This chapter presents some final thoughts from former Stanford University president Gerhard Casper. He describes the American system of higher education as a highly differentiated system, which has found diverse solutions to meet various expectations and needs. Within that system, we continue to need universities that emphasize the disinterested pursuit of knowledge in teaching, learning, and research. He raises concern that, by stressing their immediate utility, all universities are losing their distinctness. He also comments on how professors, students, and the university itself are constantly being distracted by demands to make their expertise available to government and business worldwide, to improve the speed of innovation, to participate in the improvement of social conditions, and to directly contribute to a higher quality of life. Such distractions have caused many universities to become unfocused and frequently believe they need to be all things to all people.
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