What is college for? Thinking about Purpose in Uncertain Times

johann neem

Thursday, October 1
3:00-4:30 p.m.
Via Zoom
Registration via Event Brite

In the midst of a pandemic, as colleges struggle to serve their students and continue their research, many reformers are hoping that this might be a time of transformation. But what kind of transformation? To what end? To transform our colleges requires knowing what we want from them—what are they for? Why should students go to college? What should they learn? And why do we even need campuses?

In this fall's Making Humanities Public Lecture with the UM Humanities Institute and co-sponsored by the UM History Department, Neem argues that now, more than ever, we need to remember the core purpose of higher education to guide us through uncertain times.

Johann Neem is author of the recent book What’s the Point of College? Seeking Purpose in an Age of Reform. A regular contributor to conversations about higher education, his writings have appeared in such venues as the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, the Washington Post, and USA Today. He is professor of history at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.