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The Board Book: An Insider's Guide for Directors and Trustees

by William G. Bowen

"By far the best book on corporate and institutional governance." --Nicholas Katzenbach, former attorney general of the United States In his new foreword to The Board Book, former Mellon Foundation and Princeton University president William G. Bowen brings his immense experience to bear on the most pressing questions facing boards of directors and trustees today: seeking collaborative relationships and placing a renewed emphasis on sustainable initiatives. The strategies Bowen relates throughout the book foster the collegiality and sense of purpose--more important in today's turbulent times than ever before--that are integral to any effective board.

Crossing The Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities

by William G. Bowen Matthew M. Chingos Michael S. Mcpherson

Probing graduation rates at 21 flagship public universities, the authors focus on the progress of students in the entering class of 1999. This groundbreaking book sheds light on such serious issues as dropout rates linked to race, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities

by William G. Bowen Matthew M. Chingos Michael S. Mcpherson

The United States has long been a model for accessible, affordable education, as exemplified by the country's public universities. And yet less than 60 percent of the students entering American universities today are graduating. Why is this happening, and what can be done? Crossing the Finish Line provides the most detailed exploration ever of college completion at America's public universities. This groundbreaking book sheds light on such serious issues as dropout rates linked to race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Probing graduation rates at twenty-one flagship public universities and four statewide systems of public higher education, the authors focus on the progress of students in the entering class of 1999--from entry to graduation, transfer, or withdrawal. They examine the effects of parental education, family income, race and gender, high school grades, test scores, financial aid, and characteristics of universities attended (especially their selectivity). The conclusions are compelling: minority students and students from poor families have markedly lower graduation rates--and take longer to earn degrees--even when other variables are taken into account. Noting the strong performance of transfer students and the effects of financial constraints on student retention, the authors call for improved transfer and financial aid policies, and suggest ways of improving the sorting processes that match students to institutions. An outstanding combination of evidence and analysis, Crossing the Finish Line should be read by everyone who cares about the nation's higher education system.

The Game of Life

by William G. Bowen James L. Shulman

The President of Williams College faces a firestorm for not allowing the women's lacrosse team to postpone exams to attend the playoffs. The University of Michigan loses $2.8 million on athletics despite averaging 110,000 fans at each home football game. Schools across the country struggle with the tradeoffs involved with recruiting athletes and updating facilities for dozens of varsity sports. Does increasing intensification of college sports support or detract from higher education's core mission?James Shulman and William Bowen introduce facts into a terrain overrun by emotions and enduring myths. Using the same database that informed The Shape of the River, the authors analyze data on 90,000 students who attended thirty selective colleges and universities in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1990s. Drawing also on historical research and new information on giving and spending, the authors demonstrate how athletics influence the class composition and campus ethos of selective schools, as well as the messages that these institutions send to prospective students, their parents, and society at large.Shulman and Bowen show that athletic programs raise even more difficult questions of educational policy for small private colleges and highly selective universities than they do for big-time scholarship-granting schools. They discover that today's athletes, more so than their predecessors, enter college less academically well-prepared and with different goals and values than their classmates--differences that lead to different lives. They reveal that gender equity efforts have wrought large, sometimes unanticipated changes. And they show that the alumni appetite for winning teams is not--as schools often assume--insatiable. If a culprit emerges, it is the unquestioned spread of a changed athletic culture through the emulation of highly publicized teams by low-profile sports, of men's programs by women's, and of athletic powerhouses by small colleges. Shulman and Bowen celebrate the benefits of collegiate sports, while identifying the subtle ways in which athletic intensification can pull even prestigious institutions from their missions. By examining how athletes and other graduates view The Game of Life--and how colleges shape society's view of what its rules should be--Bowen and Shulman go far beyond sports. They tell us about higher education today: the ways in which colleges set policies, reinforce or neglect their core mission, and send signals about what matters.

Higher Education in the Digital Age

by William G. Bowen

Two of the most visible and important trends in higher education today are its exploding costs and the rapid expansion of online learning. Could the growth in online courses slow the rising cost of college and help solve the crisis of affordability? In this short and incisive book, William G. Bowen, one of the foremost experts on the intersection of education and economics, explains why, despite his earlier skepticism, he now believes technology has the potential to help rein in costs without negatively affecting student learning. As a former president of Princeton University, an economist, and author of many books on education, including the acclaimed bestseller The Shape of the River, Bowen speaks with unique expertise on the subject.Surveying the dizzying array of new technology-based teaching and learning initiatives, including the highly publicized emergence of "massive open online courses" (MOOCs), Bowen argues that such technologies could transform traditional higher education--allowing it at last to curb rising costs by increasing productivity, while preserving quality and protecting core values. But the challenges, which are organizational and philosophical as much as technological, are daunting. They include providing hard evidence of whether online education is cost-effective in various settings, rethinking the governance and decision-making structures of higher education, and developing customizable technological platforms. Yet, Bowen remains optimistic that the potential payoff is great.Based on the 2012 Tanner Lectures on Human Values, delivered at Stanford University, the book includes responses from Stanford president John Hennessy, Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner, Columbia University literature professor Andrew Delbanco, and Coursera cofounder Daphne Koller.

