Briefly describe three sociopolitical or historical facts

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Reference no: EM131327233

Discussion: Sociopolitical Trends in Higher Education

Whether an institution of higher education is 25 or 250 years old, its landscape is changing and it has to respond to shifts in education. Factors ranging from demographic changes to technology innovation to funding shifts are among the many dramatic differences that have affected institutions of all sizes and purposes.

To prepare:

Research the sociopolitical and historical changes that have occurred at an institution you select. In your research, look for information in sections on the institution's website titled "History" or "Timeline." Also review statements made by the president, public information office, or board of trustees.

Consider how these changes, and others, have impacted the institution and how it has responded.

To complete:

Post responses to the following:

• In your subject line, identify the institution and its location.

• Briefly describe three sociopolitical or historical facts that have changed over time at this institution.

• Explain any changes over time to the demographics, curricula, or service of the institution.

• Provide a brief analysis of the current and future issues that administrators and leaders at this institution, and more broadly in higher education, need to address given the sociopolitical and historical context.

• Use scholarly language, and provide URL links to the institution you describe.


Please Respond to the following Discussion Questions:

Discussion: #1

Michigan State University- East Lansing, MI


1855: Michigan State University opened its doors as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. MSU was founded on the ideals of democratization of knowledge, empowering ordinary people through education that was good enough for the proudest yet open to the poorest. In 1870 ten female students enrolled at what was then the State Agricultural College. The women's ages ranged from 16 to 23, they were the first women admitted to any college in Michigan.

1891: Linda Landon became the first female instructor at the State Agricultural College. She served as the librarian from 1891 to 1932 and taught English composition.

1948: David W. Dickson was appointed to the English department faculty. He was the first black faculty member appointed, his course was one of the most sought after.

1956: MSU becomes a global university, international programs were established and the first ever Dean position was created.

2005: First female president, Lou Anna K. Simon was appointed, she had a distinguished history serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs.

2007: The University established the Center for Gender in Global Content. This program emphasizes women and gender in global context.

2014: Project 60/50 was launched to celebrate the anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education and the 50thanniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This program offered events to engage the MSU campus and greater community in the broad range of civil and human rights conversations.

A big change for MSU is in regards to Tenure-System Faculty, in the 14/15 academic year, there were 1,945 faculty in the tenure system. The number of women and minorities increased slightly over the previous year. Over the last 10 years, the number of minorities in the tenure system has increased year over year. MSU transformed from an agricultural college to one of the top research universities in the world.

In the wake of an election year, MSU along with the rest of the higher education will wait to see where a new president will take higher education as a whole. The President of MSU quoted Maya Angelou, "You may not control all of the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them." On November 17th, 2016 Lou Anna Simon, Pd.D. wrote a letter to the Spartan community reacting to the presidential election. MSU is a diverse place that embraces and values students and faculty from all backgrounds, political persuasions. It is MSU's mission to respect and to not replace respect with personal attacks. Every leader in higher education must look at the change in politics and ensure that their institution supports its students, faculty and staff in any transition that may come forward.

Discussion #2

Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts (Boston Metropolitan Area)

1. The ethnicity of the women population was born out of sexism

The history of Smith College as a higher institution of learning is rooted in the fact that women did not have the same fundamental rights as men. In this instance it is education that women were forbidden from receiving by state law and the United States Constitution as interpreted by men of the day. This was a time when some women were fighting for the right for equality with men and slavery had technically ended in 1863 after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, prior to the 13th amendment abolishing slavery and before women had the legal right to vote as stated in the 19th amendment of 1920.

It was started by Smith in 1871 by a forward thinking woman. However, it has had to rationalize its continued existence as a women's college since women now have options from which to choose ("Why Smith a Women's College", n.d.). However, it has done so brilliantly as a number of select women have come to understand that they learn better in an all women student environment with positive female role models who provide more opportunities to communicate ("Why Smith a Women's College", n.d.).

1. The global draw now represents an extraordinarily broad spectrum

At the time of its founding, Smith College was a small liberal arts college of some very courageous caucasian women. The thought of the college becoming an international student body could not have possibly been conceived at that time. Now it is a thriving student body of about 2600 student....of women from around the world.

1. The financial strength of this institution as represented by its endowment

The endowment of Smith College is over a whopping 1 billion dollars ("Smith College, 2014"). It is placed amongst the top Ivy League colleges and Universities by virtue of its alumni financial support and depth of endowment (Smith College, 2014).

Current and Future Challenges

Currently, while the undergraduate program is all women, the graduate program is coed, representing a paradigm change for the historically all-women college ("Smith College", 2014). Trinity University a small private all women's college in Washington, DC has a similar dynamic whereby the undergraduate program is all women, however the graduate program is coed. What is creating this change? An article written by Ms. Neasonwrites in Time Magazine, poses some possible answers, low enrollment (Neason, 2014). With women having so many choices, a college distinguishing itself as an all women's college his unique competition by its very distinction and by the high tuition (Neason, 2014).


Neason, Alexandria (2014). "Why Women's Colleges are Opening the Doors for Men". Time Magazine. Retrieved from

Smith College (2014). US News and World Report. Retrieved from

"Why is Smith a Women's College? "(n.d.). Retrieved from

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