Professional News

John Thelin Recognized by Forbes for a 'Best Book of the Year'

John Thelin
John Thelin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2019) — John Thelin, a university research professor in the University of Kentucky College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, was recognized by Forbes Magazine for writing one of the 10 best books of the year on higher education. His book, the third edition of “A History of American Higher Education," features an additional chapter, “Prominence and Problems: American Higher Education Since 2010,” which goes into detail about the last decade in higher education. 

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.

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

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.