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Kylena Marney

2/28/16
Writing 2010, Jessie Richards
Synthesis 1 Assignment
On the topic of Higher Education, there are many sides, many arguments, and many
subtopics. In articles written by Adrianna Kezar, L. Lennie Irvin, Diane Reay, Andrew Hacker
and Claudia Dreifus, Sylvia Hurtado, Bob Hanke and Alison Hearn, Jeffery J. Williams, and
Sarah Bonewits and Lawrence Soley, and a speech written by David Foster Wallace, I discovered
three main points of conversion: economics, diversity, and the common good. These ideas
became the three major camps in my map of the conversation.
My map is designed much like a flow chart or a concept web, in that each idea belongs to
a circle, and the circles are connected to each other by lines, representing how the ideas from the
different sources are connected. Each source is represented on the map by a color either inside
a circle, or on a line. The circles with more than one color inside them indicate a topic of
convergence between two or more of the sources.
First, we have the Economic Camp. Hacker and Dreifus, Hanke and Hearn, and Bonewits
and Soley. All three of these articles mention money/finances, although they differ in what
kind of money they discuss. The Hacker and Dreifus article mentions that graduating with six
figures worth of debt is becoming increasingly common among college students. On the other
side of the economic topic is the issue of corporate funding in research institutions, as it appears
that research universities are following a pattern of taking on research that seems based
less on a scholarly agenda than on promoting their funders agendas (Bonewits and Soley, 83).

In addition, Hanke and Hearn discuss the issues of both student debt and the universitys
increasingly capitalist tendencies.
Next is the Diversity Camp. The articles written by Reay and Hurtado connect by
discussing diversity. Hurtado focuses on reasons to further incorporate a racially and culturally
diverse student population that could be beneficial to both the university and society, pointing
out that one goal of linking diversity with the learning and civic mission in higher education is
to achieve greater coherence in undergraduate preparation (Hurtado, 186). Reay tends to focus
more on the diversity and range of social classes who apply and/or are accepted into universities,
in addition to race and culture, and how that effects student and college life, for example,
policies initiated in 1997 have made it more, not less, difficult for young people from lower
social classes to attend university (Reay, 857).
Finally, we have the Common Good Camp, which was the most common subtopic
throughout all nine pieces of writing, specifically in the Hacker and Dreifus, Kezar, Hurtado,
Hanke and Hearn, and Williams articles. A few of these also connect the Common Good Camp to
the other two Camps. Hacker and Dreifus contemplate whether the quality of education being
provided by many universities is worth the thousands of dollars in student debt; Kezar takes note
of the increase in interest in vocational majors, and a noticeable shift away from the arts,
philosophy, and the humanities. Hurtado explores the connections between a diverse learning
environment and a positive influence on education; Hanke and Hearne discuss the intertwined
matters of teacher pay, student debt, corporate funding and the need to revitalize the activity of
thinking and the role of the intellectual (Hanke and Hearn, 19). And Williams indicates the
modern demand for members of the field of critical university studies, in order to keep
colleges and universities from straying from their original, intended task: intellectual education.

There were also articles that didnt quite fit into any of the three camps: Outliers, so to
speak. Irvins article, which focused on how to write academically, didnt overlap with any other
of the nine articles except for the Williams article, in their mutual use of the word analysis and
encouragement of critical thinking. Wallaces This is Water speech also did not connect
directly to any of the Camps, but, similarly to Irvins article, his humorous methods of pointing
out that humans are hard-wired to be selfish creatures, shed light on why it is important to
constantly be thinking critically, and with an open mind. This everyday critical thinking, which
could potentially be established through a liberal arts-influenced education, leads to a better
understanding of the world.
Overall, the three main topics among these nine resources were Diversity, the Common
Good, and Economics, although there were also a couple of these resources that diverged from
these Higher Education subtopics, they did not stray too far from the main three ideas.

Works Cited Page


Bonewits, Sarah, and Lawrence Soley. Research and the Bottom Line in Todays University.
American Academic. 28 Feb. 2016. Print.
Hacker, Andrew, and Claudia Dreifus. "Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission?" The
Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle, 11 July 2010. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
Irvin, L. Lennie. "What Is "Academic" Writing?" Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. Vol. 1.
San Francisco: Creative Commons, 2010. 3-17. Print.
Hanke, Bob and Alison Hearn. Introduction: Out of the Ruins, the University to Come.
Kezar, Adrianna. Obtaining Integrity? Reviewing and Examining the Charter between Higher
Education and Society. The Review of Higher Education 27.4 (Summer 2004): 429-459. Print.
"Linking Diversity with the Educational and Civic Missions of Higher Education." Review. The
Review of Higher Education 30.2 (Winter 2007): 185-96. Print.
Reay, Diane, Jaqueline Davies, Miriam David, and Stephen J. Ball. Sociology. 4th ed. Vol. 35.
United Kingdom: BSA Publications Limited, 2001. Print.
Wallace, David Foster. "This Is Water - Full Version-David Foster Wallace Commencement
Speech." YouTube. YouTube, 19 May 2013. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Williams, Jefferey J. "An Emerging Field Deconstructs Academe." The Chronicle of Higher
Education. The Chronice Review, 19 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.