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ERIC Number: ED555618
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1935-3510
Renewal in the University: How Academic Centers Restore the Spirit of Inquiry
Schalin, Jay
John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
At the dawn of the new millennium, American higher education faced a crisis. Dogmatic philosophies of multiculturalism, postmodernism, and statism were sweeping away thousands of years of Western thought. The academy was being scrubbed of free market economics, traditional attitudes toward Western civilization, time-tested methods of scholarship, and the general philosophy of liberty. Into this breach stepped a new concept: privately funded academic centers that preserve and promote the knowledge and perspectives that are disappearing from the academy, with an emphasis on undergraduate education. In 2000, the James Madison Program at Princeton University opened its doors. Today, the number of such centers, institutes, and programs that roughly follow the Madison model (or that of its sole predecessor, the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University) exceeds 150. This report discusses many of these centers, some aspects of the way they are funded, and the charitable organizations that initiated or support them. It shows the myriad of programs they provide for students, often on a shoestring budget, and explains how they are able to survive in environments that range from welcoming to hostile. The report includes discussion of four issues: Are they political entities or do they reflect objective scholarship? Who controls the curriculum of these centers? What are the rights of the donors? And what does their emergence mean for the future of academia and the nation? [This report was funded by the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.]
John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. 353 East Six Forks Road Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27609. Tel: 919-828-1400; Fax: 919-828-7455; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy