VCU President Emeritus’ Book Published on Universities as Engines of Economic Development
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
A new book, “The Indispensable University” by VCU President Emeritus Eugene P. Trani and former Dean and Wilder School Director Robert Holsworth, examines the global transformation of institutions of higher education into indispensable agents of economic and community development.
Published by Rowman & Littlefield in the American Council on Education Series on Higher Education, the book includes a foreword by former Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.
Trani and Holsworth utilize a case study approach in showing how urban universities such as VCU, the University of Southern California and the University of Pennsylvania became change agents for the communities in which they are located. Likewise, they examine the prominent role that major land-grant universities and community colleges have assumed in community and regional economic development.
During Trani’s 19-year-tenure, VCU developed into an economic engine for the region and transformed the Richmond landscape, with the establishment of the VCU School of Engineering, the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park and the extension of the VCU campus onto Broad Street.
The book also places higher education in the context of an emerging global economy, analyzing recent initiatives in Cambridge, Oxford, Ireland, in the Middle East and in the BRIC nations of Russia, India and China.
In one section, Trani and Holsworth assert that the very indispensability of universities, especially in the globally expanding knowledge economy, should enable “higher education institutions to emerge from the recession in far better long-term shape than institutions such as newspapers, banks and housing entities.”
In pre-publication reviews, University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III praises the book as “the kind of standard work that university leaders as well as state and federal policy makers will have to read.” Paul Temple, from the Centre for Higher Education Studies of the Institute of Education at the University of London notes that "I'm sure that it will become a standard work on both sides of the Atlantic."
Trani and Holsworth will be speaking about the book at a variety of regional, national and international venues over the next year. Full reviews and more information on the book are available at www.rowmanlittlefield.com/ISBN/1607090791.
About VCU and VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.