The Amherst College Education Studies Initiative welcomes the third speaker of our interdisciplinary series: Charles Dorn, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of education at Bowdoin College.
Are colleges and universities in a period of unprecedented disruption? Is a bachelor's degree still worth the investment? Are the humanities coming to an end? What, exactly, is higher education good for? Charles Dorn uses two centuries of college and university history to challenge the rhetoric of what critics are currently calling the “crisis in American higher education.” From the community college to the elite research university—in states from Maine to California—Dorn engages a fundamental question confronted by higher education institutions ever since the nation’s founding: do colleges and universities promote the common good? Tracking changes in American society over time, Dorn explores how shifts in the nation’s social ethos, from civic-mindedness, to practicality, to commercialism and finally affluence, refashioned higher education in the United States in essential and often vibrant ways.
Thank you to our co-sponsors: The Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation, Amherst College Careers in Education Professions, the Lucius Root Eastman Lectureship Fund and the Amherst College departments of American studies, anthropology/sociology, black studies, economics, English, history, mathematics/statistics and Spanish.