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Higher Education Exchange 2003

The Higher Education Exchange is an annual journal from the Kettering Foundation that serves as a forum for new ideas and dialogue between scholars and the larger public. Essays explore ways that students, administrators, and faculty can initiate and sustain an ongoing conversation about the public life they share.

The 2003 edition asks “what is higher education’s obligation to democracy?”  Below is an excerpt from the introduction…

What is higher education’s obligation to democracy? For some time, this has been a driving question behind Kettering’s work in higher education. Through this journal and seminars here at Kettering, we gather scholars from a variety of disciplines to explore this question and others like it — questions about the civic mission of the university, what it means to be an “engaged” university, and how a university can be a “good citizen.”

Oftentimes, these discussions can merely be the choir singing to itself. While there is a small, yet growing, group of university faculty, administrators, and trustees who regularly engage these questions, such discussions are usually on the periphery of higher education’s agenda.

But in this time of great insecurity throughout the world, when the struggle for democracy is brought home to us each day via radio and television, these questions of obligation are suddenly and forcefully at the forefront of conversation on campuses. They may be stated differently, the question might be: “What role should the university play in the national discussion?” as a recent Chronicle of Higher Education headline reads, or presented as “The Responsibility of Universities at a Time of International Tension and Domestic Protest,” as the Association of American Universities (AAU) titled their statement to the membership last January. But isn’t this merely another way of asking, What is higher education’s obligation to democracy?

I’ve often heard it said there is no passion or energy behind this question, it’s simply an abstract kind of scholarly question of limited interest to academics and of even less interest to the general public. But as young men and women are called to war — the men and women of the same generation as most of those students who populate our universities — can there be any more important question before us? If it is true that democracy must be pertinent before the work of citizen-creating and public-making will be relevant to higher education, well, isn’t that time now?

– Deborah Witte, Editor of the Higher Education Exchange

…along with the contents of the journal…

Contents of the 2003 Edition

Deborah Witte

Public Environmental Philosophy: An interview with Andrew Light
Andrew Light

“New York, New York”: Community-Based Learning in the Context of September 11
Maria Farland and Jennifer Santos

The Engaged University: An interview with Peter Levine
Peter Levine

Strategies for Involving the Faculty in Civic Renewal
Barry Checkoway

Democracy’s Universities: An interview with Scott Peters
Scott Peters

The Metaphysical Club By Louis Menand
Lisa Morrison, Reviewer

David Mathews

This edition of the journal is currently available as a free download from the Kettering Foundation website.

Resource Link: http://kettering.org/periodicals/hex-2003/

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