What are universities good for? This question has generated intense debate, particularly since the culture wars and Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind. Where radicals once critiqued universities' elitism, that argument has recently been turned on is head: many academic administrators and business leaders now see a university education as little more than job training for the information economy. Such pressures threaten universities' ability to play the critical social role that justifies them. The newest addition to our Semaphore Series, is a provocative look at the central questions facing university education today. Drawing on decades of experience in the scholarly trenches, Ian Angus considers the future of academic freedom in an increasingly corporate university setting, the role of technology, interdisciplinary study, and the possibilities for critical enlightenment and solidarity.
Administrators and politicians should read this book. I fear some of them may dismiss it as outdated idealism, but that would be a grave mistake. Angus concedes that some changes to the sector may be irreversible, but emphasises that we must seek to ensure that the university never loses its informing humanist tradition. It is easier said than done, but well worth struggling for. -- Gerald Pillay, The Times Higher Education
Ian Angus's work is a courageous and eye-opening reflection of the present condition of universities in North America. ...What Angus has crafted is a work that not only concerns those directly involved in academic life, but also the general public. -- Maria Victoria Gugliette, Topia: The Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies