Nicholas Lemann’s vision for the American Research University….

He is the dean of journalism at Columbia and his important long piece is here, from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

There are many excellent points in the article, not the least of which is that very few academic leaders focus on actually making the case for the research to the stakeholders of US research universities. The other interesting insight is that tenured faculty self-identify on the basis of their discipline rather than their employer (e.g. I am a neuroscientist, not I work for George Mason University). I believe this, and I’m guessing that it creates an ersatz dialectic between the talent (the faculty) and their employer which works against making the larger case.

So I would say this is an excellent read. I hope it’s read by many college presidents.