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Crisis in Higher Education

reviewed by Thad Hungate - 1957

coverTitle: Crisis in Higher Education
Author(s): Charles P. Hogarth
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: , Pages: , Year:
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Mr. Hogarth has a twofold purpose in this pamphlet: to develop among laymen understanding of our colleges, their place in our society, their ways of functioning, and the problems they face; and to stress the need for planning now to meet society's need for higher education in the future. Only through such understanding and planning, the author tells us, can the coming increases in enrollment be accommodated.

The volume seeks to introduce laymen to the American college—its purposes and policies, its finances, its physical facilities, faculty, and staff, its student body, its program (curricular and extracurricular), and its relationships with alumni and with the public. The author believes that "a college can be no greater than its faculty because the ability of faculty members to teach effectively determines, to a large extent, the amount and quality of learning that take place in an institution." He knows well that "the enthusiasm of a faculty member for his subject impels students to want to know more about that subject."

Mr. Hogarth also reminds us of other facts that bear repeating: Curricula are varied; they are frequently designed to promote education "for home and family living, responsible citizenship, and responsive living" as well as "the art of making a living." It is important that students choose the right college, and it is a college responsibility to assist them. Student life should be enriched by extracurricular activities "under the guidance of highly trained and thoroughly experienced adults." Physical facilities should serve the needs of program, and for each college there should be a master plan to guide development through the years. "Simple architectural beauty with good equipment and long lasting equipment should characterize college physical facilities." Finally, "it is the responsibility of every college to tell its story in an effective way not only to the alumni, but to the public as a whole." All available means should be utilized: speeches, publications, trustees, alumni, community relations, students, and staff.

The author bespeaks the efforts of citizens, cooperations, and local and state governments to support higher education adequately. If this appeal proves inadequate, then a broad-scale federal policy for scholarships and loans for institutional facilities is deemed desirable. But the author adds, "It will be another tribute to the effectiveness of this democracy if the problem is solved without additional federal assistance."

It is on the basis of understanding that Mr. Hogarth expresses the hope of expediting necessary plans for future development. As a basis for such plans, he stresses the need for facts—facts about the people served, their present and future needs, trends in employment, the success of graduates, the programs and plans of other institutions, and the characteristics of present college facilities. There follows wide-scale communication and discussion of the facts, from which fruitful suggestions emerge. Long-range plans should be based in defined objectives and functions, and should include plans for program, facilities, personnel, and finance. And important as is planning for particular institutions, planning at the local, state, regional, and national levels calls for equally vigorous attention.

Only as understanding is reached, as plans are made, more money is made available, more teachers are secured, and more facilities are provided, can the "crisis in higher education" be met.

Mr. Hogarth's book is both important and timely. If there are limitations, they appear in somewhat inadequate discussions of adult education, provision for organized research and services, the need for statewide and regional planning for coordination and allocation of institutional functions, and the requirement for increased institutional support from public state funds. Mr. Hogarth does not provide evidence for his statement that federal aid will not be needed, and he ignores the implications of the present heavy burden on enrolled students and their families for sound fiscal policy. However, one might expect that such matters will surely receive the attention they require once the author's two major goals of understanding and planning are achieved.


Teachers College, Columbia

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 59 Number 1, 1957, p. 60-60
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 4474, Date Accessed: 11/29/2021 3:49:50 PM

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