ERIC Number: ED187210
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar-4
Reference Count: 0
Gilt by Association: Symbols and Categories of Institutional Prestige in Higher Education. ASHE Annual Meeting 1980 Paper.
Thelin, John R.
Case studies and historical notes are presented to suggest that the seemingly clear and familiar categories (including "college,""university,""public," and "private") carry legacies of complicated origins and connotations. According to conventional wisdom and popular belief, the typical state university is characterized by the following: community service, state pride, extension programs, applied studies and research, tax-supported funding, low or no tuition, secular education, open admission and access, and egalitarian composition. Careful historical study indicates that these features were introduced and/or developed in what has been called "private" or "independent" campuses. There has been no convincing historical connection between popular interest, public support, or state approval of proposals for a state university whose educational mission was in areas of utilitarian studies and services during the nineteenth century. The "state university" has been thought to promote popular education by accommodating large numbers of students. An analysis during the 1880s found that two-thirds of the largest 26 American campuses were private colleges. Technical and scientific schools were often started via bequests and donations from private donors. The implication is that despite the tendency to view private-public dichotomies, American campuses were often acquiring a hybrid curricular and financial arrangement. Implications of these issues for the present are briefly noted. (SW)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting 1980
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Washington, DC, March 4-5, 1980)