retention. He was also responsible for undergraduate and graduate academic programs, alumni relations, enrollment management, teacher education, off campus programs, faculty searches, scholarships, fellowships, monitoring the functions of all issues of student progress and new faculty orientation. Dr. Jones also served as the Director for the Division of Multicultural Student Services and was the Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Washington State University for some time.

             Dr. Jones Lee was like those who have precedents over him such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, Susan B Anthony, and Rosa Parks. They were all leaders who saw something wrong with the social injustice, lack of care from the nation towards the minorities in America and saw what had to be done to take a stand and make a difference. Jones dedicated his entire life to making higher education more achievable to those who never dreamed of attaining the opportunity before. Jones set in place resources and institutions to ensure the betterment all who strive to achieve the education gospel.

Works Cited :

The Journal of Men’s Studies, Vol. 12; pp.3-13., First published October 1, 2003

Journal of Hispanic Higher education, Vol. 1, pp:19-39. , first published January 1 ,2002

Making it on broken promises: Leading African American male Scholars confront the culture of higher education. Jones,Lee. pg.178

Making it on broken promises: Leading African American male Scholars confront the culture of higher education Jones, lee. pg.3

“Dr. Lee J. Jones – ABC Part III.” YouTube, YouTube, 17 Nov. 2010, youtu.be/2wPEFJmS_NY

“Dr. Lee J. Jones – ABC Part II.” YouTube, YouTube, 17 Nov. 2010, youtu.be/1il_41dYfcE.

Dr. Lee J. Jones – ABC Part I.” YouTube, YouTube, 17 Nov. 2010, youtu.be/mmPgsETZRBE







Professor W. Norton Grubb

W. Norton Grubb, Ph.D. was the David Pierpont Gardner Professor of Higher Education, Emeritus, at the University of California Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard and before becoming a professor at Berkeley, he taught at the University of Texas, Austin. Grubb’s work is different from normal work about higher education, because he seems to explore the shortcomings and alternatives about higher education. Grubbs’ work often focused on community colleges and the inequalities of the people that attend college. Grubb was a recognized scholar of higher education, awarded with the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in 2012.


Grubb was a professor of the Leadership for Educational Equity Program (LEEP), a doctoral program that prepares teachers for administrative roles in urban areas. Grubb was well equipped to serve in such program, having taught at Butland Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, a very segregated school district. Grubb’s literature reflects these experiences, looking at the inequalities and problems that exist in higher ed. Grubb argues that the education gospel, the belief that a good education leads to a good career, fails due to the lack of proper education, with community colleges possibly being the solution. Grubb’s work especially focuses on the inequalities that exist in education, with him tracing the problem back to K-12 education. Grubb’s work provides an interesting take on a problem that has plagued American higher ed, that could work.


Working in the Middle: Strengthening Education and Training for the Mid-Skilled Labor Force. (1996)

Working in the Middle: Strengthening Education and Training for the Mid-Skilled Labor Force was a book written by W. Norton Grubb that provides a radical view on the way education is viewed, looking at the impact or lack of impact that education has on work. According to the college gospel that commonly pervades throughout society, “social, economic, civic, and moral problems can be solved through schooling” (Lazerson par. 1). From this belief, obtaining a college degree is important because it is believed that it will solve or alleviate the problems facing the person. This book seems to counter that notion with Grubb’s book looking at lucrative jobs that require little or no education. Grubb begins the book by highlighting the importance the jobs have to American education. Grubb followed this by discussing how the education gospel fails to explain these jobs with many people successful in them. For these jobs, Grubb highlights the importance of community colleges whose strength of close student-faculty relations allows them to train students for these kinds of jobs easier. Grubb holds community to a different account than short job training programs, stating that the short-term job training programs are very ineffective in preparing students for such positions. Grubb then turns his eyes to public policy, citing how this mid-level workforce hasn’t been focused on by federal, state, and local governments. Grubb then appeals to these levels of government to help people attain these jobs.

This book, though higher ed wasn’t the main explicit focus of the book, provides a different perspective on higher ed. This book can almost be viewed as disregarding higher ed, or more specifically the traditional view of higher ed. Grubb does address community colleges, however, it isn’t the traditional view of higher ed for most people. The education gospel is highly reliant on the fact people achieve success from higher education. However, with Grubb’s book he is looking at people achieving success without the education.

Clifford Adelman, author of The Toolbox Revisted: Paths to Degree Completion from High School Through College, etc. and employee of the United States Department of Education, analyzed Grubb’s book, noting the different perspective that Grubb’s book provides on higher education. Adelman highlights the book for three main reasons, “(1) its history of job training programs is concise and clear, (2) its review of the evaluations of those programs demonstrates how much we in higher education have to learn about rigor in evaluation design, and (3) its recommendations on project-based teaching and learning are fine guides for more generalized student-centered approaches”(Adelman par. 5).  Grubb’s message reached his target audience with Adelman noting the appeal Grubb made to the different levels of government, asking for them to create school-to-work (STW) opportunities. What stands out to Adelman the most, however, was Grubb’s combination of logos and pathos.

Grubb used logos by addressing the history of education programs/policies that are involved in preparing people for mid-level jobs. Grubb then employs pathos through the case studies that he obtained from interviewing faculty, students, and employers, all involved in what Grubb covers in his book.


The Education Gospel : The Economic Power of Schooling(2004) 

In The Education Gospel: The Economic Power of Schooling (2004), Grubb collaborated with Marvin Lazerson to explore the education gospel and the fallacies entailed within this belief, the idea that college should prepare people for school. Grubb and Lazerson counter this idea by highlighting that fact people often aren’t prepared for the career fields that they enter. Grubb and Lazerson cite that some people are either under-educated or over educated with “…jobs that are mostly done by graduates…used to require only shorter training, often received while working. Today, having a degree is usually an entry requirement” (The Economist par. 16). This quote demonstrates how extensive the issue of over-education. The authors also imply that over-education is a contributing factor to huge student debts that are a huge issue for college students and alumni.

Additionally, Grubb and Lazerson argue a point similar to Tressie McMillian Cottom makes in her book, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy. They argue that the increasing spread of focus on credentialism, rather than vocationalism has resulted in greater inequality. This is a radical idea because it counters the commonly held belief that “education is the great equalizer.” Grubb and Lazerson argue that with the great focus of society on credentialism, inequality is created or amplified as some parents send their kids to private schools while those who can’t are left behind. In the process, it leads to more polarization, should it be through race, economic class, or societal influence.


