As we move toward the end of this century, we also mark the changing of the guard in the academy. A whole generation of university professors move into the final decade of their careers. People who earned their doctorates in the 1950s and 1960s now reach their late 50s and 60s, and, it is clear, a dramatic change in the composition and character of university faculties will mark the beginning of the next century. We leave the universities considerably smaller and less consequential places than they were when we came on the scene. But I should claim that we have done our best.
Professors were the earliest victims of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, but we went willingly to the barricades. We were the ones to make peace with what we should have fought. Many of us from that time onward were to witness in our unfolding careers the transformation of the gentle and intellectual character of the academic world— women and men of curiosity, seeking understanding—into something quite different, rather more political and less engaged by learning and teaching.
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