A great new interview with West Virginia University president E. Gordon Gee covers his take on the Land-Grant Universities for the Future book. The interview can be found here.
This interview covers a wide range of topics examining the role that governing board members, faculty, and students play in the 21st century land-grant mission.
When land-grant universities were founded in the mid-19th century, the United States was much different than it is today. What do such institutions need to do to survive and thrive in our very different world?
To answer that question, Stephen Gavazzi and E. Gordon Gee interviewed 27 presidents and chancellors of land-grant universities. Their findings appear in the new book Land-Grant Universities for the Future.
Gee, a former president at The Ohio State University, is now president at West Virginia University. Gavazzi is a professor of human development and family science at Ohio State.
Ohio State News sat down with Gavazzi to discuss some of the major themes of the book. The conversation has been edited for space and clarity.
You can find the Q&A here.
National Review published a book review of Land-Grant Universities of the Future here.
Gavazzi and Gee are also keen to note what they call the United States’ “capital/country divide.” By “capital” they mean major U.S. cities such as New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and the like. By “country” they mean, well, most of the rest of the nation. The values espoused by the residents of each region — secular, progressive, and cosmopolitan in the former case; religious, conservative, and nationalist in the latter — are diverging from each other with dizzying rapidity. Land-grant universities, argue Gavazzi and Gee, must make greater efforts to appeal to both constituencies so that divisions in the social fabric can more easily heal.
-Christian Alejandro Gonzalez
The article “What Public Universities Must Do To Regain Public Support” has just been published by The Conversation here.
Evidence from opinion polls such as the Gallup survey and the Pew Research Trust survey indicates the clear and present danger that complacency poses to the nation’s support for its public universities. Presidents and chancellors who ignore the public’s demands for change at their universities – to become more efficient, value great teaching, conduct research that solves real-life problems, be more affordable and accessible to the widest range of students – do so at their own peril.