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Bob Trube's The University Today: Challenges and Opportunities
Welcome to the University

By Drew Trotter


This brief essay provides an excellent summary for discussion of what the challenges facing higher education in America are at the present time, and not just for those interested in the philosophy of education or going into the teaching field. Every student both entering and returning to university or college this fall should be aware of this essay and think hard about its suggestions.

Trube has worked for many years as InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministry staff at Ohio State University, and also hosts a website, reviewing books worth reading. This combination makes him well qualified to look at the topic in his essay: he is both a practitioner with boots on the ground and a theorist with the insight and discernment to write about the university today.

More than that, Trube brings a clarity of spiritual interest in the university and its health that stems from his love of Christ and learning and his desire to see the university prosper. The essay is from a talk he gave at an international conference of campus workers so it assumes a Christian posture from the start, but its insights are broad and steeped in the literature of higher educational theory. He sees four forces that are at work in higher ed that are shaping the content and the context of education in our universities: internationalization, technology, economics, and secularization. He divides his talk into sections containing several paragraphs about each topic. Each section ends with a set of discussion questions, so the essay could serve as the basis for either one general discussion or four separate ones, using the essay to jump into other readings perhaps or choosing simply to explore these densely packed topics.

This is a great beginning of the year discussion starter about the purpose and challenges of education, especially at the many research universities in our land.

Bob Trube’s essay can be found on the Emerging Scholars Blog site here.


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