Grubb’s Websites at University of California Berkeley

W. Norton Grubb–Chancellor’s Award For Advancing Institutional Excellence and Equity– University of California Berkeley

W. Norton Grubb-Obituary


Grubb’s Video Interviews

W. Norton Grubb-Memorial Interview



“2012 Recipients.” Diversity Data Dashboard | Diversity, diversity.berkeley.edu/programs-services/grants-awards/chancellors-award-advancing-institutional-excellence/2012-recipients.

Adelman, Clifford. “Working in the Middle: Strengthening Education and Training for the Mid-Skilled Labor Force / Learning to Work: The Case for Reintegrating Job Training and Education.” The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 69, no. 1, 1998, pp. 114-116. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/205333810?accountid=1122.

Ascd. “Trends: Vocational Education / Education Through Occupations.” How Student Progress Monitoring Improves Instruction – Educational Leadership, www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov95/vol53/num03/-Education-Through-Occupations.aspx.

Fermanich, Mark L. “ In Education, Money Isn’t All.” The Denver Post, 30 Aug. 2011, www.denverpost.com/2011/08/30/in-education-money-isnt-all/.

Grubb, and W. Norton. “Working in the Middle: Strengthening Education and Training for the Mid-Skilled Labor Force.” Journal of Research in Education, Eastern Educational Research Association. George Watson, Marshall University, One John Marshall Drive, College of Education and Professional Development, Huntington, WV 25755. e-Mail: Eerajournal@Gmail.com; Web Site: Http://Www.eeraorganization.org, 30 Nov. 1995, eric.ed.gov/?id=ED400008.

Grubb, W. Norton. “Honored But Invisible: An Inside Look at Teaching in Community Colleges.” Community College Research Center, 1 Mar. 1999, ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/publications/honored-but-invisible.html.

Grubb, W. Norton., and Marvin Lazerson. The Education Gospel: the Economic Power of Schooling. Harvard University Press, 2004. ProQuest Ebook Central, ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.gsu.edu/lib/gsu/detail.action?docID=3300615.

“In Requiem: Professor W. Norton Grubb 1948 – 2015.” Vimeo.com, 2015, vimeo.com/124653978. Accessed 11AD.

Lazerson, Marvin. “The Education Gospel Loud Music, the Lone Ranger, Playing Within Your Game, and It’s Hard to Learn When You’re Hungry.” Education Week, 10 May 2005, www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2005/05/11/36lazerson.h24.html.

“Leadership for Educational Equity.” Leadership for Educational Equity, educationalequity.org/.

Little, Judith. Philip Selznick, senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/_files/inmemoriam/html/W.NortonGrubb.html.

The Economist. “All Must Have Degrees Going to University Is More Important than Ever for Young People But the Financial Returns Are Falling.” The Economist, 3 Feb. 2018, www.economist.com/international/2018/02/03/going-to-university-is-more-important-than-ever-for-young-people.

Daniel Coit Gilman

Karrah Schuster

Engl 1102, Section 225, Prof. Weaver

Research Project

November 24th, 2018


“File:Portrait of Daniel Coit Gilman.jpg.” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. 28 Jan 2018, 07:43 UTC. 17 Nov 2018, 21:23 <https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Portrait_of_Daniel_Coit_Gilman.jpg&oldid=283418074>.         

Daniel Coit Gilman was born July 6th1831 in Norwich, Connecticut and died October 13th1908. During his 77 years he made countless contributions to American higher education seen by his work in colleges around the United States such as; Yale College, University of California, Sheffield Scientific School, and the Carnegie Institution. It was 1875 when 44-year-old Daniel Coit Gilman accepted the call to Baltimore to assist in establishing the new John Hopkins University. Gilman’s presidency at John Hopkins University is said to be his most influential and important accomplishment. The example he set became the standard that changed the nation,and naturalized the idea of a true university in America.It is because of his years of experience in different fields at different schools across America, his studies made in foreign institutions and libraries across the country, and his success in changing the meaning of a university, thatDaniel Coit Gilman is remembered as a successful higher education scholar.

It all started when 14-year-old Daniel Coit Gilman moved to New York, and later attended Yale College. It was during his experience at Yale where he became interested in lexicography, which is the practice of compiling dictionaries. Upon graduation at Yale, he spent a year at Harvard college with the idea of preparing a new dictionary. His intense interest in literacy led him to a journey across the world where he traveled to foreign institutions and libraries to investigate foreign education. Gilman returned to America in 1855 and was appointed librarian at Yale until 1865. During his time as Yale librarian, Dr. Gilman stayed busy and continued to dig deeper into the education system in countless ways. Gilman then began to dig deeper into scientific schools in America. He worked to raise funds for the founding of the Sheffield Scientific School leading to his new title of geography professor at the Scientific School in 1863, where he worked to what the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol 48 calls, “raising it to a higher level of efficiency” (Andrews lxv). His success led to an offer to be President of the University of California which he accepted in 1871. Four years later Gilman took up the proposal he is best remembered for, the offer to be the first president of the John Hopkins University.

In 1875 Gilman was offered the position to be the first president of the John Hopkins University.  Dr. Gilman spent that year carefully selecting staff that met his standards and deciding on an educational model. One year later he was officially appointed as the first president of the John Hopkins University. He picked the brightest and most promising professors and students.  Trustees gave Gilman free reign in shaping and running the university. At the time Gilman’s principles were said to be radical and caused controversy in the community. For example, the initial idea being that John Hopkins University was to be a school for graduates to further their education. At that time universities admitted students with no previous higher-level academic preparation. Gilman sought good relations with the public to be important, so due to public pressure Gilman accepted some undergraduates. Another example is Gilman’s introduction of the incorporation of sciences into curriculum. This created controversy because up to that time colleges focused on traditional Latin, and Greek theology courses. Almost every new idea sparked a discussion. Other examples include John Hopkins being the first graduate research university in America to grant the Ph.D. and the factors Gilman searched for when selecting educators for the new university.

