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T W O The Changing World of Universities U NIVERSITIES ARE NOT isolated institutions. Their existence and success depends on support from various political, economic, and nonprofit institutions. Thus, to understand the university, it is necessary to examine its role in society and its relations with other leading institutions . While UCB-N and the ensuing controversy are deeply embedded in the highly specific conditions of the history of UCB, the Bay Area, and the state of California, they also reflect a wider set of transformations in the national and international character of universities, and the associated debates over those changes. In this chapter we situate UCB-N in the context of contemporary political and economic conditions of universities, universities’ response to these changes, and various interpretations of the meaning and consequences of these changes. The first part of this chapter outlines the changing political and economic conditions of universities.Beginning with the birth of the modern research university during World War II, we discuss shifts in government policy, university funding, and economic development. The second part of the chapter examines the response by universities to these changes as presented by leading contemporary theories of universities and university-government-industry relations . The third and final section examines changes in university culture and missions resulting from the state of modern research universities and the consequences for the future of “the university,”“the multiversity,” or whatever the most appropriate future term may be. T H E C H A N G I N G WO R L D O F U N I V E R S I T I E S 19 UNIVERSITIES IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY By comparison to the present, during the first half of the twentieth century there was little government funding of university research and—as a result— few Humboldtian commitments to linking teaching and research held sway (Delanty 2001a, 52), particularly at public universities. Along these lines, in the era before the GI Bill, the cold war, and the space race, the primary role of universities—including the land grant, agricultural, and historically black universities—was the training and reproduction of social elites, and most university research was tied to this purpose. With the advent of World War II, the role of research in the university began to change, as many leading universities became key sites for massive, high-cost, military scientific and technological development. Indeed, the best-known example of this was the collaboration between a number of elite universities in the Manhattan Project. The successful pursuit of large military research grants enabled universities to construct new and productive research laboratories and capacities. The need for the subsequent reproduction of these infrastructures and faculties was crucial in the establishment of the postwar treadmill of government funding for university research. The effect was to foster the aggressive promotion of a new role for universities—scientific research for the public good—a program and set of goods that were to be largely government funded. Following the war, leading scientists and university presidents made a concerted effort to procure continuing funding of research. One of the leaders of this effort was Vannevar Bush. In Science: The Endless Frontier (1945), Bush laid out a scientific and technological division of labor by which university scientists would generate“basic” research and industry would turn that research into useful applications and products. Government granting programs would vet research proposals by means of a peer-review process that would ensure fiscal responsibility and scientific excellence. While never fully implemented, Bush’s program created the legitimating rhetoric necessary to justify massive government spending in the creation of a new federal bureaucracy and national scientific agenda (Sarewitz 1996). With the support of industry and the military, Bush’s report sparked dramatic changes in the nature and scope of U.S. government support for science. The result was the birth of the American form of the modern research university. After the war, the Department of Defense expanded its wartime research program and became a leading source of federal research funds. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were reorganized into a research agency with expanded internal research capabilities and an office to oversee T WO 20 the funding of external research. Perhaps most important, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was also established following the passage of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950. Originally proposed by Bush, it was designed to disburse government funds to keep America at...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781592135356
Related ISBN
9781592135349
MARC Record
OCLC
184903524
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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