Scholarship Spotlight: Ernest L. Boyer: Hope for Today’s Universities

Ernest L. Boyer: Hope for Today’s Universities is a scholarly volume released in April 2015. Each chapter introduces a contemporary issue in higher education through an essay by a scholar who specializes in that topic. Yet, each chapter also contains unpublished writings by Ernie Boyer—writings in which Boyer addresses the same issues as the preceding essay. This is not meant to be an evaluation of Boyer’s ideas. Rather, by framing the book in this format the objective is to showcase the relevance and accessibility of Boyer’s ideas today. In the words of the editors Todd C. Ream and John M. Braxton:

While Boyer’s influence has found its way into a number of educational environments, to date no volume connects Boyer’s hope for today's universities resizedwisdom to the current generation of crises facing higher education. This volume seeks to fill that void…

This edited volume systematically matches selections from Boyer’s writings found in the archives housed at Messiah College to the literature concerning the current set of crises besieging higher education. As a result, each chapter opens with an introduction to the state of a particular crisis by a noted higher education scholar with research interest in that area. Beyond the literature in the subfield of higher education, these scholars consider arguments made in recent books…Following the introduction offered in relation to the particular crisis, the same scholar then provides a battery of Boyer’s unpublished writings that best respond to the crisis in question

By offering this paralleled structure, this volume is meant to appeal to four audiences: (1) those interested in the history of the State University of New York (SUNY); (2) higher education scholars; (3) college and university administrators; and (4) government policy makers. These audiences can draw their own connections by relating with the issues presented on higher education while also being introduced to Boyer’s ideas, thereby providing them with a solid background on Boyer’s history and his ideas to combat these issues.

We at the Boyer Center Archives are very excited about this new volume. Not only does it directly utilize information housed here at the archives, but also, the themes and purposes of the book directly coincide with our mission—relevance and accessibility.

We hope to explore this volume more in depth in the near future. Stay tuned!

To purchase a copy of Ernest L. Boyer: Hope for Today’s Universities, click here.