American Higher Education and the Common Good

19:00 - 19:00 MA WEST
2:00 pm - 2:00 pm US EST
Tangier Campus Auditorium
Tangier Campus
Charles Dorn

Free and open to the public

Over the course of two centuries, as Americans established colleges and universities across the nation, they stridently declared higher education’s commitment to advancing the common good. Yet as distinguishing a characteristic as this has been, we know surprisingly little about how higher education institutions actually achieved this goal. Examining the founding decades of ten very different colleges and universities, this lecture will address such questions as: Why, historically, did higher education leaders extol promoting the public good as a central purpose? What forces, on campus and off, influenced its adoption? How did students respond, if at all, to assertions that they were obliged to use their higher educations for the benefit of the public good rather than their own private advantage? And, perhaps most importantly, what challenges have colleges and universities confronted in maintaining a commitment to the common good over time?


Tangier Campus Auditorium
Rue Abi Chouaib Doukkali
United States

Charles Dorn Tangier presentation