American Higher Ed: History, Culture, and Challenges

Graduate students discussing around a table.

American Higher Ed: History, Culture, and Challenges

For three years, this joint venture of the Humanities Council and the Graduate School has sparked conversations about the past, present, and future of American Higher Ed.
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Princeton Graduate Students: join us for an engaging dinner workshop series that works as a discussion community. Graduate students are at the heart of that community, but we extend it to the whole university. The gatherings offer you a chance to talk to people from parts of the university you may not often see (junior and senior faculty members from different fields, and administrators ranging from deans to university press editors), in a setting that emphasizes common cause, not hierarchy. We meet every few weeks from October through early December, with two site visits (to a state college and a community college to meet with Presidents, Faculty, and Students) after the winter break, followed by a final social gathering early in the Spring semester. A full list of sessions (dates, subject matter) is below. While the conversations are wide-ranging, the reading load is minimal; we know that everyone is busy. 

Designed for graduate students pursuing tenure track careers, as well as those considering a range of careers in higher education, this GLC takes a long view of American higher education, framing its problems and prospects in historical terms. How did we get here? Where are we headed and why? Where should we be headed? Participants gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the academic landscape. Session topics range from the rise of the PhD as the central academic credential, to graduate education’s role in the research university, to the role of faculty in university governance.

As you know, these are challenging times for our institutions and our profession. This workshop focuses on subjects we all need to think about—and discuss—together.  

The cohort will be limited to approximately 15 eligible graduate students, and preference will be given to Ph.D. students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. This series is a joint venture between the Humanities Council and GradFUTURES.

Read more about the Series

Questions? Contact James M. Van Wyck, jvanwyck@princeton.edu.

Schedule

Tues Oct 1 – Session 1: an overview of higher education in America 

Tues Oct 22 – Session 2: the history and growth of graduate education in America, and elsewhere

Tues Nov 5  - Session 3:  International Perspectives (Europe, Asia)

Tues Nov 19 – Session 4: Data Science and Higher Education 

Tues Dec 10  - Session 5: Professionalization 

and Session 6: Tenure: Past, Present, Future?, plus two site visits after the winter break.

PARTICIPANTS IN THE AMERICAN HIGHER ED SEMINAR

  • Jonathan Aguirre, GS, SPO

    • Jonathan Aguirre, GS, SPO
      • Professional Development Working Group Member
      • Participant, American Higher Ed GradFUTURES Learning Cohort
      • Participant, Ethics of AI GradFUTURES Learning Cohort
    "I've been most appreciative of the stimulating conversations that have motivated me to pursue research topics I would have never otherwise...
  • Yuzhou Bai, GS, EAS

    "I'm excited to support my fellow Ph.D.s in at least two ways: to highlight recent job market trends and consult on new career options for graduate...
  • Sarah Carson, *20, HIS

    "The small-group seminar setting was fruitful for refreshing conversations that demystified how "the university" works and keyed me into current...
  • Rebecca Giblon, GS, HIS

    "The mix of faculty, administrators, and students from a variety of disciplines provide a wide range of perspectives on how the higher education...
  • William A. Gleason

    • William A. Gleason
      • Hughes-Rogers Professor of English and American Studies;
      • GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant
    "It's exciting to see how many new initiatives and opportunities for graduate student professional development are emerging here on campus, in...
  • Max Horder, GS, ANT

    "My experience of the UAF has been transformational: it has equipped me with the skillset I need to translate my academic training into proficiencies...
  • Stanley N. Katz

    • Stanley N. Katz
      • Professor of Public and International Affairs;
      • Director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies;
      • GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant
    "The Higher Education Workshop has been a boon for me as a scholar-teacher with a long commitment to the study of higher education policy."
  • Josh Kotin

    • Josh Kotin
      • Associate Professor, Department of English
      • GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Participant
    "The workshop is an important forum for exploring graduate student professional development in the twenty-first century."
  • Shengyu Yang, GS, EAS

    • Shengyu Yang, GS, EAS
      • Community College Teaching Fellow
      • Participant, American Higher Ed GradFUTURES Learning Cohort
    As a Community College Teaching Fellow, and a American Higher cohort member "I learned how to balance my research and teaching in a safe yet...