Has American Higher Ed. Lost Its Way? Bowdoin’s Dorn Delves Into Question in New Book

Professor Chuck Dorn has just published a new history of higher education

Are colleges and universities in crisis today? Is college too expensive and yet still not preparing graduates for real-life careers? Do colleges and universities actually contribute to the common good? Or are they just masked corporations?

Bowdoin Professor of Education Charles Dorn takes a unique approach to answering those questions, and others, by looking back at 200 years of history of higher education. In his new book, For the Common Good: A New History of Higher Education in America, Dorn argues that we can’t understand what’s going on with colleges and universities today until we examine where they have come from, why they were founded, and how society has viewed their function at different points in time.

“There have always been periods where Americans have been disgruntled with higher education,” Dorn said in a recent interview. “What people tend to do is, one, they push for reform — they want what currently exists to change. And two, they create new kinds of institutions that better meet the needs they have defined.” Read more in Bowdoin News.


  1. Matthew Klingle says:

    Bravo, Chuck! A great article. For another interview, see today’s Inside Higher Education for a discussion with editor Scott Jaschik:

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