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Dynamics of the Contemporary UniversityGrowth, Accretion, and Conflict$
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Neil J. Smelser

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520275812

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520275812.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Dynamics of American Universities

Dynamics of American Universities

(p.1) One Dynamics of American Universities
Dynamics of the Contemporary University

Neil J. Smelser

University of California Press

The chapter begins by identifying the societal functions of higher education and its moral embeddedness.Several types of social change are involved in its growth over the past few centuries, but special attention is give to structural accretion—the accumulation of multiple structures in the same organization, combined with a reluctance to shed them.The historical process of accretion is traced, and two key structures—the academic department and the organized research unit—are given special attention.Typical patterns of conflict associated with growth are identified.The chapter ends with a characterization of faculty roles and the academic community as they have changed as educational institutions have grown more complex.

Keywords:   higher education, growth, accretion, academic conflict, academic departments, research units, academic role, academic community

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