Liberal Education and the Public Interest
Publication Year: 2005
In 1996 James Freedman published Idealism and Liberal Education, which discussed the ideals that shaped his life as an intellectual, a law professor, and a college and university president. In this new collection of essays, he convincingly explores his firm belief that a liberal education is the “surest instrument yet devised for developing those civilizing qualities of mind and character that enable men and women to lead satisfying lives and to make significant contributions to a democratic society.”
Freedman concentrates directly upon the problems facing university presidents and all university administrators. A passionate and beautifully written argument for the benefits of a liberal education, this book
Published by: University of Iowa Press
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This book is about the possibilities of presidential leadership in highereducation. More specifically it is about the opportunities for collegepresidents to make the case for liberal education. It reflects my experience as president of the University of Iowa, from 1982 to 1987, and aspresident of Dartmouth College, from 1987 to 1998. During those...
1. Mounting the Public Stage
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College and university presidents occupy prominent, even prestigious, positions in their communities and in society at large. Yet to many citizens they are strangely invisible and oddly silent on many important public issues. They are not often counted among...
2. Defending Higher Education
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Once a college president mounts the public stage, one of her chief obligations is to explain and defend the contributions that higher education, and especially liberal education, makes to the larger society. This is not always an easy task, as I found in regular appearances before legislative...
3. Preserving Liberal Education
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Although the proportion of high school graduates who now go on tosome kind of postsecondary school education has increased dramatically in recent decades, the percentage of those students who pursue aliberal education has actually diminished, from 50 percent in 1970 to 40 percent in 1995, according to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In...
4. Celebrating Intellectuals
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I begin with a paradox. Although Americans talk endlessly about the importance of higher education, in fact we undervalue the role of intellectuals, including those who make higher education such a valuable resource for the nation. When we focus only on issues such as which books should be taught in the curriculum...
5. Appraising Significant Lives
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One of a college president’s greatest opportunities is to elevate the sights of undergraduates. In talking to a group of students I often begin with a plaintive query by the eighteenth-century poet Edward Young: “Born Originals,” Young asks, “how comes it...
6. Addressing Moral Questions
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However reluctant many college presidents may be to mount the public stage, however sensitive they may be to the political and social limitations of their office, moments do arise when candor or conscience requires that they speak out, especially to vindicate...
7. Conferring Honorary Degrees
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Ceremonial occasions provide college presidents with an opportunity to emphasize an institution’s values, and no occasion is more potent in its illustrative capacity than the conferral of honorary degrees at commencement ceremonies. There were few perquisites of...
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Publication Year: 2005