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The Instrumental UniversityEducation in Service of the National Agenda after World War II$
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Ethan Schrum

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501736643

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501736643.001.0001

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Critics of the Instrumental University

(p.215) Epilogue
The Instrumental University

Ethan Schrum

Cornell University Press

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.

Keywords:   Robert Nisbet, academic capitalism, organized research, Russell Kirk, University of California, Riverside

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