Gilman believed there were colleges and then there were universities. In Gilman’s book, University Problems in The United States, he describes universities as, “…a place for the advanced and Special education of youth who have been prepared for its freedom by the discipline of a lower school” (Gilman 13). The “lower school” Gilman mentioned is what he defines a college to be. Gilman’s goal in shaping the John Hopkins University was for each student to grow intellectually and morally. Gilman believed the focus of a true university was to encourage research and the advancement of individual scholars. In “University Problems in the United States”, Gilman shares, “…there is nothing which seems to me so important, in this region, and indeed the entire land, as the promotion of good secondary schools, preparatory to the universities” (Gilman 37).

Gilman contribution to the rebirth of higher education in America is little known. He worked his entire life to better education. He is remembered for his organization, leadership, and precision. He was said to be an enthusiastic, motivated, humanitarian, a master educational planner and administrator. He always expressed that he wanted to make these changes to education for the betterment of society. The changes he made to higher education continue to be valid today. The Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Vol. 52, No 13 states, “…one of the greatest secrets of his success as president of the university that he made his associates feel sure that he took a genuine and sympathetic interest in what they were doing” (Lanman 839).


Charles R. Lanman. “Daniel Coit Gilman (1831-1908).” Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, no. 13, 1917, p. 836. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.20025721&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Gilman, Daniel Coit. University Problems in the United States. Ardent Media, 1969, books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=YH8PEAYUX-YC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=daniel+coit+gilman&ots=teBPnsZ8Zf&sig=71McwU-nw_zm1AKkCXvyXhFgY48#v=onepage&q=daniel%20coit%20gilman&f=false.

M. Andrews. “Daniel Coit Gilman, LL. D.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, no. 193, 1909, p. lxii. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.984068&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Young, Arthur P. “Daniel Coit Gilman in the Formative Period of American Librarianship.” Library Quarterly, vol. 45, no. 2, Jan. 1975, pp. 117–140. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ahl&AN=45983911&site=eds-live&scope=site.


Christopher Jencks


Christopher Jencks is a widely respected and influential social scientist in the United States. He entered the social policy world in the early 1960s. He is still a Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government since 1998. His career interests are in the economic opportunity and the welfare of individuals at the bottom of the income distribution range. He focuses on many topics as a social politician working for the welfare state and study of social services to help Americans live a better quality of life. However, he tries to shed light on weaknesses in American higher education through his many books, articles, and interviews. He argues that American higher education institutions should be available for all that are eligible and that they should persuade minority students to stay in school so that they will not live complicated lives.

Christopher Jencks's picture

Christopher Sandy Jencks is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at Harvard University’s Kenndey School of Government.



In 1988, Jencks wrote an essay titled “Whom Must We Treat Equally for Educational Opportunity to Be Equal.” The piece is about how people have different meanings for the word “equal.” In the essay, he associates all the different meanings of “equal” to equal educational opportunity. One example he uses in the essay is when a teacher, Ms. Higgins, implies that she should give all her third-grade students equal attention and opportunity but she does not do as she indicates. This example of Mrs. Higgins is important because Jencks implies that Mrs. Higgins teaching methods are everywhere, middle school, high school, and college. He also makes it clear to his readers why he focuses on young children in the essay because children tend to dramatize certain ambiguities in adults thinking about equal opportunity, but it may obscure others (Jencks 2). Jencks is clearly stating that equal opportunity applies to everyone. He is only focusing on children because adults tend to be more concerned for children than concerning for other adults. Also, he applies what he found to adolescents and individuals pursuing higher education when he mentions, “As students get older, the case for paternalism grows weaker. As a result, both the principled and practical arguments for certain courses of action grow weaker too” (Jencks 2). The authors seem to apply the case for weak paternalism to higher education especially when elite colleges look down on other colleges. These elite institutions also restrict students who are pursuing higher education. Elite colleges restricting students and looking down on other colleges make moral and empirical arguments weak.

Additionally, in the late 1960s, Jencks joined the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s newly formed Center for Educational Policy Research where he and his colleagues wrote Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and School in America. It took them three years of research to write this book. In Chapter 2, titled “Inequality in the Schools” Jencks and his colleagues make their strongest argument about higher education when they state, “Access to education is far more equal for children between age 6-16 than for older and younger children” (Jencks 17). The authors want their readers to know that school is free for children between that ages of 6-16. However, education if not free for children below age 6 and above age 16. Preschool is not free, and college is not free. The authors continue as they mention, “American colleges have always been selective institutions” (Jencks 19). The authors are clearing stating that colleges in America choose students they admit into their institution. The authors make their readers assume that colleges also admit students that they know will eventually drop out and also admit students that they know will move on to do graduate work. The authors go on to point out that student who does not get money from home have to borrow money, work, or make all kinds of sacrifices to compete with students who get money from home (Jencks 19). The authors are trying to clarify to their readers that students who get money from home easier access to attend colleges while students who do not get money from home do not have easier access to attend college. The authors are clearing stating that students who get money from home have an easier access to attend college. The authors also imply in quote that students who do not have money from home might not attend college since it involves many sacrifices. They also mention, “Money aside, America has provided higher education only for students with certain talents and interests” (Jencks 20). They authors are trying to make it clear to their readers that most institutions only permit gifted students into their institution. The authors also make it clear to their readers that colleges admit students who are gifted over students who have money to access institutions. The authors make their readers assume that students who are not gifted should not even attempt to apply to colleges. The authors came up with three conclusions for a better educational opportunity in higher education. First, they mention that “different individuals and groups should not get unequal shares of the nation’s educational resources” (Jencks 22). The authors make it clear to their readers that some people do not have access to educational resources. They also imply to their readers that college should be available to everyone. The authors make their readers assume that the nation allows college institutions to target certain groups of people to attend their institution. Secondly, they state that “access to low-cost educational services is more equal than access to high-cost service” (Jencks 22). The authors clearly state to their readers that the more they have to pay for their education, the less equal it is. The less they have to pay for their education, the more equal it is. They also imply to their readers that some colleges are not equal since they cost more. Finally, they say “that making all education free would not suffice to equalize people’s actual use of either schools or colleges” (Jencks 23). The authors clearly state to their readers that making college free would not make it equal to people. The authors say making college free for everyone would not make it fair to people because people would attend colleges for the wrong reasons. The authors imply to their readers that colleges high cost convinces people to want to participate in colleges for the correct reason.  