Higher Education in the Digital Age

by William G. Bowen Kevin M. Guthrie

Two of the most visible and important trends in higher education today are its exploding costs and the rapid expansion of online learning. Could the growth in online courses slow the rising cost of college and help solve the crisis of affordability? In this short and incisive book, William G. Bowen, one of the foremost experts on the intersection of education and economics, explains why, despite his earlier skepticism, he now believes technology has the potential to help rein in costs without negatively affecting student learning. As a former president of Princeton University, an economist, and author of many books on education, including the acclaimed bestseller The Shape of the River, Bowen speaks with unique expertise on the subject. Surveying the dizzying array of new technology-based teaching and learning initiatives, including the highly publicized emergence of "massive open online courses" (MOOCs), Bowen argues that such technologies could transform traditional higher education--allowing it at last to curb rising costs by increasing productivity, while preserving quality and protecting core values. But the challenges, which are organizational and philosophical as much as technological, are daunting. They include providing hard evidence of whether online education is cost-effective in various settings, rethinking the governance and decision-making structures of higher education, and developing customizable technological platforms. Yet, Bowen remains optimistic that the potential payoff is great. Based on the 2012 Tanner Lectures on Human Values, delivered at Stanford University, the book includes responses from Stanford president John Hennessy, Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner, Columbia University literature professor Andrew Delbanco, and Coursera cofounder Daphne Koller.

Lesson Plan: An Agenda for Change in American Higher Education

by William G. Bowen Michael S. Mcpherson

American higher education faces some serious problems--but they are not the ones most people think. In this brief and accessible book, two leading experts show that many so-called crises--from the idea that typical students are drowning in debt to the belief that tuition increases are being driven by administrative bloat--are exaggerated or simply false. At the same time, many real problems--from the high dropout rate to inefficient faculty staffing--have received far too little attention. In response, William G. Bowen and Michael S. McPherson provide a frank assessment of the biggest challenges confronting higher education and propose a bold agenda for reengineering essential elements of the system to meet them. The result promises to help shape the debate about higher education for years to come. Lesson Plan shows that, for all of its accomplishments, higher education today is falling short when it comes to vital national needs. Too many undergraduates are dropping out or taking too long to graduate; minorities and the poor fare worse than their peers, reinforcing inequality; and college is unaffordable for too many. But these problems could be greatly reduced by making significant changes, including targeting federal and state funding more efficiently; allocating less money for "merit aid" and more to match financial need; creating a respected "teaching corps" that would include nontenure faculty; improving basic courses in fields such as math by combining adaptive learning and face-to-face teaching; strengthening leadership; and encouraging more risk taking. It won't be easy for faculty, administrators, trustees, and legislators to make such sweeping changes, but only by doing so will they make it possible for our colleges and universities to meet the nation's demands tomorrow and into the future.

Lessons Learned

by William G. Bowen

Lessons Learned gives unprecedented access to the university president's office, providing a unique set of reflections on the challenges involved in leading both research universities and liberal arts colleges. In this landmark book, William Bowen, former president of Princeton University and of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and coauthor of the acclaimed best-seller The Shape of the River, takes readers behind closed faculty-room doors to discuss how today's colleges and universities serve their age-old missions. With extraordinary candor, clarity, and good humor, Bowen shares the sometimes-hard lessons he learned about working with trustees, faculty, and campus groups; building an effective administrative team; deciding when to speak out on big issues and when to insist on institutional restraint; managing dissent; cultivating alumni and raising funds; setting academic priorities; fostering inclusiveness; eventually deciding when and how to leave the president's office; and much more. Drawing on more than four decades of experience, Bowen demonstrates how his greatest lessons often arose from the missteps he made along the way, and how, when it comes to university governance, there are important general principles but often no single right answer. Full of compelling stories, insights, and practical wisdom, Lessons Learned frames the questions that leaders of higher education will continue to confront at a complex moment in history.

Lessons Learned: Reflections of a University President

by William G. Bowen

Lessons Learnedgives unprecedented access to the university president's office, providing a unique set of reflections on the challenges involved in leading both research universities and liberal arts colleges. In this landmark book, William Bowen, former president of Princeton University and of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and coauthor of the acclaimed best-sellerThe Shape of the River, takes readers behind closed faculty-room doors to discuss how today's colleges and universities serve their age-old missions. With extraordinary candor, clarity, and good humor, Bowen shares the sometimes-hard lessons he learned about working with trustees, faculty, and campus groups; building an effective administrative team; deciding when to speak out on big issues and when to insist on institutional restraint; managing dissent; cultivating alumni and raising funds; setting academic priorities; fostering inclusiveness; eventually deciding when and how to leave the president's office; and much more. Drawing on more than four decades of experience, Bowen demonstrates how his greatest lessons often arose from the missteps he made along the way, and how, when it comes to university governance, there are important general principles but often no single right answer. Full of compelling stories, insights, and practical wisdom,Lessons Learnedframes the questions that leaders of higher education will continue to confront at a complex moment in history.

