Our Higher Calling, Second Edition

Rebuilding the Partnership between America and Its Colleges and Universities

Second Edition

By Holden Thorp, Buck Goldstein

With a new preface by the authors

216 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7918-1
    Published: February 2024
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7919-8
    Published: February 2024

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This is an unmistakable time of crisis and confusion about the purpose, value, and sustainability of higher education in the United States. Data continues to show substantial benefits for students who complete a four-year degree, yet Americans from all backgrounds are losing confidence in the nation's institutions of higher learning, and political and economic challenges for colleges and universities seem greater than ever. How can faculty, administrators, governing boards, and other stakeholders address these challenges effectively? Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein draw on interviews with higher education thought leaders and their own experience inside and outside the academy to address these problems head on.

Now in paperback with a new preface by the authors, Our Higher Calling presents a forceful case for the enduring value of higher education along with pragmatic recommendations for how campus leaders can engage in constructive dialogue about necessary change.

About the Authors

Holden Thorp is editor-in-chief for the Science family of journals.
For more information about Holden Thorp, visit the Author Page.

Buck Goldstein is Professor of the Practice and University Entrepreneur in Residence (Emeritus) in the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship at UNC-Chapel Hill.
For more information about Buck Goldstein, visit the Author Page.


"Compelling.... Thorp and Goldstein outline a blueprint for trustees, presidents, faculty and students to follow to rebuild higher education for a new century."--Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post

"What can higher education do to reverse public and political skepticism about it--even hostility toward it? More than anything, say Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein, American higher education must work to restore the compact that has long underpinned it--a tacit agreement in which academe produces knowledge and well-educated citizens in exchange for stable public investment and the autonomy to get on with its job."--The Chronicle of Higher Education

"A challenging but arguably hopeful outlook on issues facing higher education in the United States. Given its rationale and recommendations, the book reads much like a strategic plan for higher education leaders."--College and University