Education: The Straitjacket

When Colorado-born Jean Paul Mather became president of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst two years ago at 39, he knew that he had a problem campus on his hands. Founded in 1863 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College, the university did not achieve university status until 1947. It had grown from an uninspiring prewar institution with four small divisions, 1,260 students and 45 buildings to one with 75 buildings, an enrollment of 4,300, schools of agriculture, engineering, nursing, home economics and business administration. But academically, says President Mather, today the University of Massachusetts is doomed to "increasing mediocrity." Reason: it has...

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