Special of the week; Issue 24-70 "Clark Kerr on Education 1 of 5"
And we are the national educational radio network presents Corker on education. Dr. Carter is currently the chairman and executive director of the Carnegie Commission on the future of higher education. And past president of the University of California. These programs are based upon lectures delivered by Dr. Carr on the Indiana University campus under the auspices of the Patent Foundation. A general topic for my five lectures is the higher learning in America and its discontents. Now a similar title has been used twice before to my knowledge once by Thorsten Thorsteinn Bevan who wrote on the
higher learning in America and made plain what were his discontents. And then later the title was used by Robert Maynard HUTCHENS the same title setting forth his discontents about the higher learning and United States. I shall be talking in this series of lectures not specifically about my discontents about the higher learning in America but rather its Discontents because there are many discontents held by many people and I come here more to. Share my perplexities about the developments in higher education Reese in the United States. Then to set forth any sure answers. The five topics out talk upon are as follows. The same name on what I have called the best of times the worst of times.
You recognize it as a quotation out of Charles Dickens they say about two cities. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. It was the season of success it was the season of despair. And I like to present to you a puzzle. How could it be that from. Some points of view. This is clearly the best of times for higher education in the United States the same time be the worst of times. The greatest crisis for higher education. And the three hundred thirty three years since the founding of Harvard University. And I want to present some. Views about why it may be the best of times. Hell the fact that it is the best of times has in some ways created the worst of times. And then end up by. Discussing the question. Is that the worst of times on our campuses.
Because of the faults of the campuses. Or rather the faults of the surrounding American society. My second lecture I've called the money and the power. In the last decade we've increased the expenditures on higher education the United States. From 5 billion to 20 billion dollars. By 1976 which is not so far off. To carry on higher education at its present quality. Will cost forty billion dollars. And by the early 1980s 60 billion dollars. And where this money comes from. And what it's spent far. Will have a tremendous impact upon the quality of higher education and the quality of our nation. And I want to end that lecture by making a rather heretical suggestion about how the money should be made available.
And a suggestion which I would have considered quite unwise. Several years ago. The third lecture will be on the coming struggle over functions. I want to talk about the. Several attacks being made on. The modern university modern campus in the United States. From different points of view. I want then to present. What are the actual functions of the modern campus as realistically as I can. Discuss to the extent that they the extent to which they may be either consistent or inconsistent. With change in American society and the changing nature of the student bodies. Asked the question whether these functions are really compatible with each other. And then make some comments about what might be done about the situation. The fourth lecture. Will be on the subject of the struggle over
power. What I want then to present first of all. The fact that the consensus which has held the American campus together for a very long time. Is in some cases broken down with the consensus having broken down the system of governance we have is less satisfactory. And I want to comment upon how difficult it is to work out an effective governance on a campus. By the very nature of a campus it's a very complex institution to govern. I've had considerable experience with trade unions government agencies corporations churches. And none of them are so inherently complex from a government point of view as they college or university campus. And I should like to make some suggestions for possible improvements. And then the fat's lecture will be talking about higher education in an age of
discontinuity and I should like to present to you some of the disk continuities which I think will be affecting higher education between the between now and the year 2000. To make some comments on what's happening to higher education around the world. What seem to be universal trends. And some general adjustments to the new situation. And then end with a. Few suggested guidelines as we look ahead now before I'm turning to my comments for the evening. I should like to put in one necessary qualification. I'm chairman of this commission for the Carnegie Foundation on higher education. But I shall not be representing the views of the commission or any of the other evenings except in one regard thus far we have only one report and on that report I can speak for the commission.