In chapter five of Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and School in America, titled “Inequality in Educational Attainment,” Jencks and his colleagues argue that American schools and colleges “serve primarily as selection and certification agencies, whose job is to measure and label people, and only secondarily as socialization agencies, whose job is to change people” (Jencks 135). The authors are clearly stating to their readers that colleges’ main existence is to give certificates to students. The authors make their readers assume that colleges distinguish people into a hierarchical class. The authors also state to their readers that colleges care about certifying people more than changing people. The authors continue, since schools or colleges certify students based on how many years they attend the institution, then an extra year of college should increase a man’s earning power more than an extra year of high school (Jencks 136). The authors clearly state to their readers that colleges and high schools certify based on how long a student attends the college and not by what the student has learned. They also state to their reader that colleges should pay more to students who stay for more years since they certify based on how long a student remains in the college. They also state that high schools should pay more to students who stay for more year, but the pay should be less than the salary for staying more years in college. The authors add, “Yet the very fact that admissions guarantees graduation had made colleges and professional schools more careful about whom they admit” (Jencks 144). The authors are saying that higher education institutions are concerned about who they admit into their institutions. The authors imply to their readers that colleges accept students who are more promising while rejecting students who are not. Higher education institutions only admit students who they know will graduate.

Continually, in 2009, Jencks wrote an article titled The Graduation Gap where he argues that “America needs to do a better job increasing its college enrollment and graduation rates, especially for less advantaged students” (Jencks). Jencks is clearly stating that American students who do not have money and are not gifted do not have as much access to colleges as students who are rich and talented. Even if untalented and poor students get access to colleges, their graduation rate is lower than that of the students who have money and are talented. He continues by comparing the college costs of different nations. He concludes that other nations do not have a large share of college cost compared to the United States. The students in other nations are also more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than are students in the United States. He says the problem with college enrollment and the graduation rate in America is because “the proportion of high school graduates entering college has gone up while the percentage of college students earning a four-year degree has fallen. College cost is going up, and financial aid is not keeping up” (Jencks). Jencks is mentioning to his readers that people pursuing higher education get admitted into institutions, but they eventually drop out without earning a bachelor’s degree. The author tries to scare his readers who are eligible for financial aid by implying that financial aid is paying for a lot of students’ college fees and its limit of funding for student fees is close. The author also makes it clear to his reader that more high school students are graduating and entering colleges. Jencks continues to stress to his readers that High school grades predict college grades, and college grades are significant determinants of whether students remain enrolled. The author is trying to make his readers think that performance matters in staying in college. He clearly states to his reader that students who get lousy grades in high school will have a difficult time understanding the material in college. He also implies to his reader that students who get bad grades in high school are the ones that eventually drop out due to getting bad grades.

Then, in 1967, Marybeth Gasman wrote an article titled Salvaging “Academic Disaster Areas”: The Black College Response to Christopher Jencks and David Riesman’s 1967 Harvard Educational Review Article wherein she compares and contrasts Jencks and Riesman’s article titled “The American Negro College.” She mentions many others who also criticized Black colleges, but she focuses mainly on Jencks and Riesman’s article. Gasman mentions “Because of the prestige of the journal and the institutional affiliation of the author (Harvard). The article has received much attention-both in the academic community and in the popular press (Times, Newsweek, and The New York Times)” (Gasman 1). Gasman shows in the quote that Jencks and Riesman are respected and influential. She makes it very clear that many people read Jencks and Riesman’s article. She also states to her readers that Jencks and Riesman received the attention they received due to the connection they have with Harvard. Jencks and Riesman’s goal for writing the article was to inform the 97% of the American population who knew nothing about Black colleges by describing Black colleges challenges, and evaluating how they fit with other higher educational institutions (Gasman 5). Jencks and Riesman make their reader understand that many people in the American population did not know anything about Black colleges. Jencks and Riesman make their readers assume that there was something wrong with black colleges since they tried to evaluate how they fit with other institutions.  They make it seem like they are trying to fix Black colleges’ challenges in attempting to announce them to the public.

Inclusively, the Carnegie Commission analyzes what Jencks stated in his books Inequality in a journal article of higher education title Jencks and the Carnegie Commission: Not So Different Answers to Perhaps the Wrong Question by Wendell V. Harris. Harris states that the commission mentions an argument Jencks noted in his book; however, he does not specify what needs to be done to achieve equality in the book and that he tries to convince his readers without supporting his arguments with data. (Jencks 4). Harris makes it clear to his readers that the Carnegie Commission wanted Jencks to include data to support his arguments. Harris makes his readers assume the Carnegie Commission wants people to question Jencks’s book Inequality. People should not believe everything written in the book because both the Carnegie Commission and Jencks agree that “higher education should move in a direction which forces us to confront the question of whether we wish academic degrees to certify levels of competence” (Harris 1). Harris clearly says that Jencks and the Carnegie Commission are skeptical about if degrees should measure levels of competence. He also wants his reader to be skeptical about degrees being used to test the level of expertise. He makes their readers assume that there is another way to measure the level of competence.

Conclusively, Christopher Jencks is the go-to person when it comes to equal educational opportunity for all Americans. He has been fighting against inequality in all sort of topics as a social scientist since he joined the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s newly formed Center for Educational Policy Research where he and his team found arguments for a better educational opportunity for all. In Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America, the authors believed “it was unconstitutional for a state to finance elementary and secondary education in a way that some children receive substantially higher benefits than others, this same reason theory should apply to higher education” (Jencks 22). The authors previously noted that elementary school, middle school, and high school were free for young students while preschool and college were not free. They imply to their readers that all education should be free and all students should receive the same amount of educational resources. They also make it very clear to their readers that is illegal for a state not to finance all educational institutions.  



Jencks, Christopher. “Whom Must We Treat Equally for Educational Opportunity to Be Equal?” Ethics, vol. 98, no. 3, 1988, pp. 518–533. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2380965.

Jencks, Christopher et al. Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and School in America. New York, Basic Books, Inc., 1972. 16-20. Book Chapter.

Harris, Wendell V. “Jencks and the Carnegie Commission: Not So Different Answers to Perhaps the Wrong Question.” The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 46, no. 2, 1975, pp. 213–225. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1980881.

Gasman, Marybeth. “Salvaging ‘Academic Disaster Areas’: The Black College Response to Christopher Jencks and David Riesman’s 1967 Harvard Educational Review Article.” Journal of Higher Education, vol. 77, no. 2, Mar. 2006, pp. 317–352. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=slh&AN=19988339&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Jencks, Christopher. “The Graduation Gap.” The American Prospect, 22 Oct. 2009, prospect.org/article/graduation-gap-0.


Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

William G. Bowen

William G. Bowen, Ph.D. was the president of Princeton University from 1972 to 1988 and the president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is one of the most important experts on the intersections of higher education, public affairs, and economics. Bowen was a significant scholar who focused on arts and humanities, education-government relation, affirmative action, equity, technological changes, college structure, costs and free speech of higher education in the United States. He contributed to higher education within his studies and his career. He was one of the most important figures in recent American educational history.

“Q&A with William G. Bowen.” by Tim Goral. University Business

The National Endowment for the Humanities bestowed the National Humanities Metal in 2012 to William G. Bowen for his tireless advocacy on behalf of education. Bowen contributed by promoting arts and humanities education. He also developed Princeton University’s library facilities and expanded the museum’s capacity to hold artifacts. He led the ARTstor that provide academic image resource categorizing arts, humanities, sciences and architecture for educators, while promoting the JSTOR. The JSTOR would later go on to become a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. Harvard president Neil Rudenstine stated when speaking of Bowen that, “he’s made a special effort to advance the humanities (Lambert).”

Bowen was a professional scholar who studied and published on the issue of education-government relation which made him qualified to speak on this topic. In an interview at Princeton’s Nassau Hall, Bowen laid out his vision for the relationship between universities and the government. His interview focused on President Carter’s 1980 budget proposal in which he canceled the National Direct Student Loans program. Bowen argues that people in higher education should speak clearly and loudly to the government to show them their real opinions but without causing direct conflicts. Moreover, Bowen believed that different types of institutions should work together to serve the society instead of focusing on financial gain.

In retrospect, the most influential book about affirmative action written by William G Bowen and Derek Bok published in 2000 was The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions. Bowen focused on the issues of affirmative action and minority participation in higher education, and appealed colleges and universities to achieve educational benefits of diversity and to reduce racial stratification in American life. In the book, Bowen used twenty-eight private and public colleges and universities (45,000 respondents) as database to provide evidence of racial issues in higher education. In Chapter 2, titled “The Admissions Process and ‘Race-Neutrality’”, Bowen’s reference data showed that a strict race-neutral standard would reduce 50-70 percent of black enrolment at their selective institutions (Bowen 50). Based on the admission process within SAT score, he criticized the selection bias in college admissions that raised problems in the context of unequal educational opportunities and unfair treatments. Bowen wrote, “college grades are by no means the full measure of educational attainment; still less do they determine accomplishment later in life” (Bowen 89). Moreover, he also showed the African- American students had lower graduation rates when compared to the White students. He considered the racial implications of higher education itself and emphasized the aims and achievements of higher education. This led him to pay attention to the employment, earnings, job satisfaction, civic participation, and satisfaction with life of both female and male African-American. Then, he goes on to point out that C&B schools (the twenty-eight selectivity schools whose students had SAT score between 1150-1300) have contributed to help African-Americans to achieve their better lives and to be better citizens. He argued that affirmative action could bring more educational benefits that were based on more diverse institutions and provide more opportunities to deserving students to attend top universities. Bowen’s timely argument about affirmative action policies which pointed out the social issues, and it has been affected or eliminated in many states in the 20th century. Therefore, this book received many famous reviews that came out to agree or criticize their opinions.

In 2000, a journal reviews of Bowen’s book, The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions, was written by Timothy Bates, focused on how Bowen used econometric models to discuss the issues of race-sensitive college admissions which will have a big influence on the study of affirmative action. He admired this fascinating book since it was a landmark document. The authors contributed to solve some very difficult issues. Even though the book has some shortcomings, such as some conclusions that they made over their analysis data (Bates).

Bowen continue to work on the issue of stratification in higher education in 2005. Bowen co-wrote a book (Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education) about the relationship between “excellence” and “equity” in higher education. Bowen argued that many poor students did not have the same opportunities to enroll in American’s elite institutions. Additionally, it was necessary to improve the precollegiate preparation of students from racial minorities and lower-income families due to the crisis of higher education in America. Indeed, the authors wrote, “What is clear is that to continue to achieve excellence—defined, we repeat, as educating large numbers of people to a high standard and advancing and disseminating knowledge—we must enrich the pool of candidates for higher education by addressing equity objectives. There is no other way” (Bowen 72). Bowen focused on the equity within gender, race, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status in higher education. He pointed out some solutions, such as reformation of the admission process, resetting federal financial aid, and improving government support of public institution. The authors encouraged their nineteen selective institutions to continue race-sensitive admissions policies and to enroll more students who from racial minorities and lower-income families.

Nine years later, Bowen wrote an opinion article in The Washington Post where he claimed that institutions should perform their obligations and take a stand on positions related to many important social issues. Bowen argued that all the educational institutions need to put more effort into helping disadvantaged students, and into controlling educational costs without pushing for additional governmental support. The government should not create an environment which causes battles among institutions and diminishes core values and the original mission of higher education. Bowen paid special attention to the free speech of institutions, educational costs, less-privileged students, and the economic issues involving higher education.

Bowen also paid attention t technological changes in higher education. In 2013, William G. Bowen co-wrote a book, Higher Education in the Digital Age. He and Kevin M. Guthrie believed that online courses (MOOCs) could reduce the cost of higher education without negative consequences on student learning. They discussed the “costs and productivity in higher education” and the “prospects for an online fix.” Bowen argued that the “cost disease” in higher education is a crisis which increases students’ cost burden. Therefore, he laid out his opinion that technology could transform traditional higher education by providing research data on the costs of online education. Bowen’s opinion included that the online technological platform would bring significant changes to the structure of higher education in America.

At the time of Bowen’s retirement, he wrote a reflection book about what he has done in his lifetime and how he overcame a variety of challenges when he was the president of Princeton University. In Lessons Learned: Reflection of a University President, Bowen shared his experiences of team building, managing dissent, financial planning, academic priorities, etc. These experiences provided exposure to lessons and future issues that a variety of educators may face in higher education. He was a wise, intelligent, and knowledgeable scholar who contributed to higher education and worked until the end of his life. 

William G. Bowen fully made his mark as one of most influential American scholar of higher education. Bowen promoted arts and humanities in higher education that improved students’ quality and appreciation of life. His ideas about education and government relations improved the communication between academic institutions and the government. Bowen argued that affirmative action benefited diversity and reduced racial stratification. He focused on the equity of gender, race, religion and socioeconomic status in higher education that encouraged academic institutions to enroll different types of students. Last but not least, Bowen believed technological changes would reduce college costs and increase accessibility to all students. William G. Bowen died October 20, 2016. Mr. Bowen’s contributions to higher education continue to influence decisions about education that will benefit and improve the academic experience for students for many generations to come.




