In The Academic Community: A Manual for Change, Donald E. Hall builds on his earlier The Academic Self: An Owner’s Manual (2002) and confronts the most pressing issues in higher education today: the coherence of undergraduate instruction, priorities in graduate training, public perceptions of colleges and universities, and collegiality and cohesion within departments and institutions. Drawing on the dialogue-based theories of the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hall urges a reinvestment in community-building by academics, with chapters examining the process of community creation and enhancement in the classroom, the department and college, and the broader regions which surround university campuses.
In offering concrete strategies for revitalizing college and university classes and campuses, Hall urges readers to become agents of change within their institutions and the larger political arena. Among the topics he addresses are undergraduate training in public intellectualism, graduate training in institutional service and collegiality, and institutional commitments to public outreach and community service. The book offers real-life examples and practical tips in its far-ranging discussion of the state of higher education in the United States today.
The Academic Community: A Manual for Change is a clarion call for a renewed optimism, energy, and focus in tackling the complex problems facing the academy in the twenty-first century.