By Hanna Holborn Gray
In trying to find Utopia, Hanna Holborn grey displays at the nature of the college from the viewpoint of today’s examine associations. particularly, she examines the tips of former collage of California president Clark Kerr as expressed within the makes use of of the collage, written in the course of the tumultuous Nineteen Sixties. She contrasts Kerr’s imaginative and prescient of the research-driven “multiveristy” with the conventional liberal academic philosophy espoused by way of Kerr’s modern, former college of Chicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins. Gray’s insightful research exhibits that either Kerr, generally thought of a realist, and Hutchins, noticeable as an oppositional idealist, have been utopians. She then surveys the liberal arts culture and the present country of liberal studying within the undergraduate curriculum inside learn universities. As grey displays on significant tendencies and debates because the Sixties, she illuminates the continuum of utopian considering better schooling through the years, revealing the way it applies even in today’s weather of problem.
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Extra resources for Searching for Utopia: Universities and Their Histories (The Clark Kerr Lectures On the Role of Higher Education in Society, Volume 2)
But this interpretation should not be overstated. Despite the inﬂuence that each exerted, such models could not have been simply grafted onto the diverse institutions already present in a distinctive American culture. The role of land grant 44 / The University Idea and Liberal Learning universities, for example, necessarily had to take account of the direct services to which their public supporters and beneﬁciaries might be entitled. American universities, from the outset, tended to view themselves as endowed with more than a single purpose.
Its president, William Rainey Harper, had started by writing down an entire blueprint covering every detail of its program and organization. “I have a plan for the organization of the University,” he wrote, which will revolutionize College and University work in this country. . . that the university idea is to be emphasized. . It is only The University Idea and Liberal Learning / 47 the man who has made investigation who can teach others how to investigate. . . will depend more largely upon the results of their work as investigators than upon the efficiency of their teaching, although the latter will by no means be overlooked.
To the extent that one might search for the idea of the university as one centering on the liberal arts, then, it is only partially to be found in the universities of early modern Europe, despite the huge inﬂuence humanism exercised on learning in the faculties of the arts in that era and despite the almost sovereign role of the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. It was to be some time before the liberal arts idea would hold a vital dominance in the idea of a university. When it did come to do so, the arguments for liberal learning retained much of their original humanist ﬂavor.