Lambert Craig. “William G. Bowen.” National Endowment for the Humanities. www.neh.gov/about/awards/national-humanities-medals/william-g-bowen.

Bowen, William, and William McCleery. “An Interview with Princeton’s William Bowen: Universities and the Government: The Diplomatic Age.” Change, vol. 11, no. 3, 1979, pp. 31–35. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40163351.

Bowen, William G., and Derek Curtis. Bok. The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions. Princeton University Press, 2000

Bates, Timothy. “Southern Economic Journal.” Southern Economic Journal, vol. 66, no. 4, 2000, pp. 1011–1012. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1061543.

Bowen, William G. Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education. 2006.

Bowen, and William G. “Demanding Universities to Divest Is Often Bad Policy.” The Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2015, www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-37801901.html?refid=easy_hf.

Bowen, William G., and Guthrie, Kevin M. Higher Education in the Digital Age. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Bowen, William G. The Federal Government and Princeton University; a Report on the Effects of Princeton’s Involvements with the Federal Government on the Operations of the University. Princeton University, 1962.

Bowen, William G. Economic Aspects of Education: Three Essays. N.J., Industrial Relations Section, Department of Economics, Princeton University, 1964.

Goral, Tim. “Q&A with William G. Bowen.” University Business, vol. 16, no. 11, Nov. 2013, pp. 8–10. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=95757615&site=ehost-live. www.universitybusiness.


Here’s more information:

Bowen’s information at Princeton University:

“William G. Bowen, 17th President of Princeton University, Dies at Age 83.” Princeton University, The Trustees of Princeton University, www.princeton.edu/news/2016/10/21/william-g-bowen-17th-president-princeton-university-dies-age-83.

Bowen’s video interview:

Press, Princeton University, director. YouTubeYouTube, YouTube, 16 Sept. 2009, www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtN-GtCrFs0.

University, Princeton, director. YouTubeYouTube, YouTube, 18 Feb. 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0IOf6xzlY.

Alexandria Walton Radford

Alexandria Walton Radford, Phd. is the center director for RTI International’s workforce development unit and RTI’s post-secondary education program in Washington D.C. Her journey through post-secondary education began at Georgetown University, where she received a BA in foreign service (2002). Radford then attended graduate school and earned a MA (2006) and PhD (2009) in sociology from Princeton University. She examines sociological aspects of the US education system and reports the findings of her research in her two books, articles, interviews, and other publications. The experience she has in prestigious, well ranked universities puts Radford in the optimal position to question and potentially prompt change within the educational system (RTI.) 

Alexandria Walton Radford

In an interview with NPR in September of 2018, Alexandria W. Radford breaks down the demographic of college students and describes the average present day college student as, surprisingly, nontraditional. Her assessment of the average present day college student is backed by information provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics. Radford gathers substantial amounts of evidence to raise awareness of misconceptions about college students (they are financially dependent with no dependents of their own, attend college immediately following high school, etc.) that American culture perpetuates (Nadworny.)

Radford’s most recent book, Top Student, Top School? How Social Class Shapes Where Valedictorians Go to College, published in 2013, explains the limitations of being a scholar of a lower socio-economic class. This book associates aspects of the K-12 US public school system (counseling, advisement, etc.) that could contribute to the difference of universities applied to by valedictorians of different classes. She reports that students with more assistance in paring for the college application process are more likely to appear to be a more competitive candidate. Top Student, Top School? How Social Class Shapes Where Valedictorians Go to College exhibits Radford’s well-rounded understanding of all tiers of American schooling. 

In 2009, Radford and her co-author, Thomas J. Espenshade, published No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admissions and Campus Life – perhaps Radford’s most important work with regards to the conversation about higher education. Radford draws contrast between what is perceived versus the stark reality of the state of higher ed. No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal is tantamount to a cesspool of data about post-secondary institutional recruitment. Naturally, as a sociologist, Radford’s primary purpose is to give a detailed account of how factors like race or class influence students’ experience of college.

In a review of No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, Shamus Rahman Khan explains that the authors organize the book in a manner that explicates: the role of higher education in stimulating class mobility, the effectiveness of affirmative action in its current state, as well as the comparative academic performance of low-income students (Khan).

The title’s reference to the separate but equal clause reveals the intent of debunking the notion that American higher education is no longer inherently racist. During Radford and Espenshade’s research, the National Study of College Experience (NSCE) was created, which is essentially a collection of college students profiles from the 80s and 90s provided to them by several different post-secondary institutions. These profiles include information from applications, designated financial aid, and surveys about their personal experience in college. Radford and Espenshade somewhat criticize the effectiveness of affirmative action when dictated solely by race. No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal speak to raise awareness of hard-to-swallow truths of the American education system. For instance, Radford found that, among the 146 most competitive four-year universities, “74 percent of students come from the top quarter of the socioeconomic distribution,” (Espenshade; Radford 348.) Her book questions if an alternative procedure for affirmative action (that is more mindful of class in a climate where economic inequality continues to grow) should be implemented alongside racial affirmative action.

Radford does not fall short of addressing the non-quantitative benefits reaped by students who attend institutions that foster relationships among diverse peers. These benefits, long understood and mentioned by scholars of education like Andrew Delbanco, who wrote College, What It Was, Is, and Should Be, include preparing students to succeed as global citizens in an increasingly globalized economy, promoting empathy towards external demographics, and more. In an environment where, “interracial associations,” are common, students would be, “twice as likely to indicate they learned, ‘a lot’,” (Espenshade; Radford 387.) Radford and Espenshade strengthen the rhetoric of No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal by stressing that affirmative action, which effectively prevents the reproduction of economic inequality, simultaneously encourages learning outside the classroom setting.

