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Old Main

, 280 pages

2 halftones

June 2005
List price:$29.00
Sale price:$10.00
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Old Main

Small Colleges in Twenty-First Century America

This perceptive and cogent account draws on key data and firsthand observations to tell the story of the small college in America. Defined as institutions that enroll between 500 and 3,000 full-time students, small colleges number about six hundred in the United States. Many are thriving, while some—whether through low enrollment, ballooning debt, or simple misfortune—face uncertain futures.

Informed by his own experiences as a teacher and administrator, Samuel Schuman sketches the history and development of these institutions; then focuses on their current conditions and future possibilities. Administrators, faculty, and researchers will appreciate Schuman's insight into institutional choices and their consequences. Old Main is an essential book for anyone who shares Schuman's conviction that small colleges occupy a central place in American higher education.

Samuel Schuman is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Minnesota, Morris. He is the author of Cyril Tourneur: A Reference Guide, The Theatre of Fine Devices: Emblems and the Emblematic in the Plays of John Webster, and Vladimir Nabokov: A Reference Guide.

"This is not a conventional study of small colleges... In the tradition of a true liberal arts scholar, he invites thoughtful dialogue, challenges academic tradition, and persuades readers to explore alternatives."

"Interesting reading. The extensive information Schuman provides gives us a picture of contemporary American small colleges."

"Researchers, faculty, and administrators interested in small colleges will find suggestions for further research and discussion about the many challenges that small colleges face today."

"An important book for small-college people... Paints a rich picture of the exceptional things small colleges can do."

"Schuman is an ardent proponent of small colleges, and his devotion and passion are apparent in every chapter of this work. The work is also brilliantly written and thoroughly convincing. After reading this work, the reader will possess a new found appreciation for these institutions of higher education and an understanding of their vital role."

"Once the envy of the world, American undergraduate education at the beginning of the twenty-first century is in a state of crisis. Anyone seeking solutions to its problems will want to read Old Main. Schuman offers convincing evidence that small colleges really are different—and the difference is good for students."

"A wonderful integration of rich knowledge with thoughtful and perceptive analysis. I also appreciated the interweaving of vignettes and portraits, which seemed to me to add a nice layer of humanity."

"A significant piece of work, extremely well-written and solidly based on data and evidence."

"Many people—well beyond those that are affiliated with small colleges—will find [ Old Main] of great interest."

"Schuman's method is impeccable and true to the small college experience that eludes description by statistics and generalities alone... Old Main should become the text of choice for orienting new administrative staff and faculty in small colleges."