We are in the process of preparing a series of other reports on the future hard to cation. My comments here maybe flex some of the discussions in the commission. But I shall not be speaking for the Commission because it has not voted on these seven other subject matters. And some commission members. Make quite disagree with what I shall be saying this evening or the other evenings as may some of you I might say on our first report which was on federal support for higher education that has been introduced into the Congress as a possible legislation not heard this year as we hoped it might be but we hope it will be heard next year. Introduced into the House of Representatives by John Braddon bust of Indiana. And Ogden Reed of New York. You know the Senate by Senator Javits of New York senator Prouty of Vermont and Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts. Turning then to the best of times the worst of times.
And the crisis in which we now find ourselves. I should like to comment first of all on the great advances of the last decade. Second on how. These advances had inherent with the inherent within them certain problems which we're now seeing. And third then raise this question of the relationships between the troubled campus and the troubled society. Turning first of all to the great advances. Ten years ago higher education the United States faced two enormous challenges. One was to handle what was then called the tidal wave of students in prospect. The millions of additional students coming along as a result of the high birth rate. After World War 2. And could we accommodate this tidal wave. The second great adjustment was to. Respond to the new interest in science and particularly after Sputnik. The interest of students
faculty members government officials and the public at large that also required enormous changes. Those of us who were facing those challenges at that time could have been divided into the pessimists and the optimists. The pessimists thought we couldn't meet the challenges. The optimists thought we could but both the pessimists and the optimists 10 years ago would have said. That if higher education can take care of the title away. And adjust to the new interest in science. Then it will be on a great plateau of success. Such as I've never seen before. And instead we find ourselves in this great crisis. And these are some of the things which were done. In the last 10 years we have created three million more places for students. And I will be using here and at all times what are called fte figures full time
equivalent figures. There's three million was the equivalent of all the places created for students in higher education. During the prior three centuries. We duplicated in one decade. The growth of three centuries. During this last decade we greatly increased the number of Ph.D.s turned out. I took an investment of a lot of money and a lot of faculty time. We turned out in this last 10 years. More Ph.D.s than all the number which had been turned out in all the previous American history. The first Ph.D. was given at Yale in 1861. It was a dissertation to a man who wrote a dissertation on a about 10 pages long and all in Latin. There's been this tremendous development of the Ph.D. work throughout the United States beginning with 1861. For the last decade.
We turned out more Ph.D.s and all the prior history. In the course of this. We created 500 new campuses. Some of them experimental and three of the most experimental new campuses were ones which I had the privilege to work on in the University of California Santa Cruz in Irvine and San Diego. Also we increased the enrollments of the age group 20 to 24. To 48 percent of the total American population in that age group. By all odds the highest in the world the next highest being Canada 24 percent and below that Britain at 12. In terms of expenditures per student not in money terms but in real terms we raised those expenditures by one third. It's something of a miracle to have been able to create three million
new places and also increase the expenditures per student by one third. We also increase the physical facilities. In addition to current expenditures by one third per student. During this period of time faculty salaries rose rapidly in real terms they went up 50 percent in one decade and over two decades. One hundred percent. And yet with all these advances in a decade. We now find more unrest. Within the American campus. And more distrust of it outside. Than ever before. In our history. So I now like to turn to my second topic how the best of times may have helped make this the worst of times. The best time has meant rapid growth. And Stony Brook on Long Island.
