Colleagues tout Altbach and his inspiration
By Alex Spanko
Higher-education scholars and leaders gathered at a daylong symposium on April 5 to pay tribute to the retiring Philip G. Altbach, J. Donald Monan, S.J., Professor of Higher Education. Altbach, who founded the Lynch School’s Center for International Higher Education in 1995, will remain its director as well as a research professor.
During his 50-year career, Altbach authored and edited a host of books on his field. The most recent are The Road to Academic Excellence: The Making of World-Class Research Universities (World Bank Publications, 2011), with symposium participant Jamil Salmi, and American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century: Social, Political, and Economic Challenges (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). He also received the Howard Bowen Distinguished Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and was named a fellow by the International Academy of Education.
The conference, titled “At the Forefront of Higher Education,” addressed many of the changes, trends, and challenges Altbach has researched and described. Among the attendees at Boston College’s Fulton Hall Honors Library were Altbach’s friends and colleagues from around the globe, including representatives from the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, the Dublin Institute of Technology, and the Kazakhstan Quality Assurance Agency for Education as well as more local visitors from Harvard University, MIT, Northeastern University, Babson College, and Boston University.