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Academia's Golden AgeUniversities in Massachusetts, 1945-1970$
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Richard M. Freeland

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195054644

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195054644.001.0001

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Evolution of the College-centered University: Tufts and Brandeis, 1945-1970

Evolution of the College-centered University: Tufts and Brandeis, 1945-1970

(p.179) Chapter Four Evolution of the College-centered University: Tufts and Brandeis, 1945-1970
Academia's Golden Age

Richard M. Freeland

Oxford University Press

Tufts College, traditionally focused on undergraduate education in the arts and sciences, responded to the opportunities of the postwar years with new emphases on research and doctoral-level programs. A new name, “Tufts University,” signified the change. The leaders of Tufts intended, however, to retain a primary emphasis on undergraduate work. During these same years, a new university, Brandeis, sponsored by a group of American Jews, joined the state’s academic community. Brandeis’s founders also conceived their institution as centrally concerned with undergraduate education, although they too intended to build a modest array of graduate programs, especially in the arts and sciences. In projecting their development during the 1950s and 1960s, Tufts and Brandeis set out to become different versions of a distinctive institutional idea: the college-centered university. By the early 1940s, President Leonard Carmichael of Tufts, like his counterparts at Harvard and M.I.T., had come to regard World War II as a time of opportunity, despite immediate, war-related problems of enrollment and finance. Carmichael’s wartime reports referred repeatedly to new possibilities arising from the military emergency. He welcomed a Navy R.O.T.C. unit to Medford as a chance for greater visibility as well as for public service. He speculated that increased awareness of international issues would benefit the Fletcher School. Most important of all, given Tufts’s history of straightened finances, was the possibility of new federal support. “It is ... not too early,” Carmichael told his trustees in the middle of the war, “for all of us to do what we can to see to it that the men who administer our postwar education [at the federal level]... have an appreciation of the importance to this nation of colleges and universities with varied objectives and varied bases of administration and support.” If federal funds were to become available, Carmichael wanted to be sure that private institutions got their share, and he assured his board that “every effort is being made to maintain our relationships with the armed services... so that Tufts’s peculiar qualities—a university-college in which teaching and research go forward together—may be maintained ...”

Keywords:   Accreditation, Black students, Civil rights movement

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