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Blood on the Moon
Survival Pending Revolution
Saving Schools
Inside the Carnival
Oil, Illiberalism, and War
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Teaching Minds
Serial Innovators
Soviet Leaders and Intelligence

What Universities Can BeWhat Universities Can Be

A New Model for Preparing Students for Active Concerned Citizenship and Ethical Leadership

Robert J. Sternberg

Narrated by Bill Burrows

Available from Audible

Book published by Cornell University Press

In What Universities Can Be, the high-profile educator Robert J. Sternberg writes thoughtfully about the direction of higher education in this country and its potential to achieve future excellence. Sternberg presents, for the first time, his concept of the ACCEL model, in which institutions of higher education are places where students learn to become Active Concerned Citizens and Ethical Leaders. One of the greatest problems in our society is a lack of leaders who understand the importance of behaving in ethical ways for the common good of all. At a time when new models of education are sorely needed, universities have the opportunity to claim the education of future leaders as their mission.

In the course of laying out the ACCEL concept and how such a model might be achieved, Sternberg offers many insights into the realities of higher education as it is practiced today and suggests ways that we could move in a better direction, one that would produce graduates who make the world a better place in which to live. Sternberg's compelling narrative and convincing argument address all aspects of universities, such as admissions, financial aid, instruction and assessment, retention and graduation, student life, diversity, finances, athletics, governance, and marketing. This book is essential reading for educators and laypeople who are interested in learning how our universities work and how they could work better.

Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development at Cornell University and Honorary Professor of Psychology at Heidelberg University. He is the author of College Admissions for the 21st Century. He holds thirteen honorary doctorates. He is a past president of the American Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology, and is currently editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science.


“i>What Universities Can Be by Robert J. Sternberg makes a compelling argument that standardized tests, admission standards, and much of college instruction administration and governance are well aligned and completely irrelevant for preparing young people to be creative participants in the workforce, who are appropriately engaged in civil discourse and service to others, and are capable of being the ethical leaders we need for the future. He explains how we could realign all of those elements in appropriate ways, and he provides clear and thoughtful insights into why the world of higher education looks the way it does.”

—Ed Ray, President, Oregon State University

“In What Universities Can Be, Robert J. Sternberg contributes notably to the higher education field by establishing a model to guide the evolution of the modern university. Sternberg's conversational style is interesting and highly readable.”

—Pamela Fry, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Education, Oklahoma State University

“i>What Universities Can Be is excellent—compelling, interesting, articulate, and well-researched.”

—Debra Humphreys, Senior Vice President for Academic Planning and Public Engagement, Association of American Colleges and Universities

“Robert J. Sternberg draws on his exceptional scholarship and years in the administrative trenches to craft some nuggets of practical wisdom about what colleges and universities need to do to realize their espoused aspirations.”

—George D. Kuh, Director, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, University of Illinois

“What if we valued institutions of higher education for fostering good citizens and ethical leaders? Robert J. Sternberg, one of our most thoughtful psychologists, reflects intriguingly on this possibility.”

—Howard Earl Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Twenty-first

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University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks