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ERIC Number: ED442350
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 33
Abstractor: N/A
Fundamental Challenges for Liberal Arts Colleges. AGB Occasional Paper No. 38.
Neely, Paul; McPherson, Michael S.; Schapiro, Morton Owen
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
The two essays in this document address the many challenges facing liberal arts colleges today. "The Threats to Liberal Arts Colleges" (Paul Neeley), holds that the most serious threat to liberal arts colleges is not ideology or technology but instead it is the marketplace. Competition within the liberal arts sector leads the best schools to spend more to attract the best students, to change their mission to attract corporate funding, and to become "research colleges." The essay contends, however, that the survival of liberal arts colleges lies in society's understanding of and belief in the value of the traditional liberal arts education. "The Future Economic Challenges for the Liberal Arts Colleges" (Michael S. McPherson and Morton Owen Schapiro) examines threats posed by changing student interests; the trend toward professional and vocational majors; changes in financing of liberal arts colleges, in management of tuition, student financial aid, and enrollment; and most importantly, the declining enrollment in liberal arts colleges, noting that fewer than 250,000 students out of more than 14 million experience education in a small residential college. Here, too, it is argued that liberal arts colleges offer a unique embodiment of ideals of educational excellence that are deserving of preservation. (Both papers contain endnotes.) (RH)
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1133 20th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, DC.
Note: Reprinted with permission of "Daedalus," Journal of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, Winter 1999, Vol. 128, No. 1.