UMass Dartmouth History

UMass Dartmouth 1960-2006: Trials and Triumph

About the Book

In the first decades following World War II this nation and its system of higher education underwent dramatic, unprecedented change and growth. New colleges and universities sprouted across the landscape, especially during the prosperous and conflicted 1960s. Most of this growth was in public higher education as states rushed to meet the need for greater capacity and to satisfy the emerging ideal of universal access to higher education. UMass Dartmouth was formed in the context of these national trends, but with a significant difference: this University was among the few created through a merger of existing institutions. Public higher education in Massachusetts has often faced an uphill battle for support and recognition. Operating in the shadow of a small handful of genuinely elite private institutions, public higher education in the State has long been a low-priority, erratically-funded activity. As such, this book, while primarily an institutional history of UMass Dartmouth, deals also with the key elements in a public dialogue that continues to shape this, and other institutions operating in the public sphere in Massachusetts. One of its underlying assumptions is that the status and health of public institutions - in this case, public higher education - reflect the state of the social contract by which individuals relate to the "common wealth."

This book may be read and enjoyed on several levels. Chapters one to nine contain a general history conveyed through text and over 500 vivid photos with extended captions. The endnotes and appendices add depth and detail, and may appeal especially to those who were personally involved with the events described, either as faculty, staff, students, or community participants. Many of the book's charts, lists, and tables, found mainly in the extensive appendices, were produced and compiled specifically for this history, and are unavailable elsewhere.

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