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Dynamics of the Contemporary University – Growth, Accretion, and Conflict - California Scholarship Online
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Dynamics of the Contemporary University: Growth, Accretion, and Conflict

Neil J. Smelser


This book is an expanded version of the Clark Kerr Lectures of 2012, delivered by the author at the University of California at Berkeley in January and February of that year.The initial exposition is of a theory of change—labeled structural accretion—that has characterized the history of American higher education, mainly (but not exclusively) of universities. The essence of the theory is that institutions of higher education progressively add functions, structures, and constituencies as they grow, but seldom shed them, yielding increasingly complex structures.The first two lectures trace the m ... More

Keywords: higher education, accretion, academic politics, academic governance, academic stratification, commercialization, tenure, academic freedom

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780520275812
Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520275812.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Neil J. Smelser, author

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