23 May 2011 12:45pm - 2:00pm CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge


Professor Christopher Newfield presents Refunding the Humanities: the Case for Succession at The Future University conference in June 2011. 


Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work-in-Progress seminar series

   Professor Christopher Newfield (University of California at
   Santa Barbara)
   CRASSH Visiting Fellow Easter 2011
   Universities of the Future: Reimagining Innovation in Global
   Higher Education
Email: cnewf@english.ucsb.edu

The session will have three parts.  It will start with an analysis of the conventional wisdom about how American research universities are funded, and identify a half-dozen fundamental problems with the funding model that has been in use for about three decades there. Although Americans disagree about whether the privatization of public universities is educationally and socially desirable, there is a general consensus that it is financially sound. This first section will suggest that privatization doesn't make basic budgetary sense, and that one can argue against reduction of public funding on financial as well as educational and social grounds.

Second, discussion will  turn to the educational impacts of the funding model.  Admirers of the US model assume that the combination of private and public funding has produced excellent educational outcomes. In fact, US educational outcomes have been flat or falling for the same three decades the funding model has been in use, and we'll look at possible causal connections behind and the social implications of this decline. Third, the session will look at international alternatives to the U.S. funding model, and suggest how these might be strengthened and what their broader impacts might be. My work is in general interested in education as a public good and in just and sustainable forms of social development, and these will be major themes during the session.

About Christopher Newfield

Christopher Newfield is a Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his PhD in American literature from Cornell University in 1988, and his central interests include: American culture after 1830, with particular attention to fiction since 1940; race; sexuality; affect; crime; California; and corporate culture. Professor Newfield is currently at work on two projects: The Empowerment Wars, which explores the literature, management theory, and everyday life of cubicle dwellers in corporate America; and Starting Up, Starting Over, an eyewitness account of the underside of the “New Economy” in Southern California.



To access the Readings for the Work in Progress seminar, please contact Michelle Maciejewska.

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