HC 232H: How Universities Work

Professor: Ian McNeely

4.00 credits

  • CRN 22608: Monday & Wednesday, 1015-1145 @ REMOTE

The university is one of the world’s longest-lived institutions, yet those of us who work and study in universities typically spend little time thinking about their history, and how that history affects how we work, study, live, and think today. But throughout their existence, universities have continually taken on new missions, mandates, and functions. They have added research to teaching, accreted massive medical centers, and shed their prior elite status to embrace mass education. Today, higher learning has come to be seen as indispensable to democratic citizenship and career success in a rapidly diversifying and globalizing world.

In this course, we will focus on changes in U.S. higher education from 1945 until today. Early on, you will choose a major research university in consultation with me, and continue to study it throughout the term. Exercises each week will help you “peek under the hood” on the inner workings of university administration, campus politics, and higher education policy. Often we will conduct comparisons between these case studies and the way things are done here at UO. At the end of the course, you will present and submit your findings along with recommendations on how your chosen university should cope with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, budget constraints, the need to promote social justice, and the dizzying profusion of new knowledge.