Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line

David L. Kirp

Read February-March 2005

Another of the course readings from uc0170 on the modern research university. Kirp's is a light but highly entertaining book on the role of modern management trends, especially marketing, in the modern university. Rather than write a ponderous book—which is so easy to do on this topic, as indeed on anything related to the university—he keeps the book lively by sticking to case studies. (It helps that he can write with humor.) Some of these are old hat, some will elicit a snicker, many are either wholly surprising or contain elements of surprise, and some are outright shocking. The book is light on conclusions, but that's perhaps just as well: each reader should be able to draw their own (how fitting in these post-modern times!). I'm not sure how much one would learn from reading it per se, but at the very least you will be entertained and come away with a much better understanding of the life and travails (some distinctly self-inflicted) of the modern research university.

A useful complement to Rhodes's book.