CAMPUS IN CRISIS by Buell Gallagher

CAMPUS IN CRISIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Gallagher, former president of the City College of New York, takes a long, worried look at the campus convulsions of the 1960's, the post-'70 ""ominous"" quiescence, and its broader implications for the university and society at large. He indicts everyone -- the New Left, the drug ""non-culture,"" the Establishment, the research university, the communes, the technocrats -- for ""escapism."" Neither the universities nor the Establishment, nor the counterculture have been willing to deal with society's ""laundry list"" -- racism, poverty, crime, pollution, etc. His most prescient point in this extremely diffuse, plaintive book is the radical opposition between the ""research university"" which prides itself on being value-free and dedicated to scientism and the ""existential university"" of the Now generation which wants commitment and subjective meaning. Though Gallaher has many differences with children of Marx and Coca-Cola, he believes that the universities must concede the inadequacy of ""amoral science"" and undertake a quest for a common ethic which will bind faculty to students and academia to polls. As befits a man who was administrator of a school situated in the middle of a ghetto, Gallagher sees the necessity for ""opening up the campus in all its fullness to the general citizenry."" Elsewise his proposals are pretty much commonplace. He wants to get away from the quantitative yardsticks used in measuring learning; he wants to get away from the ""tyranny of discreet disciplines""; he wants to make education ""dynamic, holistic, heuristic and empathetic."" A sincere and concerned book -- but why does it seem so lacking in vitality, so desultory, dull and cautious?

Pub Date: April 17th, 1974
Publisher: Harper & Row