Michigan State University

Generous Thinking: The University and the Public Good

Generous Thinking: The University and the Public Good

The university stands in a peculiar relationship to twenty-first-century American culture. On the one hand, that culture imagines institutions of higher education to be providers of vitally important credentials for those seeking an engaging career and a secure economic future. On the other, that same culture routinely depicts the university and its denizens as being out of touch with the real needs of their communities, producing and transmitting useless, abstract knowledge and standing in the way of real economic and technological progress. Generous Thinking proposes that those of us who work within the university might take a hard look at the ways we connect and communicate with a range of off-campus communities about our shared interests and concerns in order to begin rebuilding the relationship between the university and the public that it is meant to serve.

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