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Nature and Needs of Higher Education

California Institute of Technology
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DOC008 BOOKS NATURE AND NEEDS OF HIGHER EDUCATION The Report of the Commission on Financing Higher Education Columbia University Press $2.50 Reviewed by Albert B. Ruddock Member of the Board of Trustees FINANCED BY THE ever·helpful Rockefeller and Carnegie groups, a Commission composed of some first- run educational and corporation executives and board members has devoted more than spare time over the past four years to a consideration of the basic problems of higher edu- cation in this country. Geographi- cal coverage was assured which, in- cidentally, resulted in C. 1. To's being well represented on the roster; and statistical adequacy was provided through ample and pertinent sup- porting data. The Commission's conclusions can hardly strike a reader as novel or unexpected: to wit, higher education is a bulwark of our country; its roots are firmly planted in freedom; SAN fRANCISCO 2 its fruits serve not only the spirit of the individual and the nourishment of the professions but the defense mechanics of the nation; higher ed- ucation has always been difficult to finance, and, today, because of the impact of inflation, re-armament, taxes, other calls for individual gifts, such as health, it is even more diffi- cult to finance than ever; this is especially so for the privately sup- ported institution, but the state sup- ported universities are also not with- out their financial problems; and so forth. But while it did not require the appointment of such a commission to catalog the history and financial dilemma of higher education, the Commission's creation and work are well justified because of the clarity, vigor and authoritativeness of its presentation of the rather well-known facts. Its very caliber lends keen awareness of the facts and argu- ments to those who read the report, and must, when it expresses criticism and conveys warnings to those within as well as without the educational family circle, command respectful attention.

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