The Bureaucratic University and Its Discontents

Glenn C. Altschuler and Isaac Kramnick

in Cornell

Published by Cornell University Press

Published in print July 2014 | ISBN: 9780801444258
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780801471896
The Bureaucratic University and Its Discontents

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This chapter examines Cornell University's evolution into a larger, more complex, and more bureaucratic institution in the 1960s and 1970s. It first discusses the changes that Cornell went through under presidents James Perkins (1963–1969) and Dale Corson (1969–1977), beginning with Perkins's initiatives during a period of political unrest. Perkins insisted that universities had to become moral actors directing themselves to the realities of war, poverty, and racism as the civil rights, feminist, and student movements swept through America. Young people, especially college students, led a revolt against traditional authorities. Perkins had to deal with a politicized campus, but was able to transform Cornell from a virtually all-white institution to an inclusive college for “any person,” including people of color. After assessing the challenges that Perkins had confronted at Cornell, the chapter considers Corson's legacy and cites Cornell's politicized environment during his tenure, including faculty appointment and promotion.

Keywords: faculty; Cornell University; James Perkins; Dale Corson; racism; civil rights movement; feminist movement; student movement; students

Chapter.  23573 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Higher and Further Education

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