Reading List


Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses
By Richard Arum, Josipa Roksa (A great book for understanding what has happened to unversity education in the past several decades)

The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis [Hardcover] by Steven J. Harper (The author pulls no punches when he describes the unscrupoulusness of just the part of universities that he is familiar with.)

Failing Law Schools (Chicago Series in Law and Society) by
Brian Z. Tamanaha (Another excellent book that pulls no punches)

Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities by Richard A. Demillo.  It is an excellent description of both university motivations and workings; and of how to use the internet to bring transparency and change.

Cheated: The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes, and the Future of Big-Time College Sports by Jay M Smith and Mary Willingham.  This is an excellent inside look at how universities behave.

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey.  The first half of this book is about how colleges try to move up the rankings in disturbing ways.  I don’t totally agree with the author about what needs to change, but it is an excellent book by a thoughtful and well informed expert.

Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future? by Harry Lewis.  A former Harvard Dean relates that even Harvard doesn’t care much.

Paying for the Party – How College Maintains Inequality by Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton.  They follow young women at a major state university.  Their work is particularly insightful because they describe what happens to women of different backgrounds, by using examples.  It becomes clear that the university is not interested very interested in serving its own state’s students by educating them; not when it can do better by providing access to fun to attract higher paying out of state students.


“The Odd Couple: Reflections on Liberal Education” by Jonathan Jacobs. It can be found here: (This paper does an excellent job of explaining the importance of a Liberal Education for both the individual and society.  It describes how content deflation in the liberal arts has robbed students of the education they need and deserve.)

“Knowledge Ethics and the New Academic Culture” by Clark Kerr, in the Jan-Feb 1994 issue of “Change”.  It is excellent.

“This little Student Went to Market” by David Kirp   and

“How Undergraduate Education Became College Lite: And a Person Apology” by Murray Sperber

Both are in:

Declining by Degree: Higher Education at Risk Edited by Richard H. Hersh and Robert Merrow

As part of the reading list, here is a link to the 1931 State of West Virginia Elementary Diploma Test.