Critics of the Instrumental University
The epilogue treats critics of American modernity and the instrumental university, especially the sociologist Robert Nisbet, a University of California faculty member (and sometime administrator) at Berkeley and Riverside from 1939 to 1972 who knew Clark Kerr. Nisbet lashed out at organized research in his 1971 book The Degradation of the Academic Dogma, where he coined the term “academic capitalism.” The most unfortunate consequence of the ORU’s rise to prominence, Nisbet believed, was that it separated research from teaching, thus tearing asunder what he conceived as a coherent fabric of academic practice. Nisbet’s thought provides a helpful framework for assessing the instrumental university’s legacy for higher education and American society today.
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