Campus News

UK College of Education's John Thelin Publishes New Edition of Higher Ed Book

John Thelin
John Thelin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2019) — John Thelin, a University Research Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, has just published the third edition of “A History of American Higher Education." This new edition features an additional chapter, “Prominence and Problems: American Higher Education,” which goes into detail about the last decade in higher education.  

“I like colleges and universities. I have always liked them. When I applied to colleges I could keep the viewbooks and observe them,” Thelin said. “As a history major for my undergrad my love for the subject grew even more.”

Published by Johns Hopkins University Press, the book explores American higher education from its founding in the 17th century to its struggle to innovate and adapt in the first decades of the 21st century. Thelin demonstrates the experience of going to college has been central to American life for generations of students and their families. Drawing from archival research, along with the pioneering scholarship of leading historians, Thelin raises profound questions about what colleges are — and what they should be.

“UK has been a great place to write," Thelin said. "They give me both latitude and encouragement.”

Thelin has other published books including “Essential Documents in the History of American Higher Education” and “Going to College in the Sixties.”

For more information about Thelin’s work or the College of Education, visit

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