This is a different kind of book: a call for courageous conversations focusing on nine taboo subjects that bedevil higher education.
For nearly a decade, distinguished scholars Lori Carrell and Robert Zemsky have been having frank conversations with each other—and with colleagues and friends—about the state of higher education. In Communicate for a Change, they bring together nine of their most insightful conversations to explore difficult questions that today's administrators, trustees, and faculty members too frequently avoid.
Why, Carrell and Zemsky ask, is it so hard to talk about the mess that higher education is in? And how can we refocus the conversation on what really matters, grappling with taboo subjects in a way that helps to revitalize higher education from the inside out? Grounded in the real, as opposed to the rhetorical, importance of community in making change, these revealing conversations also explore
• why the public no longer sees faculty as heroes and experts
• how to overcome the academy's fondness for slogans
• how money talks
• why curricular change doesn't (usually) happen
• the students we hardly know and how we might come to know them better
• how to constructively approach differences of race and gender
• and much more
A golden thread weaves its way through the book, revealing the premise that rich, honest talk can generate trust, connection, and fresh ideas for revolutionary change. Carrell, the chancellor of the University of Minnesota Rochester, is by both training and instinct a testifier. Learning for her is tangible, a product of truly getting dirty, sorting through the muck of conflict as well as connection. Zemsky, on the other hand, is a provocateur who pushes an argument as a means to explore differences and conflicts. Both are natural storytellers. Their conversations are enriched by the contributions of a host of higher education experts and leaders. Breaking new ground in terms of both its subject matter and its format, Communicate for a Change is an accessible and engaging catalyst that will kick-start subsequent deliberations.
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