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The history of American colleges and universities, from their beginnings in the 17th century to the present; focus will be on the structural changes that have occurred and the factors bringing about these changes;  on the financial history of higher education; on governance; on the curriculum and extra-curriculum; on academic research and  the relation of academe to the larger society. Special attention will be paid this semester to the history of Columbia University and its constituent schools, particularly Barnard College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, both celebrating important birthdays in 2014.

Mondays & Wednesdays
2:40 – 3:55 PM
203 Diana Center

The Weighting of Course Requirements:


Due Date


Ist posting

February 12, 2014


Ist Hour Exam

February 19


2nd posting

March 24


2nd Hour Exam

April 2


3rd posting

April 28


Final Exam

May 15


Options for Closing Out the Alma Mater Course/ Semester:

One web posting  on Academe since 1945 – on the scale of previous postings [10 points];
Due Monday, April 28 – a hard deadline
Take final examination  (20 points] ; scheduled for May 15, 2014

2.Grade-grubbing/Arminian alternative:
Two presentations or a double presentation
And take final examination
Will allow  your poorer hour exam grade  grade to drop out of averaging

3. Time management strategy:
Two presentations or a double presentation
Can avoid the final (assuming a B average on your hour exams)


Robert A. McCaughey
Janet Robb Professor of History
Barnard College, Columbia University

Office Hours:
Lehman 421 C
Tuesdays, 4:00 to 6:00 PM
and by appointment



6 Responses to Home Page

  1. Saige Frank says:

    I posted this comment under Medieval Beginnings on Jan 28th at 8:32 am. It currently says “Your comment is awaiting moderation” at the top of the post, and isn’t visible when I’m not logged in.

    The question:

    When multiple universities first began to open up in the same country (I.e. Oxford and Cambridge) did students graduate with differing statuses based on what school they attended? For example, were Oxford graduates in highest demand? Or was that level of education all considered worthy of the same high status because of the small percentage of people who were that educated?

    I hope this time it works!

    • Robert McCaughey says:


      It worked. During much of their parallel histories, Oxford was thought of a center of humanistic learning more closely tied to the Anglican church, while Cambridge was more a center for science and less churchy (also less Tory in politics). But the use of the conflating term “Oxbridge” suggests they were/are interchangable in many eyes.

  2. Conor Skelding says:

    Worth adding: A Bachelor of Arts, by John Erskine, the man behind Lit Hum.

  3. Robert McCaughey says:

    Site under construction. Improvements ahead.


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