Went from zero to 5000 students in five years. No I don't think I've ever seen a campus where I felt I was so close to explosion as that one. And they've had a few. The Santa Barbara campus of the University of California in one decade went from twenty five hundred students to thirteen thousand five hundred. And this has been repeated here around the United States. This meant that more members of the faculty. Had come in quite recently. For a less devoted to it to the campus individual campus. Personally and also met with this vast expansion. There are many fewer experienced administrators. It's interesting to note that travel around the world has tended to combine some of the campuses which are growing the most rapidly. Non tear went from zero to 12000 in five years. University of Monash which has had the most difficulty in Australia went from zero to
10000 in 10 years. The Simon Fraser University in British Columbia with great difficulties has also been one of those that has grown the most rapidly and so an excessive rate of growth. Has clearly been the source of a good deal of trouble. The only countries I know of. Which have sought to control the growth of their campuses successfully have been Great Britain and Russia. Another consequence of the best of times has been the excessive size. In 1958 only 25 campuses had more than 15000 students. By 1968 there were 87 campuses with more than 15000 students and several of them now at the level of 40000. And this campus has become much larger. There's a loss of the sense of
community. They can't tend to become more bureaucratized and also the curriculum becomes more fragmented for the students. There's a sort of law which I have. Tried to express. That you can tell the number of courses in a catalogue and I haven't counted it in the catalogue here yet but it come out pretty close of this. You can tell the number of courses in a catalog. If you know how many members there are of the faculty you know how many members of the factory there are you can tell how many courses there are in the catalog. Because in the one case you divide by two and the other case you multiply by two because every time you add a faculty member you add two courses and you add a thousand faculty members and you've added 2000 courses to the catalog. And as a consequence knowledge becomes more and more fragmented and particularly for the undergraduate student as each faculty members once his own courses that belong
to him. Another consequence of the best of times we have more of a captive audience of students and we've ever known before. Is it becomes more and more the thing to do to go to college. More and more parents put pressure on their children to go more and more young people feel that they don't have to have a college education to compete in the job market. Then additionally there's been the pressure of the draft. There's a recent study which indicates that of all the students in American higher education today one out of five or one out of six are a captive audience not there because they want to be there. But there because of the feeling of external compulsion. Another consequence of the best of times has been a very substantial reduction in the teaching load of faculty members. There's been high competition for faculty members. Part of that's been met by raising
salaries in part by reducing teaching loads and clear across the United States. As a general average the teaching load for a faculty member has gone down by one course. So where the teacher you know did was 15 it became 12 and 12 it became 9 and night it became six. And this meant generally larger classes even though the faculty student ratio remained the same and more teaching by teaching assistants at one large campus with which I am well acquainted. One half of all the contact hours with lower division students are carried on by graduate students by teaching assistants not by members of the regular faculty. A further consequence of the best of times is tremendous emphasis upon science and the cons as a consequence particularly the humanities felt comparatively neglected.
The emphasis upon science put an emphasis also upon research and not just in science but everywhere at some loss to the attention paid to teaching particularly undergraduate teaching. And science also brought. A closer connection than ever before between the university and the military industrial complex. Another consequence of the best of times we geared ourselves up to turn out vast numbers of Ph.D.s and skilled people with the M.A. and the B.A.. And I will shortly face and we have already in some fields a surplus of Ph Ds. We're also going to find some rather different situation in the job market in other areas. There's a recent monograph from the US Bureau of the census. Which says that in 1975 as compared with 1960 that there will be three million college graduates. Beyond the number
required to maintain the 1960 educational status quo within each occupation this will mean that some people with college degrees. Will not have the jobs waiting for them that they now expect it will mean also that salary differentials will be going down as compared with those for manual work which has been happening for a long time anyway. It may be quite desirable. It also means I think that the nature of jobs will change but the for the first time in history rather than having the occupations determine the jobs we're going to have jobs determining occupations. Because with a more highly trained labor force it will be necessary for employers to restructure jobs. Make it a more interesting make them more responsible. Another consequence of the best of times. He said nobody wants to leave the campus alone. It used to be that the interference would come from
a Henry the Eighth reforming Oxford in Cambridge when he got in trouble with the church or from a Napoleon when he reorganized on to France. But now everybody wants in on the campus and have an impact upon the campus is no longer an ivory tower. It's a crossroad with. Passage leading in from every corner of society. From virtually every household in the state of Indiana or the state of California. So away the campus has become a victim of its own success. Everybody now has an interest in it. We may be on what David resplendence called. A collision course between the campus and society. And I should like to. Just conclude this second section. But I pointed out what I think is a moral as we look ahead to the
year 2000 that problems have their solutions the problems of a decade ago. Had their solutions but the solutions in turn have problems. And it pays us to think carefully ahead as we work on problems and their solutions. To think how we may in some way reduce the problems that come from the solutions. Now finally just a word about. The troubled campus and the troubled society. There have been destructive protests within the last year on one quarter of all the campuses in the United States. And one fourth of these campuses that have pro disruptive protests. Have seen some violence. The question is whose fault. The official view in the United States is that the campus is causing the trouble for the surrounding society. And to some extent that may be said to
be true. There are some ways in which the American campus. Has deteriorated. From the point of view of undergraduates interested in a general education. It probably is a less satisfactory place as the curriculum has been fractionalized as the campus has come to have less of a sense of community. But I don't think one could say that the crisis comes from the campus. Particularly I'd like to make these points. I do not feel that the American campus has generally deteriorated in some respects it has but in many ways it has greatly improved. Within the last decade I'd like to note. This not the worst campuses that have the most trouble. But rather the best Harvard and Madison. And Ann Arbor. And Berkeley. And I might add Bloomington.
