New Book by UK Professor Complements Seminal History of Higher Education
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 15, 2014) -- John Thelin, University Research Professor and a professor of the history of higher education and public policy, has long been known as one of the country's most renowned historians of higher education.
His book, "A History of American Higher Education," is often cited as one of the critical works in its field.
Recently, Thelin authored a companion piece to this seminal work -- "Essential Documents in the History of American Higher Education." Published by Johns Hopkins University Press, the work reprints many of the fundamental documents essential to higher education's development, including the Morrill Act of 1862 that outlined the creation land-grant institutions and the GI Bill of 1944, which paved the way for millions of Americans to go to college.
UKnow recently discussed this important new work with Thelin.
What prompted you to take on this new project?
About one year ago, the editorial director at the Johns Hopkins University Press, Greg Britton, asked me to consider this project. It’s been years, even decades, since there has been a convenient, current anthology of significant documents about higher education. We want to make sure that a new generation of readers and scholars have good access to these fascinating stories and records. We also wanted to bring attention and applause to archivists who make these records available and accessible.
How do you see it as a complement or addition to “A History of American Higher Education?”
We organized the anthology of documents so that they would be synchronized with the chapters and themes as presented in the original book, A History of American Higher Education. Our aim was to have a convenient source for readers who wanted to delve into the actual memoirs and stories.
What do you hope readers will take away from this newest book?
The campus is a stage set for an amazing drama. My hope is that readers will discover how incredibly interesting the legacies of our colleges and universities are, especially in the memoirs that students, professors, presidents, deans and donors have left behind. The memoirs and documents literally and figuratively bring to life the history of our institutions.
What are you working on next?
Matter of fact, this week my co-author Richard W. Trollinger, vice president of Centre College and Ph.D. alumnus of UK, are reading the galley proofs for our book, Philanthropy and American Highter Education. Other than that, this summer I am working on solving ALL of the problems facing UK and other universities. This may take a while, but I am optimistic about finding the solutions.