Locus of Authority

by William G. Bowen Eugene M. Tobin

Locus of Authority argues that every issue facing today's colleges and universities, from stagnant degree completion rates to worrisome cost increases, is exacerbated by a century-old system of governance that desperately requires change. While prior studies have focused on boards of trustees and presidents, few have looked at the place of faculty within the governance system. Specifically addressing faculty roles in this structure, William G. Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin ask: do higher education institutions have what it takes to reform effectively from within? Bowen and Tobin use case studies of four very different institutions--the University of California, Princeton University, Macalester College, and the City University of New York--to demonstrate that college and university governance has capably adjusted to the necessities of the moment and that governance norms and policies should be assessed in the context of historical events. The authors examine how faculty roles have evolved since colonial days to drive change but also to stand in the way of it. Bowen and Tobin make the case that successful reform depends on the artful consideration of technological, financial, and cultural developments, such as the explosion in online learning. Stressing that they do not want to diminish faculty roles but to facilitate their most useful contributions, Bowen and Tobin explore whether departments remain the best ways through which to organize decision making and if the concepts of academic freedom and shared governance need to be sharpened and redefined. Locus of Authority shows that the consequences of not addressing college and university governance are more than the nation can afford.

Reclaiming the Game

by William G. Bowen James L. Shulman Martin A. Kurzweil Colin G. Campbell Susanne C. Pichler Sarah A. Levin

In Reclaiming the Game, William Bowen and Sarah Levin disentangle the admissions and academic experiences of recruited athletes, walk-on athletes, and other students. In a field overwhelmed by reliance on anecdotes, the factual findings are striking--and sobering. Anyone seriously concerned about higher education will find it hard to wish away the evidence that athletic recruitment is problematic even at those schools that do not offer athletic scholarships. Thanks to an expansion of the College and Beyond database that resulted in the highly influential studies The Shape of the River and The Game of Life, the authors are able to analyze in great detail the backgrounds, academic qualifications, and college outcomes of athletes and their classmates at thirty-three academically selective colleges and universities that do not offer athletic scholarships. They show that recruited athletes at these schools are as much as four times more likely to gain admission than are other applicants with similar academic credentials. The data also demonstrate that the typical recruit is substantially more likely to end up in the bottom third of the college class than is either the typical walk-on or the student who does not play college sports. Even more troubling is the dramatic evidence that recruited athletes "underperform:" they do even less well academically than predicted by their test scores and high school grades. Over the last four decades, the athletic-academic divide on elite campuses has widened substantially. This book examines the forces that have been driving this process and presents concrete proposals for reform. At its core, Reclaiming the Game is an argument for re-establishing athletics as a means of fulfilling--instead of undermining--the educational missions of our colleges and universities.

Universities and Their Leadership

by William G. Bowen Harold T. Shapiro

On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Princeton University, leading educators and commentators participated in a symposium jointly sponsored by Princeton and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Universities and Their Leadership is a collection of original essays from presenters at the Princeton Conference on Higher Education. Individually, these essays discuss aspects of contemporary higher education in the U.S. Taken together, they offer a useful perspective on issues that face American universities as they enter the twenty-first century. The opening essay, "The University and Its Critics" by Frank Rhodes, confronts criticisms of the American university, examines how universities have changed over recent decades, and suggests a plan of action to restore public confidence and strengthen bonds of community within universities. "On the Accountability of Higher Education in the United States," by Martin Trow, deals with the critical issue of responsibility. Harold Shapiro's essay, "University Presidents--Then and Now," blends personal insights with a historical account of changes over time in the roles of university presidents. In commenting on Shapiro's paper, Hanna Gray draws on her experiences as a university president and her training as a historian to demonstrate that university presidents have always operated under constraints. Henry Rosovsky and Inge-Lise Ameer collaborate in the essay "A Neglected Topic: Professional Conduct of College and University Teachers," to which Amy Gutmann responds in an essay entitled "How Can Universities Teach Professional Ethics?" Oliver Fulton contributes a cross-cultural perspective in "Unity or Fragmentation, Convergence or Diversity: The Academic Profession in Comparative Perspective in the Era of Mass Higher Education." Daniel J. Kevles's essay, "A Time for Audacity: What the Past Has to Teach the Present about Science and the Federal Government," considers the historical partnership between the scientific community and the government. In reaction, Frank Press in "New Policies for New Times" comments on the shifting actions of major political parties in supporting research, and Maxine Singer, in her essay "On the Future of America's Scientific Enterprise," surveys opportunities and problems that have been created by recent scientific advances.

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