Also it's the most liberal campuses which have had the greatest trouble not the least liberal. Not the ones with the most restrictive rules. It's also been the most progressive campuses which have had the most trouble not the least progressive. Campuses which have made the greatest effort. To meet the criticisms of some of the students of today. I refer to Old Westbury in Long Island as one illustration which hardly operate at all last year after having started with a curriculum which was in part devised by the students themselves. I refer also the experimental campus at Santa Cruz within the University of California. So basically I would say that the difficulties coming onto the campus come onto the campus from the outside society. We live in a troubled nation. Never before in our history have we had
such a divisive external issue along with such a divisive internal issue at the same time. We had a civil war which is obviously very divisive. We had at that time no great divisive external issues we have today the divisive issue of Vietnam along with the divisive issue of civil rights and the campus is particularly sensitive to. The moral problems involved in both of these issues in the campus of the United States are going to be troubled campuses until we've solved these two great problems. Beyond that I think students come in today. Somewhat different from what they were in times past. They come frequently from more affluent families are less concerned with their vocational careers. They come from more permissive environments and the first big organization they hit is the university
campus with its rules. Also they come in with a greater concern for the affairs of the world. Having seen on TV from their earliest years the problems clear around the world. My own undergraduate days there were a few of us who on Sunday would get the New York Times but read no newspaper otherwise during the week. Most of the students. And this was at Swarthmore. Read no newspaper at all. So we have students coming in better informed than ever before in more of a position to be concerned about. The affairs of society and less about their own material success. Beyond that. Beyond these two great issues and the changing nature of the student body there's a good deal of unease about the future felt more deeply by students but by all of our society as well. The population explosion. The deterioration of our environment the potentially
heavy burden of technology bearing down upon all of us and determining so much of what we do we have then this polarization of society of American society results also in a polarization on the campus and between the campus and the surrounding community. What my witnessing is a worldwide phenomena not limited to the United States. And so it could hardly be said that the American campus is the sole cause of it. I think we're going through a period so much similar to 1848 when a sense of change swept over Western Europe. Only this time there's a sense of change sweeping clear around the world. And so in conclusion. And I say that it's my conviction. But the important phenomena in the United States today is not how the
campus disrupts society. But rather how a society in disarray has led to a campus or to the campus in disarray. And I don't mean by saying this to suggest that no reforms are needed on campus I think some very basic ones are and I'll be making some suggestions in subsequent heavings about the reforms which I think are necessary. But it seems to me that. What we can conclude that however many reforms we need on our campuses and in some respects the reforms are needed more in the surrounding society. Clerk or on education is a series of programs based upon lectures delivered on the Bloomington topis of Indiana University under the auspices of the Patton foundation. Clocker on education was produced by Carl Hirsch for WFIU radio
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- APA: Special of the week; Issue 24-70 "Clark Kerr on Education 1 of 5". Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-hd7nt89n