On Lemmings in Higher Education

  • Roger Soder University of Washington
Keywords: Higher Education, Faculty Advancement, Research University Status


A five-year Study of the Education of Educators reveals an all-too-familiar pattern: the pursuit of research university status. Negative consequences of the pursuit Include faculty resentment at changes in institutional mission, threats to legitimation, and unacknowledged opportunity costs. Causes of the pursuit stem from extramural support of research, undergirded by a society preference for knowledge production, as opposed to knowledge dissemination. A change away from the research emphasis to a broader conception of a metropolitan university will require a most difficult shift in rhetorical ground.