At a time when higher education attendance has never felt more mandatory for career success and economic growth, the distinguished contributors to this provocative collection ask readers to consider the civic mission of higher education as equally vital to the nation's well-being. Should higher education serve a greater public interest? In what ways should colleges and universities be asked to participate in public controversies? What should we expect institutions of higher education to contribute to the development of honesty and ethical judgement in the civic sphere? What should colleges do to foster greater intellectual curiosity and aesthetic appreciation in their students and communities, and why is this important for all Americans?
Ellen Condliffe Lagemann is the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College, a senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, and a senior fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative. Harry Lewis is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of Harvard University.