Radford and Espenshade do not leave readers hanging with no solutions that could bridge the gap of inequality still prevalent in higher education. In the final chapter of No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, Radford addresses the negative effects elite institutions maintain, such as, “perpetuating intergenerational inequality,” stifling the diversity of social circles, and creating an atmosphere where certain demographics are less prone to (academically) succeed (Espenshade; Radford 378.) As post-secondary education is transformed, the American dream has become increasingly less likely to be achieved. During a time when our nation’s wealth is so concentrated within the top 1%, elite institutions are being justly scrutinized for their lack of contribution in providing honest opportunity to all walks of life by scholars of higher education like Andrew Delbanco and Alexandria Radford. The compelling evidence presented by Radford and Espenshade debunks the myth that admitting more low-income students has an externality of lessening the academic competitiveness of that elite institutions. In 2011, Radford and Espenshade were deservingly presented with the 2011 Pierre Bourdieu book award for best book in the sociology of education. The merit and importance of Alexandria Radford’s work is undeniable, as she aims to rid the reader’s mind of unsubstantiated objections towards achieving what she calls, “socioeconomic neutrality,” and sheds light upon issues with post-secondary education that are not being appropriately confronted (Espenshade; Radford 384.)

Fascinatingly, although Radford attended an Ivy league school, so much of her research focuses on how distinguished and renowned institutions, not unlike the one she attended, still possesses traces of the classist and racist principles on which they were founded upon. Radford’s list of accomplishments is quite extensive for a person as young as she, and her record of devotion to the sociological study of higher education suggests that the value of her input in the conversation will only grow. Radford’s pursuance of a progressive agenda to advance the standard of equality is inspiring, and will hopefully play a part to systematic change in the educational system of the United States in the future.

Works Cited

“Alexandria Walton Radford.” RTI, RTI Press, 7 Feb. 2018.

Espenshade, T. J.; Radford, A. W. No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life. Princeton, N.Y.: Princeton University    Press, 2009.

Nadworny, Elissa, and Julie Depenbrock. “Today’s College Students Aren’t Who You Think They Are.” NPR, NPR, 4 Sept. 2018.

Khan, Shamus Rahman . “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life Thomas J. Espenshade Alexandria Walton Radford.” Contemporary Sociology, no. 5, 2011, p. 580. EBSCOhost.

Radford, A. W. Top student, top school? [electronic resource] : how social class shapes where valedictorians go to college Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Important Links

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David J. Deming


David Deming. Professor at Harvard Kennedy School.

David J. Deming is a professor of economics and higher education at The Harvard Kennedy School. Deming researches and does experiments; he uses tables and graphs of information to justify his statements in his pieces of works. He writes about how the school systems affects the students. In doing so, he magnifies the importance of higher education. He does this by looking at colleges and high school systems and analyze its effects on not only college students but the economy. So, Deming is important because he does a great job educating readers about the relationship between the higher education and their students society.

In 2009, Deming and his colleague wrote the article, Into college, out of poverty? Policies to increase the postsecondary attainment of the poor, which analyzed and questioned the relationship between money and college. From an economic point of view the authors talk about how decreasing the cost of college increases the student enrollment rates. This statement is backed up by tests that show how decreasing 1,000 dollars in tuition increased enrollers rate (Deming, Dynarski). The authors made this article to educate the effects of expensive colleges and the benefits of more financially considerate colleges.

In Deming’s 2011 article, School Choice, School Quality, and Postsecondary Attainment, it shows the impact of choice lottery enrollments in Charlotte-Mecklenburg High Schools have on college admission and degree accomplishments rates (Deming et al). The lottery enrollment procedures are when the school allow random parents to have the ability to choose where their children could go to school. He concludes that this lottery process results in an increase of college enrollees and encourages students to go to college. The authors summarize the article saying, “Our findings imply that school choice can lead to long-run gains in educational attainment, but only when applicants gain access to higher quality schools. Our results also show that high school quality exerts an important influence on some students’ life chances, suggesting that later life interventions may have a high social return on investment, if we can uncover the correct mechanisms” (Deming et al). Deming is suggesting that this practice can benefit students because it encourages them to get a post-secondary education. However, it also implies that high schools and college need to do a better job at creating an equal opportunity giving environment so that lottery enrollments will not have to be a necessity.

One year later, Deming co-wrote an article about the effects for-profit colleges have on students and what it is. He looks at different schools and statistics that show how students are affected. He observes the financial impact it created. The author says the issue is that students at for-profit colleges pay more student loans rates, larger debt rates, and are more likely to suffer unemployment (Deming et al). This indicates that in the long run, For-profit schools are not the best options. From a completion point of view, student in a for-profit school seeking an Associate degree are more likely to succeed than community college students. However, those same students are less likely to continue seeking a bachelor’s degree (Deming et al). Though this may be the case, it is better for them not to continue because they will be deeper in debt. I this case the institution is not only wasting peoples time but also their dreams of a better future. In an economic perspective, For-profit colleges are targeting minorities and are causing a separation between the middle class and the upper class. Because the minorities are being targeted, they have a harder time rising above their current statuses. Plus, because of the rate these schools are growing, it only makes it harder to escape and ignore them. In the article, The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators, Deming shows how the for-profit institutions mostly negatively impact the economy.

In 2015, Deming, with the help of his Harvard colleagues, wrote an article that shows the effects online learning programs have on the students. The summary of this article would be that online colleges classes could possibly be affecting the level of learning and how well students internalize the information they “learned”. The premise of the article is also how beneficial it is to students because of its undeniably low price. The question is whether it is worth it. If people do not hold on to the information being taught how can they use it in real life situations? This is something to consider because more and more people are choosing this option of education. On the bright side, Deming says in, Can Online Learning Bend the Higher Education Cost Curve? there is evidence that the online learning could potentially encourage Post-secondary systems to lower the prices of online teaching and increase its efficiency (Deming et al).

Two years later Deming writes another journal called Increasing College Completion with a Federal Higher Education Matching Grant. He addresses an important problem in the college education society, which is the low completion rate. Deming says the bachelor’s degree completion rates are low and are not getting better even if colleges decrease their costs (Deming). The high costs of these schools are not only negatively impacting the school but the education economy. To fix this problem, Deming proposes a federal matching grant plan which advertises free tuition for students in community colleges and an increase in affordable mentoring sessions. Deming says, “The purpose of the proposed program is to provide states with an incentive to rein in college costs, while maintaining or increasing spending levels so that quality does not suffer” (Deming). The program Deming is suggesting gives equal opportunity to everyone by making schools more affordable. Doing this would encourage students to finish their degrees and help the economy.

In 2018, Deming received the David N. Kershaw award. The APPAM say that his analyzation and research are important to the public and that he is changing a big social challenge for the better. They also say Deming not only educates the public but that he shows them how important and impacting research is. (Harvard’s David Deming Earns Prestigious David N. Kershaw Award)

Deming is a cognitive thinker and writer and does a great job at proving his points. His continual use of data and research grabs readers attention. This skill is very important for readers of this generation because it is harder to grab their attention. Deming has always looked at things from and economic perspective and luckily, he has included higher education. A point that he touches on each of his article is that higher education is to educate the minds of certain individuals. Colleges need to improve and clear the path for these learners so that this is possible. As time continues, more people will understand how higher education affects its students and that thanks to one of the best influencers; David J. Deming.



Deming’s Websites for Harvard University
About David Deming 
David Deming Professor of Education and Economics

Deming’s Social Media
Twitter Account (@ProfDavidDeming)

Deming’s Video
Why It Matters: David Deming

Deming’s Public Work
David Deming NBER

David Deming Photo

Deming, David, et al. “Can Online Learning Bend the Higher Education Cost Curve?” American Economic Association, 2015, search.proquest.com/openview/29a3a07defa95a99de989a0db157f318/1.pdf?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=42182.

“Harvard’s David Deming Earns Prestigious David N. Kershaw Award.” Mathematica Policy Research, 2018, www.mathematica-mpr.com/news/harvards-david-deming-earns-prestigious-david-n-kershaw-award.

Deming, David. “Increasing College Completion with a Federal Higher Education Matching Grant.” The Hamilton Project, 2017, nshe.nevada.edu/tasks/sites/Nshe/assets/File/BoardOfRegents/Agendas/2017/jun-mtgs/bor-refs/supp-mat/BOR-7.pdf

Deming, David, and Susan Dynarski. “Into College, Out of Poverty? Policies to Increase the Postsecondary Attainment of the Poor” NBER Working Papers Series, 2009, www.nber.org/papers/w15387.pdf.

Deming, David, et al. “School Choice, School Quality, and Postsecondary Attainment.” NBER Working Papers, 2011, www.nber.org/papers/w17438.pdf

Deming, David J, et al. “The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators?” The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators?, 2012, www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41348810.pdf.


Mark Garrett Cooper

Mark Garrett Cooper, Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of South Carolina

Mark Garrett Cooper is currently a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of South Carolina. He was one of the co-editors of Rediscovering U.S. Newsfilm Cinema, Television, and the Archive. Cooper is also an author of three books: Love Rules: Silent Hollywood and the Rise of the Managerial Class (2003), Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood (2011), and co-author of Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education with John Marx. Although he has written one book regarding higher education, he has written a bit more about this subject in his articles. His book focuses on “the development of America higher education by viewing universities as media institutions.”

In 2017, Cooper co-wrote Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education. In this book, Cooper and Marx contend how research universities have tried to obtain and advise to the public and try to give their universities value to the American Society. Cooper believes that research universities only came about to “connect people” instead of producing or gaining knowledge. Universities were always media institutions. They were always there to control and to gain audiences. Media institution thrives by being involved by media establishments such as books, movies, radio, and even televisions. “They’ve only succeeded to the extent that they do behave as media institutions.”

In May 2018, Mark Garrett Cooper co-wrote a piece on Does Merit have a Future? He believes that the “history of our higher education suggests that to create a new consensus about merit would require a mass-mediation […] to the popular magazines that first helped convince Americans of the university’s value. It could increase worth to the university if they catered to specific needs to each person such as “student centeredness,” curricular activities, or even “media-savvy” learning tools than accepting one’s selectivity or specialization. Today, campus life interfaces are far more entangled with academic merit to differentiate school brands.

In June 2018, Cooper and Marx were in an interview with UCDavis to show ” how the need to create an audience stamps each of the university’s steadily proliferating disciplines, shapes its structure and determines its division of labor.” They also agreed that there is” a profound dissatisfaction with histories of the university […] academic mission against football, movies, television, the internet, mobile phones, or any other commercially successful, widely adopted media form,” and how this generation is changing the way we see universities in the media world.

In another interview with Inside Higher Ed a couple of months later, he explained that the book broadens this view beyond a normal relation is far more entrenched that we typically see. The idea behind writing this book comes from the dissatisfaction with the constant problems that resulted in a “crisis in the humanities.” Our universities are spurring the regulation to destroy public ranking. Many people “value credentials to the extent that institutions of higher education (among other media institutions) have been effective in associating them with careers, self-fulfillment, public service and the pleasures of campus life.”

In June, Mark Garrett Cooper wrote a short article regarding why there is no such thing about private higher education. Others influence all higher education. Cooper believes that it shouldn’t. Colleges and universities in America must attract out in public to prosper. He is shutting down the idea of private higher education, but he is saying the only way to stick out is to be comprehensive outside of your universities.

Although Mark Garrett Cooper is still relatively new to the idea of higher education, he is changing the ideology of universities many Americans don’t encounter often. “Higher education, just like every American institution, was caught in the crossfire of opposing ideologies […]”. Universities could still change the way we see higher education, even when we don’t have a general agreement. It swaps the way we see American research universities. As we go on every day, universities are still blooming into research universities; it could go either way- exhilarating or threatening.





University Photo

“Resources for:” The Dawn of Religious Freedom in South Carolina,

“Media U.” Columbia University Press.Print

Cooper, Mark Garrett. “Rediscovering U.S. Newsfilm: Cinema, Television, and the Archive.” Routledge, 25 June 2018, pp. 131–220

Cooper, M. G., and J. Marx. “Crisis, Crisis, Crisis: Big Media and the Humanities Workforce.” Differences, vol. 24, no. 3, Jan. 2013, pp. 127–159., doi:10.1215/10407391-2391977. Journal

Jaschik, Scott. “’Media U’.” Inside Higher Ed, Inside Higher Ed, 11 Oct. 2018. Web

Dadmin. “Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education By Mark Garrett Cooper and John Marx.” Department of English, 13 June 2018. Web

Cooper, Mark G, and John Marx. “There Is No Such Thing as Private Higher Education.” Media U, 4 June 2018. Website

Marx, John, and Mark Garrett Cooper. “Does Merit Have a Future?” Modern Language Association of America, vol. 133, no. 3, 2018, pp. 678–685. Journal

Cooper, Mark G, and John Marx. “13 Why We Love to Hate English Professors.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 Nov. 2018. Web

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