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As president of Stanford University, Gerhard Casper established a reputation as a tireless, forward-thinking advocate for higher education. His speeches, renowned for their intelligence, humanity, wit, and courage, confront head-on the most pressing concerns facing our nation’s universities.
From affirmative action and multiculturalism to free speech, politics, public service, and government regulation, Casper addresses the controversial issues currently debated on college campuses and in our highest courts. With insight and candor, each chapter explores the context of these challenges to higher education and provides Casper’s stirring orations delivered in response. In addressing these vital concerns, Casper outlines the freedoms that a university must encourage and defend in the ongoing pursuit of knowledge.
About the Author
Gerhard Casper was president of Stanford University from 1992 to 2000. Currently he is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He lives in Atherton, CA.
“Casper is a true humanist and one of the most learned of our post–World War II presidents of major universities. He brings his penetrating intellect and breadth of knowledge to this deep and rigorous commentary on fundamental issues in higher education.”—Richard Levin, President Emeritus, Yale University
— Richard Levin
“I read this book with great interest, especially Casper’s chapters on multiculturalism and affirmative action, which continue to be pressing issues on college campuses and are still very relevant to our world today. His reflections on those subjects opened my eyes to moral and legal complexities I had not considered and will be useful to others confronting these problems.”—Marilyn Yalom, senior scholar at the Michelle Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University
— Marilyn Yalom
“Most university presidents focus on their actions, not on their thoughts. So, Casper has provided a rare experience in presenting such an insightful analysis of the concerns presently facing higher education.”—Patricia Albjerg Graham, Dean of the School of Education, Emerita, Harvard University
— Patricia Graham
“Casper offers a trenchant account of his engagement with sundry threats to the core principles of higher education. A picture emerges of the university as a delicate, fragile institution whose historic missions can be preserved and enhanced only by constant and assertive vigilance.”—David Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Freedom from Fear
— David Kennedy
“Casper’s description of the life of a university president is vivid, deeply serious, and yet includes quite a lot of humor. I now understand why he did so well as president of Stanford.”—Henry Rosovsky, Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
— Henry Rosovsky
“A most wonderful set of essays and reflections on timely and enduringly important issues.”—Phil Taubman, former New York Times Washington Bureau Chief
— Phil Taubman