Excessive emphasis on research as the dominant measure of institutional as well as individual prestige and values has created a critical mismatch between the activities of American universities and societal expectations. This article traces the origins of the resulting crisis of purpose to the post-World War II surge in federal research support and articulates the urgent need for basic changes in university priorities at a time teaching and professional services have acquired both new importance and new complexity. It further describes current efforts toward a more balanced view of the components of university missions and a resulting shift in faculty roles and rewards.



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