Critical University Studies

Our overall investigations:

  • How should we redesign colleges and universities to bring higher learning to 100 percent of our societies?
  • How should we upgrade higher learning to suit today's global human needs?

Affiliated Personnel


Remaking the University

Johns Hopkins University Press Book Series

  • Brochure
  • Jeffrey Williams (English, Carnegie Mellon University) and I have launched a book at The Johns Hopkins University Press. Called “Critical University Studies,” the series aims to capture and promote the development of Critical University Studies as distinct genre of critical analysis. We build on a tradition of criticism of the American university, one of whose early landmarks is Thorstein Veblen’s Higher Learning (1918).  Over the past decade it has become clear that the American university system has entered a different, confusing moment that calls for new forms of criticism. Critical University Studies emerges from the conviction that the university’s problems had become structural and long-term, and also that its social potential is being misunderstood and underdeveloped. CUS focuses both on critique of current trends and on providing analytic tools to rebuild colleges and universities internationally. The general aim is to allow universities to fulfill their highest social and intellectual ambitions.

Humanities Research Infrastructure:

  • What do humanities scholars need in the way of research infrastructure? What do universities currently offer them? How can we close the gap?

The History and Future of Higher Education

  • The premise of this co-located course, offered Spring 2014, was as follows: We believe advocacy and responsibility for shaping the future of higher education should be led by those who have most experience and most at stake in all the forms and institutions of advanced learning. The more varied the participation, the more we will learn. Beyond students and professors, we invite other stakeholders to join: administrators, policy makers, foundation and philanthropic leaders, librarians, curators, alt-ac professionals, business and political leaders, K-12 teachers and students, and the concerned public at large.


Related Publications

Books and Collections

  • Academe Cover Image

Online Analysis


Remaking the University
Blog on higher education policy and practice (founder and co-editor)

Commissioned Reports and White Papers


Closing the Educational Divide: What is the Role of Online Higher Education?
With Jenna Joo, Colleen Lye, Michael Meranze, Xiao Hu

May 2008

The Cuts Report
Lead author and chair, UC systemwide committee on Planning and Budget (UCPB)

May 2006

Futures Report
"Current Budget Trends and The Future of the University of California"
Lead author and vice chair (UCPB)

May 2002

White Paper on University-Industry Relations
Office of Research, UC Santa Barbara.

Jun 2001

Faculty Diversity in the University of California: 30 Year Trends
UCSB Divisional Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity

Oct 1995

Handbook of Affirmative Action
Lead author, for UCSB Media Group



What are the Humanities For? Rebuilding the Public University

Jan 2014

At Parliament’s Select Committee Hearing on Student Loans

Mar 2013

Review of Searching for Utopia: Universities and Their Histories

Nov 2011

Reflections on the Significance of the Public University: An Interview with Christopher Newfield

Sep 2009*

A Teachable Crisis

Feb 2008

A Statue Made of Smoke: The Board of Trustees in the New American University


The Professor-Manager and the Artist-Bureaucrat


The Professor-Manager and the Artist-Bureaucrat

May 1995

Introduction: Going Public

Dec 1994

What Was 'Political Correctness'?: Race, the Right, and Managerial Democracy in the Humanities - Reprint

May 1992

Ignore the Pressure: Academic Freedom and Cultural Dissent

Autumn 1991

A Teacher for Democratizing Liberalism: A Response to Teachers for a Democratic Culture