Universities: Past, Present, and Future
Scott Gelber, Wheaton College
Erin Driver-Linn, Harvard University

Grading the College: A History of Evaluating American Higher Education

About the talk

This talk complicates the prevailing view of university evaluation as a market-driven and anti-intellectual endeavor. The history of evaluation reveals a significant degree of scholarly involvement in the definition and assessment of American higher education, especially its harder-to-measure academic, civic, and even aesthetic domains. Although ultimately arriving at a dim view of the fruits of these efforts, this talk reframes evaluation as a genuine intellectual endeavor that resided within the realm of twentieth-century professorial authority.

About Erin Driver-Linn

As Director of the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, Erin Driver-Linn facilitates experimentation in innovative pedagogies and educational research, and forges collaborative networks among Harvard faculty, students, administrators, and teaching and learning experts within and beyond the University. She works closely with the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning and others in the Office of the President and Provost, as well as leadership across school lines, to catalyze innovation and excellence in education.

As Associate Provost for Institutional Research, Driver-Linn directs Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research in producing internal and external data reports and research projects that inform University decision-making. Before joining the Office of Institutional Research in 2008, she was Associate Director for Research at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning and taught in the Harvard Department of Psychology, where she received her PhD in experimental social psychology.