Article ID: CBB001200586

To “Administer the Present”: Clark Kerr and the Purpose of the Postwar American Research University (2012)


This article explores the intellectual and institutional contexts of the seminal ideas about the American research university expressed in Clark Kerr's book The Uses of the University (1963). In particular, it suggests how Kerr's relationship to the administrative science movement, an important thread of postwar American social science, shaped his concept of the university. It focuses special attention on an important yet little-known 1957 speech in which Kerr suggested that the university's purpose was increasingly to "administer the present." The article concludes by showing how the development of the University of California's new campus at Irvine in the 1960s reflected his ideas about relating social science theory to administering the present.

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Authors & Contributors
Rainger, Ronald
Mann, Alfred K.
Guzzetti, Luca
Gemelli, Giuliana
Wolfe, Douglas A.
Kurihara, Takeshi
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
科学史研究 Kagakusi Kenkyu (History of Science)
Earth Sciences History: Journal of the History of the Earth Sciences Society
Columbia University Press
Office for Official Publications of the European Communities
P. Lang
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
MIT Press
University of Pittsburgh Press
Research support
Universities and colleges
Science and society
Science and government
Government sponsored science
Revelle, Roger
Kroeber, Alfred Louis
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late
United States
California (U.S.)
Great Britain
University of California
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Rockefeller Foundation
United States Navy
Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (Beaufort, N. C.)
Southeast Fisheries Science Center (Miami, Florida)

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