For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Reconstructing Alma Mater
  • Philip H. Francis
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Reconstructing Alma Mater.
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Dr. Francis draws on his experience as an academic and an education consultant to outline the critical challenges and needs ahead for American colleges and universities.

About the Author

Philip H. Francis, PhD, MBA,  was a professor and department chair at the Illinois Institute of Technology and has served as an executive of three Fortune 100 companies. He has served on the advisory boards of eight major colleges and universities.

He now works, along with his wife Diana, as a consultant both to academia and to industry.

Phil also has written books on R&D management, and on New Product Development for industrial practitioners.

 

About the Book

Higher education as we know it today is on the verge of a major transformation. We’ll be forced to re-examine our ways in light of rapid changes in demographics, costs, lifelong and distance learning, and even in the way we best...

Higher education as we know it today is on the verge of a major transformation. We’ll be forced to re-examine our ways in light of rapid changes in demographics, costs, lifelong and distance learning, and even in the way we best learn, individually.

The author analyzes the challenges including changes in finance, demographics, technology, the marketplace, and the political environment. He looks at issues including accreditation, admissions, finance, pedagogy, tenure, technology, ethics, leadership, management and branding.

He briefly summarizes the evolution of the modern college/university system since roughly the establishment of Harvard College in 1636 – the first college in America. From there, the discussion moves to mission and cultures of the modern university as we know it. Ensuing chapters fast forward to have a close look at today’s colleges and universities: their missions, cost structures, vulnerabilities, and how they dispense education. The author examines the cultural, economic and technologic dimensions that are driving substantial changes in the educational experience – for students of all ages.

The basic educational foundations of academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance are examined, as well as how they are being reinterpreted for the years ahead.

This re-examination of the U.S. higher educational system is a prologue to a vision of what higher education will look like in the years ahead. Finally, the author makes a compelling case for a new “business model” that will take us forward to improved educational and institutional processes.

The book is designed for

  • academic administrators who see a need to create bold new visions for their institutions.
  • state and federal legislators who need to understand the financial structures and the cost-benefit relationships of public higher education.
  • academics and those aspiring to careers in higher education that want to understand what tomorrow’s institution will look like.
  • entrepreneurs who are looking to get a piece of the huge new markets that are being created.


Table of Contents
Chapter I: The Beginnings and the Journey Chapter II: Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Higher Education Systems Chapter III: Beginnings of the New Transformati

Chapter I: The Beginnings and the Journey

Chapter II: Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Higher Education Systems

Chapter III: Beginnings of the New Transformation

Chapter IV: Technology’s Transformational Role in Higher Education

Chapter V: The New Business of Higher Education

Chapter VI: Getting the Most, While Managing Costs


More Information

“Whether you are a seasoned higher education administrator, or a concerned legislator, or an emerging university leader, you will find Philip Francis’ Reconstructing Alma Mater: the Coming Crisis in Higher Education a valuable resource and useful guide for understanding higher education today. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and can’t think of a major issue in higher education that was not covered. It reads more like a novel than a text. Dr Francis’...

“Whether you are a seasoned higher education administrator, or a concerned legislator, or an emerging university leader, you will find Philip Francis’ Reconstructing Alma Mater: the Coming Crisis in Higher Education a valuable resource and useful guide for understanding higher education today. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and can’t think of a major issue in higher education that was not covered. It reads more like a novel than a text. Dr Francis’ writing style is conversational and engaging. I felt as though I was participating in an interesting conversation about the extensive challenges our colleges and universities are currently facing. Dr. Francis addresses the innovative changes that must take place in order for colleges and universities to meet the needs of an education-thirsty society. Scenarios and examples of situations occurring at universities throughout the country are integrated to illustrate the each challenge and key point, demonstrating the author’s extensive research and knowledge about our higher education system. He provides a thorough description of every aspect affecting today’s institutions from technology to tenure. I would recommend Reconstructing Alma Mater for scholars of higher education as well as committed leaders who want to establish a context for making critical decisions.”

-- Jean Blosser, Ed.D, Vice President, Therapy Programs and Quality at Progressus Therapy, in Baltimore, MD; former Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, the University of Akron, and Dean of the School Graduate Studies, Villa Julie College, Baltimore, MD.

"This book shows us the future possibilities for our universities and colleges to embrace productive change. Our institutions historically have tended to be cumbersome and silo-like organizations; slow to change and to adapt creatively for the new needs of their students, faculties and administrators. But with this book, we can begin to envision a future that is organic, that values cooperation and which will bring us much needed reform."

-- Penny Silvers, professor, DePaul University, Chicago.

"This book is an important read, whether one accepts or rejects its assertion that a major transformation in our nation's higher education system is needed and inevitable. It presents an important compilation of societal and institutional facts and trends supporting the need for such a transformation and advocates approaches approaches to achieving it optimally.

Its suggested directions may be considered provocative, but each has support from other sources, including this reviewer. The author builds a case for employing methods commonly used in industry to achieve continuous improvement and asserts that the measurement of appropriate outcomes should be performed routinely in educational institutions. The author challenges the traditional method of a teacher lecturing to a passive audience of students and considers evolving to a 'do, then learn' approach from a 'learn, then do' approach. The book also explores means of optimizing use of technology in the learning process, in libraries, and in administrative functions."

--Richard E. Emmert, Executive Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) (retired), and Member of the National Academy of Engineering


Reviews
Jean Blosser, EdD | More »
Penny Silvers, PhD | More »

Pages 212
Year: 2006
LC Classification: LA227.4.F89
Dewey code: 378.73--dc22
BISAC: EDU015000
BISAC: EDU011000
BISAC: EDU043000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-458-7
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-459-4
Price: USD 28.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-460-0
Price: USD 22.95
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