Cover image for The university : an owner's manual
The university : an owner's manual
Rosovsky, Henry.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [1990]

Physical Description:
309 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"Published simultaneously in Canada by Penguin Books Canada Ltd."--T.p. verso.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB2341 .R59 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



For eleven years Rosovsky (economics, Harvard U.) was dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. He here reviews the mission and the mores of America's colleges and universities with special consideration to each of its "owners"--students and their families, alumni, faculty, donors, trustees, the press, and the general public. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This manual by a Harvard economics professor and former campus administrator is an uneasy mix of self-congratulatory personal memoir, college admissions guide for students and parents, and vigorous defense of American higher educaton. Rosovsky reaffirms the value of a liberal arts education, judging U.S. universities to be more democratic than their Japanese or European counterparts, and arguing that more than two-thirds of the world's best colleges are in the U.S. He discusses the hazards and rewards of teaching, advocates a core curriculum, outlines guiding principles for administrators and defends the tenure system as a ``social contract'' ensuring high-quality faculty. He is eloquent when upholding the mission of the university as keeper of the cultural flame. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The author's observations of the world of ``The University'' are made with wit and wisdom accumulated through his 11 years as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. The exploration of the views of the various university owners--students, faculty, administrators, trustees, alumni--provides insights for all university newcomers, but only when tempered with the knowledge that Rosovsky's experiences at Harvard will not always be valid for those entering the university society in many less-renowned institutions, especially those governed by public boards. While Rosovsky is at his best in presenting a dean's-level view of the university community, Josef Martin's To Rise Above Principle (LJ 5/1/88) provides more enjoyable reading from that same perch.-- Annelle R. Huggins, Memphis State Univ . Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.