American universities benefit from mistakes, messiness

November 18, 2015

American universities do not remain the best in the world despite their messiness and seeming anarchy, writes former Senior Vice President of Tufts University, Sol Gittleman. Rather, he argues that these universities remain the best precisely because they are so fractured and diverse. In a piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gittleman argues that the common belief that American universities have declined from a “golden age” of higher education is nothing more than a myth. By revisiting major eras of American’s PSE history, Gittleman attempts to show how US universities have always thrived because of their messiness and internal conflict. He concludes that one of the reasons these universities will remain so great is that no institution would ever intentionally reproduce the failures that got US schools where they are. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)