Professors Galia Sabar and David Levi-Faur in a talk with Prof. Brian Rosenberg from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Thursday, October 7th 2021; 11.00 AM EDT; 18.00 Israel Time, 17.00 CET. Zoom link here.
פרופ׳ גליה צבר ופרופ׳ דוד לוי -פאור בשיחה עם פרופ׳ בראיין רוזנברג, אוניברסיטת הרווארד. יום חמישי, ה-7 באוקטובר 2021, בשעה 18:00.
לקריאת מאמרו של פרופ׳ רוזנברג:Is Harvard Complacent
CONSIDER THIS IRONY: Harvard and other elite American research universities, so crucial to innovation in almost every area of our lives, find it almost impossible to innovate within their own operations and embedded assumptions. They regularly transform everything from healthcare to public policy to our understanding of the universe, yet they are either unable or disinclined to transform themselves in any profound way. It is easier for Harvard to help develop a vaccine to fight COVID-19 than to alter its own departmental structure or teaching model.
This is not an exaggeration.
The question is not whether these universities in their current state are performing a profoundly important social function (they are). Rather, it is whether they could perform their specifically educative function more effectively if they were willing to examine seriously assumptions as central as the primacy of departments, the positive correlation between research productivity and teaching, and the traditional academic calendar. Each of these subjects is commonly thought of as a “third rail”—particularly by administrators who want to keep their jobs. The problem is that higher education, especially in its most rarified form, has more third rails than a rail yard.
Imagine putting aside fidelity to the status quo and thinking instead about impact: that is, imagine if even the wealthiest and most selective universities were willing to step back and look hard at the effectiveness of their current work. Higher education should in its ideal form lead to more economic security for more people, a more equitable and innovative society, and a well-functioning democracy: in the words of Harvard’s mission statement, it should prepare “citizens and citizen-leaders.” This is a mission of great import, one that deserves scrutiny at least as constant and careful as the scrutiny that the university’s many scholars and scientists exercise within their disciplines. Those disciplines are steadily changing in response to new knowledge and new insights.
Are our best universities?
Brian Rosenberg is currently President in Residence and Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 2003 until 2020, he served as the 16th President of Macalester College. His articles on higher education appear regularly in The Chronicle of Higher Education and have also appeared in publications including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He serves as Senior Advisor to the President of the African Leadership University and as a member of the boards of the Teagle Foundation, the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, and Allina Health.
Rosenberg received his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. Prior to arriving at Macalester, he served as Dean of the Faculty at Lawrence University and as Professor and Chair of the English Department at Allegheny College. He is the author of two books and many articles on Victorian literature.