Course Correction: A Map for the Distracted University
Published: March 2019© 2019
312 Pages, 6.20 x 9.20 x 1.30 in
Course Correction engages in deliberation about what the twenty-first-century university needs to do in order to re-find its focus as a protected place for unfettered commitment to knowledge, not just as a space for creating employment or economic prosperity. The university’s business, Paul W. Gooch writes, is to generate and critique knowledge claims, and to transmit and certify the acquisition of knowledge. In order to achieve this, a university must have a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness, and this, in turn, requires a diligent and respectful level of autonomy from state, religion, and other powerful influences. It also requires embracing the challenges of academic freedom and the effective governance of an academic community.
Course Correction raises three important questions about the twenty-first-century university. In discussing the dominant attention to student experience, the book asks, "Is it now all about students?" Secondly, in questioning "What knowledge should undergraduates gain?" it provides a critique of undergraduate experience, advocating a Socratic approach to education as interrogative conversation. Finally, by asking "What and where are well-placed universities?" the book makes the case against placeless education offered in the digital world, in favour of education that takes account of its place in time and space.
1. It’s All about Knowledge, Period
2. Reputation Requires Integrity
3. Autonomy is Precarious but Necessary
4. Academic Freedom is Necessary and Messy
5. Decision-Making is Complicated
6. Is It Now All about Students?
7. What Knowledge Should Undergraduates Gain?
8. What and Where are Well-Placed Universities?
Epilogue: Apologia pro Vita Sua
"While there are other contemporary books that examine particular dimensions of the university, Course Correction is the only recent one that turns anew to the reasons universities exist and the prerequisites for their success. Gooch’s long and illustrious career as a scholar and university leader places him among a select few who could address these issues with the erudition evident in this book. Gooch acknowledges that his is a task of explanation; he brings a fresh perspective to an established subject."Peter MacKinnon, President Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan, Officer of the Order of Canada